This novel includes psychic paper, introduced in 2005 in Series 1 of Doctor Who, it is one of the few occurrences of the new series being referenced in a Past Doctor Adventure. This narrative also explains how the Doctor obtained his psychic paper.
The Doctor has been captured and put on trial by his own people, accused of their greatest crime: interfering with the affairs of other peoples and planets. He is sentenced to exile on Earth. That much is history.
But now the truth can be told — the Doctor does not go straight into exile. First the Time Lords have a task for him. From the trenches of the Great War to the terrors of the French Revolution, the Doctor finds himself on a mission he does not want, with a companion he does not like, his life threatened at every turn.
Will the Doctor survive to serve his sentence? Or will this adventure prove to be his Waterloo?
- Following the passing of the Gallifreyan Freedom of Information Act, the true story of the Doctor's exile is to be released. The following is an excerpt from the genuine summary of the Doctor.
The Doctor's trial was near its end. He was accused of breaking two Gallifreyan laws: first, stealing a TARDIS; second, breaking the law of non-interference. The Doctor stated that he was proud of his interference, as he had stopped many foes. The Time Lords understood his plea, but found his interference too great a crime and sentenced him to death.
to be added
- Second Doctor
- Napoléon Bonaparte
- Horatio Nelson
- Arthur Wellesley
- Joseph Fouché
- Agent Sardon
- Agent Ragnar
- Agent Milvo
- Councillor Taskor
- Sergeant Lebrun
- General Dumerbion
- Lord Castlereagh
- Captain Hippolyte Charles
- General Blucher
- General Didier
- Colonel Grant
- Inspector Mercier
- Representative Saliceti
- This story occurs, for the Second Doctor, directly before the television story The Two Doctors.
- An alternate cover for this novel featuring a more youthful in appearance Troughton exists. The cover also lacks the soldiers and cannons in the background.
- The Doctor Who logo is missing from the spine of this novel.
- This story takes place in the Season 6B timeline.
- Psychic paper was introduced in the 2005 season of the revived Doctor Who as a device used by the Ninth Doctor. As the Past Doctor Adventures line was discontinued soon after, this is the only time that an original novel featuring a "classic series" Doctor has made direct reference to a concept introduced in the TV series revival.
- This story posits that psychic paper is a Time Lord invention and that the Doctor first started using it as far back as his second incarnation. Neither has ever been said on television. Psychic paper first appeared in the television story The End of the World.
- This story features the second significant encounter between the Second Doctor and Horatio Nelson. However, the Doctor meets him at a much earlier point in his second incarnation's life but at an later point in Nelson's life. At no point does the Doctor mention having met Nelson in the company of Ben Jackson and Polly Wright, as he did in the short story H.M.S. TARDIS.
- The opening prelude is an almost word for word copy of chapter 1 of Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion, except that the doctor is sentenced to death instead of exile.
- Throughout this story, the Doctor uses a completely different TARDIS than normal; although it is "introduced" to him in the shape of a police box as the Celestial Intervention Agency thought it would make the Doctor more comfortable, it is a Type 97 with a working chameleon circuit. He doesn't get to keep the 97 at the end of the story, but instead is returned to his own TARDIS afterwards — albeit one that's had a complete overhaul. The overhaul is meant to retcon the fact that the Second Doctor's TARDIS in The Two Doctors seems radically different to versions of the set that existed in the late 1960s.
- The Time Lords give the Doctor a time ring. The Fourth Doctor would use the ring again on his mission to Skaro. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
- At the end of the novel, the Time Lords send the Doctor on a mission to Space Station Camera. (TV: The Two Doctors)
- The Doctor mentions his recent encounter with his eighth incarnation. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
- The Third Doctor and Fifth Doctor would later describe Lord Nelson as a "close personal friend" (TV: The Sea Devils, PROSE: The Lions of Trafalgar) whereas the Fourth Doctor claimed to have had breakfast with him the day before the Battle of Trafalgar. (PROSE: Eye of Heaven)
- Later in his personal timeline, the Sixth Doctor would once again be present at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. (AUDIO: The Curse of Davros)
- The Eighth Doctor's companion Charlotte Pollard would later befriend the elderly Duke of Wellington in 1851. (AUDIO: Other Lives)
- The Doctor says that an encounter with a vampire is one of the few things that can make a Time Lord afraid. (TV: State of Decay)
- At the end of the adventure, the Doctor puts the Napoleon costume in the Wardrobe room. (TV: Time and the Rani)
- The Doctor says that "in an authoritarian society, people obey the voice of authority." (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus, Blood Harvest, Deadly Reunion)