The Dying Days (novel)
|The Dying Days|
|Companion(s):||Benny, The Brig|
|Main enemy:||Xznaal, Ice Warriors|
|Main setting:||England, 6 May 1997|
|Release date:||18 April 1997|
|Format:||Paperback Book; 16 Chapters, 298 Pages|
|Virgin New Adventures|
Bernice Summerfield New Adventures
|none||Oh No It Isn't!|
The Dying Days was the final release of the Virgin New Adventures line of Doctor Who novels and the only one featuring the Eighth Doctor. After this novel was published, Virgin Books forfeited the rights to produce novels featuring the Doctor to BBC Books. This marked a transition to a new series of novels featuring Bernice Summerfield as the main character.
Publisher's summary edit
The Dying Days of the Twentieth Century
On the Mare Sirenum, British astronauts are walking on the surface of Mars for the first time in over twenty years. The National Space Museum in London is the venue for a spectacular event where the great and the good celebrate a unique British achievement.
In Adisham, Kent, the most dangerous man in Britain has escaped from custody while being transported by helicopter. In Whitehall, the new Home Secretary is convinced that there is a plot brewing to overthrow the government. In west London, MI5 agents shut down a publishing company that got too close to the top secret organisation known as UNIT. And, on a state visit to Washington, the British Prime Minister prepares to make a crucial speech, totally unaware that dark forces are working against him.
This time, the Doctor is already too late.
Chapter Titles edit
- What We Saw From the Ruined House
- Foreign Soil
- Return to Mars
- Gratuitous Violets
- The World At One
- Close Encounters
- Work, Rest and Play
- Death and Diplomacy
- Our Friends From Mars
- An Englishman's Home
- That Which Does Not Kill Us ...
- The No Doctors
- Earth Attacks!
- Look! - Up In the Sky!
- Going Down in History
to be added
- Eighth Doctor
- Bernice Summerfield
- Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart
- Alexander Christian
- Winifred Bambera
- Edward Greyhaven
- David Staines
- Eve Waugh
- Raymond Heath
- Timothy Todd
- Bernice excavated Mare Sirenum on Mars when she was twenty-four. This established her reputation as an archaeologist.
- Bernice stole parts of her diary describing events around the UNIT/Rebel assault on Martian held London from a "tattered old paperback with a creepy eye on the cover". 
The Doctor edit
- The Doctor refers to himself as the Eighth Man Bound, the champion of Life and Time, the Bringer of Darkness to the Daleks and the Oncoming Storm to the Draconians. And the guy with two hearts.
- The Doctor is calm about dying after blowing up the Martian War Rocket.
- After being blown out of the Ice Warrior's War Rocket, the Doctor creates several balloons to slow his descent out of bin bags, curtain rings and a cannister of helium.
Cultural references from the real world edit
- The whole Martian invasion is viewed as a hoax by the public, serving as a distraction to enable the Provisional Government to keep control of the country.
- Benny looks at a John Smith and the Common Men album when she and the Doctor are searching Todd's flat.
- Bruce Springsteen is the American President.
- David Staines is Home Secretary of the United Kingdom government.
- Lord Greyhaven makes a deal with the Ice Warriors which leads them to invade the United Kingdom.
- Bernice is staying at the Doctor's house in Kent after getting a lift there with Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart and aM!xitsa.
- The Brigadier mentions debriefing Jo Grant after her adventures with the Doctor, one involving the Ice Warriors and Peladon. (TV: The Curse of Peladon)
- Alexander Christian knew Jo Grant when she was studying her A levels.
- Winifred Bambera is married to Ancelyn, who has gone with the Crown into exile, as befits a Knight of the Realm.
- The Brigadier reminds Bambera that he is still technically retired, despite being the figurehead of the anti-Martian/Greyhaven rebellion.
- At the Queen's re-coronation, the Brigadier points out the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K9 to Doris.
- Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is promoted to General by the end of this story.
- Bernice can speak Martian.
- Eve Waugh an American news reporter.
- UNIT is much better funded than it was in the 1970s.
- UNIT has a branch in Paris (called NUIT).
- UNIT in the past has dealt with the Bandril and Drahvin attempted invasions (without the Doctor's help).
- Veronica Halliwell is Director General of MI5.
- The Ice Warriors have an organisation called the Martian Communicators Guild.
- Mars has a perfectly breathable (though a bit chilly) atmosphere, but the soil is almost completely infertile.
- Water is a source of great wealth on Mars.
- The Arcturan Treaty of 2085 is the official date of peaceful first contact with aliens.
- The Sword of Tuburr is mentioned.
- Xznaal, despite being an Ice Lord, doesn't wear the traditional armour. He wears the shell of a Warrior. This makes him eccentric and is an insight into his mindset according to Benny (he's militaristic and close-minded).
- The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to reflect a Ice Warrior sonic blast.
- Bernice knows how to isolate electrics from the fuel supply of a 20th century helicopter.
- Benny receives a letter (from 2593) offering her the Edward Watkins chair of archaeology at St. Oscar's University, Dellah.
- The Brigadier met the Eighth Doctor in Hong Kong in 1988 when they discovered the secret of the Embodiment of Gris.
- The Brigadier kept Bessie in mothballs for the Doctor and waits for the Doctor in the UNIT parking bays with the car.
- Although officially considered the last release of the Doctor Who New Adventures line, it was in fact not the last to be published. Due to production delays, a novel featuring the Seventh Doctor that had been intended for release several months earlier, So Vile a Sin, was not published until a month after this novel came out, making it, technically, the final Doctor Who NA release.
- This was the only New Adventures book to feature the Eighth Doctor, and is the last Doctor Who book to be published by Virgin.
