(ISBN 0-563-40565-1)







 Collecting his post in

 the London of 2012,

 the Doctor and Ace

 are called through

 time to south-east

 Scotland to help out

 an old friend who’s

 vanished. They find

 themselves at an

 Alzheimer’s clinic

 where the patients

 seem to be gaining a

 new lease of life. But

 whose life is it?


 Why is the Doctor so

 reluctant to reveal

 what happened in the

 TARDIS before their

 arrival? Why are

 cats and dogs - not

 to mention people -

 disappearing? Who is

 the shadowy figure

 stalking the Doctor

 and Ace? And what

 is the secret of Miss

 Chambers, whom no-

 one remembers?


 Soon, the Doctor and

 Ace find out the hard

 way that actions

 have consequences -

 and that there’s

 more than one kind

 of dementia.


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Relative Dementias







Relative Dementias is a novel that made an impact on me well before I’d started

to read it. A truly inspired title (albeit one stumbled upon, as opposed to fashioned, by the author); a lovely, understated cover illustration; and an well-crafted blurb had me hooked

long before the Doctor and Ace arrived in 2012 to check their mail. And the novel itself is

by no means disappointing: in fact, Mark Michalowski’s first full-length Doctor Who story

has left me hungering for more of the same.


“ ‘Do Time Lords get Alzheimers disease?’ asked Ace.

  ‘Oh, we get far worse things than that, Ace. The dementias that plague us are much,

  much darker.’ ”


Dementia is a degenerative brain disease that I’m all too familiar with – one of my uncles died from Alzheimer’s disease, and my fiancée is presently researching how people can remain hopeful whilst suffering with dementia for her doctoral thesis. As such I’m acutely aware of what a real life horror story dementia can be for so many, and accordingly just

how much scope there is for an author to play upon the associated psychological terror within this genre.


Furthermore, as well as the patients of Graystairs losing themselves in the truest sense, Michalowski also focuses heavily upon the ramifications of time travel, one of the aspects

of Doctor Who that interests me the most. There are some gloriously complex temporal shenanigans involving notes and crossing time streams that do not make sense until right

at the end of the book and that I will not spoil here. Suffice it to say that those who enjoyed stories like The Fires of Vulcan will really love this element of the story.



I enjoyed reading about

Michalowski’s supporting

characters too. I like the

idea that the Doctor has

old UNIT friends like Dr  Brunner that we haven’t met before, and the sub-

plot featuring her AWOL son Michael (who holds a grudge against the Doctor) is particularly well-executed.


Best of all though, Michalowski writes for the seventh Doctor and Ace with as much zeal as Mike Tucker and Robert Perry, yet without the same continuity trappings. Presumably set between Battlefield and Ghost Light (after Ace has encountered UNIT but before she has learned the hard way what the Doctor is really like!), Relative Dementias presents us with the definitive Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred versions of the characters. Someone who watched the last couple of years of the television show but with no further knowledge of the Whoniverse could pick this one straight off the shelf and instantly recognise the characters and be sucked into Michalowski’s world.


All told, Relative Dementias has to be regarded as a success in every respect, and it’s a novel that I would highly recommend to any fan of the seventh Doctor and Ace.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.



This novel’s blurb offers no guidance as to its placement. However, Ace’s inner monologue suggests that

it takes place after Ghost Light and The Curse of Fenric - on page 269 Ace is thinking about the Doctor’s promise “ stop using people, pushing them about like pawns on a chessboard...”


We therefore take the view that this story takes place between The Curse of Fenric and Survival. Within

this gap we have placed it after both The Algebra of Ice (as The Algebra of Ice takes place almost two

years prior to Timewyrm: Revelation, and therefore needs to be placed as soon after The Curse of Fenric

as possible) and The Hollow Men (simply as The Hollow Men was published first).

Thanks to Jason Robbins   


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