The Dark Path was the thirty-second novel in the Virgin Missing Adventures series. It was written by David A. McIntee. It featured the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield. This novel features one of the earliest encounters with the Master and the Doctor, greatly expanding on their personal histories on Gallifrey.
Darkheart: a faded neutron star surrounded by dead planets. But there is life on one of these icy rocks — the last enclave of the Earth Empire, frozen in the image of another time. As the rest of the galaxy enjoys the fruits of the fledgling Federation, these isolated imperials, bound to obey a forgotten ideal, harbour a dark obsession.
The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria arrive to find that the Federation has at last come to reintegrate this lost colony, whether they like it or not. But all is not well in the Federation camp: relations and allegiances are changing. The fierce Veltrochni — angered by the murder of their kinsmen — have an entirely different agenda. And someone else is manipulating the mission for his own mysterious reasons — another time traveller, a suave and assured master of his work.
The Doctor must uncover the terrible secret which brought the Empire to this desolate sector, and find the source of the strange power maintaining their society. But can a Time Lord, facing the ultimate temptation, control his own desires?
to be added
- Second Doctor
- Jamie McCrimmon
- Victoria Waterfield
- Gillian Sherwin
- Vernon Terrell
- Viscount Gothard
- Pack-Mother Brokhyth
- Lieutenant Clark
- Mei Quan
- Chief Engineer Ipthiss
- Surgeon Hathaway
- Adjudicator Matthews
- Adjudicator Hiller
- Captain Colley
- Adjudicator Paxton
- Victoria is trying to get Jamie to read Robinson Crusoe.
- The Doctor is recognised as a Noble of Draconia.
- Koschei persuades Terrell to use the Darkheart to destroy Terileptus (home planet of the Terileptils).
- The Federation succeeded the Earth Empire.
- The Adjudicators on the planet Darkheart still believe in the superiority of Earth and humanity.
- The Adjudicator's Lodge contains murals depicting the conquering of Solos and the destruction of Mondas; Terrell is also working on one depicting the triumph over the Cybermen with the glittergun.
- The Adjudicators have access to logs from the Britannicus Ice Base, showing the Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria.
- Koschei has visited the Skonnon Empire.
- The Rimworld Alliance existed during the Earth Empire.
- The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria have just departed Vortis.
- Darkheart is the location of a device constructed by Chronovores to heal their young and sick.
- Koschei shows Victoria Skaro prior to the period when the Daleks developed space travel.
- Victoria gets hypnotised by Koschei, initially playing on the idea that destroying a planet is not always a crime by referencing the possibility that he could do this to the Daleks.
- The Veltrochni previously triumphed against the Tzun confederacy.
- The Doctor refers to the Animus as Lloigor.
- Epilira is an Alpha Centauran who was a cultural advisor on the ship Piri Reis.
- Victoria distantly observes the early Daleks in the Dalek City.
- Koschei's TARDIS is a type 45 with user definable macros for easy navigation.
- The Doctor can use Koschei's TARDIS to remotely control his.
- The Darkheart is the technology of the Chronovores.
Theories and concepts
- Koschei considers the Blinovitch Limitation Effect while pondering saving Ailla's life.
- "Telefrag" is a Marine Corps term for transmatting somebody into the exact same coordinates as somebody else (the result is "splat").
- The story takes place between The Web of Fear and Fury from the Deep, and follows on from Twilight of the Gods.
- While the publisher's summary mentions "Time Lord", the text of the novel does not. This preserves the inner continuity of the first mention of the name in the television story The War Games.
- This is one of the few stories to depict the Second Doctor in his own story with the Master.
- Scenes cut from the novel were published in the charity anthology Perfect Timing.
- Victoria briefly observes the Daleks in their city, marking the only appearance of the Daleks in the Virgin Missing Adventures.
- "Koschei" is a traditional name for male antagonists in Slavic mythology.
- The Doctor, Victoria and Jamie on separate occasions mention seeing the "final end" of the Daleks in TV: The Evil of the Daleks.
- When the Doctor learns that the Master is present, he automatically assumes that he is hunting him on behalf of the Time Lords. (TV: The War Games)
- The Doctor states that they "...don't want to crash into the other time machine...," something that he would later do in his fifth and tenth incarnations, at the same time. (TV: Time Crash)
- The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria have just left Vortis. (PROSE: Twilight of the Gods)
- Victoria compares the temperature outside to that of Tibet. (TV: The Abominable Snowmen)
- The Darkheart has the ability to make humans immortal and alter DNA, similar to the Miracle. (TV: Miracle Day)
- When Jamie asks Hakkauth if he can really shape shift, he says that it is only a hologram and says, "I am no shapeshifter like the Rutan..." (TV: The Time Warrior, TV: Horror of Fang Rock)
- The Tzun first appeared (and the Veltrochni were mentioned) in PROSE: First Frontier.
- The fall of the Earth Empire occurred in PROSE: So Vila a Sin.
- The incident the Doctor mentions with the time path indicator and the Daleks was TV: The Chase.
- The time path indicator is used again in PROSE: Timewyrm: Genesys when the Seventh Doctor and Ace use it to track the Timewyrm.
- An alternate version of Koschei appears in PROSE: The Face of the Enemy.
- Prior to attempting to merge his TARDIS with the Darkheart, Koschei tears out the recall circuit. (TV: Arc of Infinity)
- Ailla works for the CIA and knows of the Doctor. She tells him he has to return the TARDIS to Gallifrey. (TV: The War Games)
- After seeing all the death and destruction, Victoria decides to leave the TARDIS the next time they land on Earth. (TV: Fury from the Deep)
- This is Jamie's first experience using transmat. (TV: The Seeds of Death)
- Ben and Polly told Jamie about the Doctor's regeneration, but Jamie assumed they were joking until he witnesses Ailla's change. (TV: The Tenth Planet)
- The Sons of Earth are still active at this time. (TV: The Power of Kroll)
- Jamie refers to Edward Waterfield and Theodore Maxtible (TV: The Evil of the Daleks), the Cybermen (TV: The Moonbase, The Tomb of the Cybermen) and the Yeti (TV: The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear).
- Victoria recalls the Doctor telling her about his family. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
- The Darkheart colony has files of the Doctor's encounter with the Ice Warriors on Brittanicus Base in their database. (TV: The Ice Warriors)
- Terrell comments that the Cybermen often ally themselves with human traitors in order to aide their infiltration plots. (TV: The Invasion, Revenge of the Cybermen, Earthshock)
- The Adjudication Lodge contains murals depicting the conquest of Solos (TV: The Mutants) and the destruction of Mondas in December 1986 (TV: The Tenth Planet).
- Terrell is in the process of painting a mural depicting the successful use of a glittergun against the Cybermen aboard the Nerva Beacon in the 29th century. (TV: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- The Doctor and Sherwin discuss the Earth Empire's expedition to Avalon. (PROSE: The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
- Despite the Second Doctor not immediately recognising "Koschei" to be the Master in this novel, in PROSE: Divided Loyalties, the Fifth Doctor has a nightmare under the influence of the Celestial Toymaker where the Master's name at the Academy was Koschei.