TARDIS Index File

The Well-Mannered War (novel)

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The Well-Mannered War
Doctor: Fourth Doctor
Companion(s): Romana, K9
Main enemy: The Darkness, the Black Guardian
Main setting: Barclow, the far future
Key crew
Publisher: Virgin Books
Writer: Gareth Roberts
Release details
Release number: 33
Release date: 17 April 1997
Format: Paperback Book, 293 Pages
ISBN 0-426-20506-5
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The Well-Mannered War was the thirty-third and final novel in the Virgin Missing Adventures series. It was written by Gareth Roberts. It featured the Fourth Doctor, K9 Mark II, Romana II and the Black Guardian. Uniquely, it portrays Romana borrowing articles of clothing from the Doctor's old wardrobe.


Barclow - an Earth-type planet on the fringes of space at an inestimably distant point in the future. Two factions claim it: humans from the nearby colony world of Metralubit and a small group of Chelonian troopers. Yet in nearly two hundred years of conflict, not one shot has been fired in anger, there are regular socials in the trenches and the military commanders are the best of friends.

The Doctor, Romana II and K9 arrive in the midst of these bizarre hostilities to find there's real trouble to come. A crucial election on Metralubit is looming and K9 is forced to begin a new career as a politician. Romana meets an old friend and the Doctor finds that a sinister hidden force may be attempting to alter the war's friendly nature.

What are the plans of Galatea, the leader of the beautiful robotic Femdroids? Who is killing soldiers on both sides of the battle lines? Will K9's oratory save the day?


to be added




Fashion and clothing

  • Romana is said to be wearing an outfit comprised of bits of the Doctor's wardrobe. While helping the Doctor do a bit of "spring cleaning", she discovers a jacket and frilly shirt worn by the Third Doctor and pairs it with the baggy, checked trousers of the Second Doctor. This fact is partially reflected in the book's cover art, which displays Romana in the frilled white shirt, bowtie, red velvet jacket and Inverness cape combination that the Third Doctor wore in Seasons 8 and 9.


  • K9 Mark II is programmed to protect the Doctor and Romana; this includes their emotional well-being, as well as their physical safety.
  • The Black Guardian mentions adventures with the Animus, Lady Ruath and the Timewyrm.
  • Galatea is leader of the Femdroids. She has a voice like sweet honey and matured rum.
  • Premier Harmock believes that he represents Metralubit, but the planet is devoid of any life.



  • The Doctor briefly mentions the Oraapi.

Theories and concepts


  • The Web of Death was a torture device which stretched the limbs of the victim until they were separated from the body.


  • This story was released as an E-Book on the BBC website in 2006 with the book remaining on the BBC's site ( until 2010.
  • Daryl Joyce's front and back cover art present the e-book as a Target novelisation, which it was not.
  • This was the last Virgin Missing Adventures novel to be published, hence the odd cliffhanger ending. Some fans have interpreted the ending as being symbolic of Gareth Roberts' general dislike of Season 18.



  • This story includes six illustrations from the e-book by Daryl Joyce. The illustrations, like the e-book cover, were drawn in the style of Target novelisation illustrations.

Associated images

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