Season 7: Expanded

This post is kind of an experiment. I want to discuss Season 7 (Jon Pertwee Season 1), but also discuss the stories set within and around it and how those stories enhance the era, detract from the era, change the way fans look at the era, etc. This may be an ongoing topic idea, I don’t know. I just kinda want to have fun with the idea.

TV Stories: Spearhead from Space, Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death and Inferno.

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There are four novels set in this period, though three of them are actually all set after Inferno. And then the fourth is Who Killed Kennedy?, which kinda spans the first two Pertwee season and Day of the Daleks.

Novels: The Eye of the Giant, The Scales of Injustice, The Devil Goblins from Neptune and Who Killed Kennedy?.

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Love this idea and I am all for it being expanded to the rest of the series. I’m going off my spreadsheet that uses a combo of the eyespider and TARDIS Wiki timelines here so excuse me if I missed anything.

There are a few audios set in this era, some of them during the season, some of them after.

Companion Chroncles: Old Soldiers, Shadow of the Past, The Last Post, Binary, The Blue Tooth, The Rings of Ikiria, Sentinels of the New Dawn (actually set early on in season 8 but it features a reunion between the Doctor and Liz)
Third Doctor Adventures: The Annihilators, The Unzal Incursion, Intelligence for War
Audio Short Trips: AWOL, The Blame Game, The Christmas Dimension, Blue Boxes, A Home From Home
Destiny of the Doctor: Vengeance of the Stones
Lost Stories: The Mega


A great idea for a thread - I do think we need an area for cross-media discussions like this so I’ll have a chat with @shauny to see what he thinks might be the best way forward.


Thanks. That sounds great. I think that with so much expanded media surrounding the original TV stories, a general discussion of it all would be interesting. Especially as some material has been written to just have more stories set in the era while others have been written specifically to fill continuity gaps. I’ve barely touched this era as I’ve only read one novel and listened to five of the audios. So it’ll be interesting to look at both in general and in more depth.

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Looking into the two timelines I use, it appears that the order and cause of certain events is a bit in flux. The primary events being Yates joining UNIT and advancing to Captain, and Liz’s departure. Now, on TV, it was simple. Liz went back to Cambridge sometime between Inferno and Terror of the Autons and Yates appeared as a Captain (somewhat in the background actually) in Terror where it’s stated that he helped clean up the first Auton invasion. It’s in the expanded media where everyone wants to tell how these happened, primarily Liz’s departure, that you then start to have problems. I find it interesting that Doctor Who seems to be more interested in plugging gaps and fixing holes in continuity than most other fandoms that I’m interested. I don’t notice it to the same level as Doctor Who in fandoms such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel or DC.

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I’m happy to take the Missing Adventures’ account of Yates’ UNIT career over that of Vengeance of the Stones, mostly because I’ve enjoyed the VMAs and thought Vengeance of the Stones was extremely boring :laughing: but that’s a matter of personal taste lol

I also found Vengeance of the Stones to be rather boring, though I haven’t listened to it for some time. Unfortunately, I haven’t read the VMA account so don’t know how that compares.

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Just finished The Unzal Incursion (the first half of The Third Doctor Adventures: Volume 7). It’s a good story. It’s also kind of weird to think that all three leads are recasts. That said, they all do a great job, especially Jon Culshaw as the Brigadier. I enjoyed the mentions of Sir John Sudbury (of Department C19) and Lord Rowlands. And I especially like the bridge with Season 8 that this story hints at (that The Master is really behind this as a test specifically for UNIT and the Doctor).

My question here is where do you guys place this timeline-wise? Andrew Kearley places in the gap between seasons and Tardis Wiki places in between Ambassadors and Inferno using the Tardis console moving from the lab to garage as its chief evidence and that Sergeant Attah is there to replace Benton. I distinctly heard mention of Corporal Benton which would place this before Ambassadors where Benton appears as a Sergeant (also, the closest TV story referenced is The Silurians so this is after that). However the article for this story on Tardis Wiki says he’s recently been promoted. I have not listened to the story where he’s promoted (Shadow of the Past), but it would make sense that he would be promoted in that story and then be used to fill the gap left by Sergeant Attah. And of course, no one in the CD Extras gives any indication of where this is set within Season 7. So it would seem this is either between Silurians and Ambassadors or between Ambassadors and Inferno. What are your thoughts?

I used to obsess over the order of things and once even arranged all my VHS, books, and audios in order of continuity (I didn’t get out much…).

There’s far too much stuff now and it is often contradictory.

The end of Season 7 is particularly tricky as different writers have addressed Liz’s departure and Mike Yate’s arrival in different ways. Sometimes he’s a sergeant and a contemporary of Liz before she leaves; sometimes he’s already a Captain. There’s a couple of Liz deciding to leave stories and it all gets a bit muddled.

This is what Andrew Kearley write on his brilliant Eyespider chronology:

The Eye of the Giant/The Scales of Injustice
There are a few inconsistencies apparent during the early years of the third Doctor’s exile on Earth, notably around events like Mike Yates joining UNIT, and Liz Shaw’s decision to leave. Though a few details here and there don’t match up, most of the information we receive is broadly consistent. The young Lieutenant Yates get seconded to UNIT (Vengeance of the Stones), promoted to Captain, in time to clear up the aftermath of the Auton invasion - remains as a background character (the “new Captain” mentioned in The Blue Tooth) - and finally moves up to become the Brigadier’s second in command prior to Terror of the Autons. Meanwhile, The Blue Tooth sees Liz starting to think about leaving the Doctor - she spends some time away from UNIT in The Devil Goblins from Neptune, and is definitely considering her future plans in Reconnaissance and Country of the Blind before making her final departure in Prisoners of the Sun. It’s only the novels The Eye of the Giant and The Scales of Injustice that seem really out of step with this pattern. In the latter, Liz makes a different and seemingly quite final decision to depart UNIT - whilst Mike Yates is only a Sergeant in these tales and gets promoted to Captain right at the end. (I’ll leave aside the fact that such a promotion seems militarily unlikely - if not downright impossible.) I speculate therefore that when the Doctor crosses to the parallel universe in Inferno, he breaks open the dimensional barriers and allows some quantum instability to flood into our universe, creating a jumble of overlapping timelines. The broad flow of events is more or less the same, but a lot of the details are different and shifting - which covers these inconsistencies. We might also note that an alternative timeline is established and then deleted in Prisoners of the Sun as well - as this involves some Time Lord intervention, it might help explain why things return to normal after this.)

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