- Rather than using the McCoy era Doctor Who logo on the spine, or the later New Adventures logo intended for the Summerfield novels, The Dying Days features the Virgin Books logo on the spine.
- For over ten years (before the release of The Company of Friends) this was the only appearance of Professor Bernice Summerfield with the Eighth Doctor.
- Virgin would continue to publish The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. The Dying Days ends leading Bernice to her new home at the University of Dellah.
- At the Mars landing party there are a few notable guests: Jeremy Paxman, Richard Dawkins, Chris Evans, Gillian Anderson, Richard Branson, Alan Yentob, Emma Peel and Lalla Ward (who appears as herself and "in character" as Romana II at the end of the book).
- Benny's knowledge specialty of the 20th century actually ranges from 1963 to 1989 (which is the length of the TV series' original continuous run).
- When Xznaal is seen from the point of view of Greyhaven, the Doctor, or Benny, the pronoun Parkin uses for Xznaal is "he". From anyone eles's point of view Parkin refers to Xznaal as "it". As in, "Xznaal moved its scaly body".
- The human names are also written (when viewed from the Ice Warrior's point of view) as they would pronounce them, such as Gerayhavun/Greyhaven, Xztaynz/Staines.
- Supposedly Philip Segal stated that a big alien invasion couldn't be done on the TV movie's budget because of the cost of multiple prosthetic costumes and the cost of showing a full alien invasion. The Dying Days does an alien invasion with three Ice Warriors (there are never more than two Ice Warriors in a room together throughout the book). 
- The book's concluding chapter ends with Benny initiating a sexual encounter with the Doctor, a first for the franchise in any licensed media. Debated for many years by fans, the event was finally confirmed in the Big Finish audio drama AUDIO: Benny's Story.
- This book is notable for not having the Doctor Who logo anywhere on the cover, spine or interior, due to Virgin not having the rights to the logo introduced for the Eighth Doctor (the rights to which were owned by BBC Books) and not wanting to use the Seventh Doctor's logo. Instead, Virgin Publishing's logo is used instead. In addition, the title Doctor Who appears nowhere on the back cover or interior pages until one gets to the copyright page. There is also a brief mention on an acknowledgements page.
- The book concludes with the afterword, "The End and a new beginning", signed by the editors of the New Adventures line, acknowledging this as the final Doctor Who novel and promoting the start of the Virgin Bernice Summerfield New Adventures line.
- There was a "final chapter" released by Lance Parkin and posted on rec.arts.drwho some time in 1997. It was Parkin's original epilogue / final chapter to The Dying Days.
- The novel's title was originally inspired by the lyrics from A-Ha's The Living Daylights.
E-Book illustrations edit
- The Doctor regenerated in TV: Doctor Who.
- The Doctor delivers Benny to Dellah for the start of the Virgin Bernice Summerfield New Adventures Oh No It Isn't!.
- The Brigadier refers to debriefing Jo Grant after the events of TV: The Curse of Peladon.
- Kadiatu and aM!xitsa last appeared in PROSE: Happy Endings.
- Benny asks how Martians can invade Britian now, but she also has Martians at her wedding. (PROSE: Happy Endings).
- In TV: The Christmas Invasion there is question of whether or not aliens are Martians and confirmed not to be the case.
- Benny previously met the Brigadier in PROSE: No Future and he attended her wedding in Happy Endings (which is subjectively in the future for the Brigadier).
- The previous Mars missions are mentioned including the meeting of the Ambassadors (TV: The Ambassadors of Death).
- The Doctor left Chris on Gallifrey in PROSE: Lungbarrow.
- Chris Cwej returns in PROSE: Deadfall.
- Bambera first met the Doctor in TV: Battlefield.
- The fictional book-within-a-book Who Killed Kennedy is mentioned, as are its authors James Stevens and David Bishop. Supposedly, UNIT altered the dates within the book to change them from the actual dates. Stevens is said to have "gone to ground", referring to his disappearance in January 1996. On that occasion, he travelled back in time to Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) On the other hand, Bishop is mentioned as still being in London.
- In TV: Aliens of London / World War Three the public are again given practically unquestionable knowledge of aliens existing and (again) it is seen as a hoax.
- The Doctor's house first appeared in PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Warhead.
- Veronica Halliwell originally appeared (and died) in PROSE: System Shock.
- Susan was listening to John Smith and the Common Men in TV: An Unearthly Child.
- The Master previously stole the Nestene energy unit from the National Space Museum. (TV: Terror of the Autons)
- Ashley Chapel Logistics (PROSE: Millennial Rites) and I2 (PROSE: System Shock) are amongst the companies that supplied parts for the Mars Probe.
- Christian attempted to get in touch with the Brigadier via his daughter, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. (HOMEVID: Downtime, TV: The Power of Three)
- PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet is the first novel to mention a re-coronation of the Queen. But this was actually Lawrence Miles explaining a continuity problem in TV: Battlefield (a throwaway line of there being a King). 
- The Doctor tells Benny that she is his longest-serving companion as of that time.
- The final chapter strongly implies that a sexual encounter takes place between Benny and the Doctor. For years this was a matter of debate and speculation, until it was confirmed in AUDIO: Benny's Story.
- ↑ This describes the cover of Lance Parkin's original A History of the Universe. Which ironically doesn't cover this period.
- ↑ The Dying Days Lance Parkin Ebook Author Notes Chapter 7
- ↑ The Dying Days Lance Parkin Ebook Author Notes Chapter 10
- Official BBC Ebook of The Dying Days
- The Dying Days at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Discontinuity Guide to: The Dying Days at The Whoniverse