889-27-8) RELEASED IN






 Escaping from one

 battle and straight

 into another, the

 Doctor and Cat find

 themselves on a far-

 flung world where

 time travellers are

 persecuted by the

 Holy Inquisition. The

 Doctor is arrested,

 his only hope of

 escape being Cat.


 But cAT has demons

 of her own to face,

 and as the Doctor

 starts to realise

 EXACTLY what is

 happening, so time

 rapidly starts to

 slip away, both for 

 him and Cat.


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Companion Piece







On the face of it, Robert Perry and Mike Tucker didn’t seem like two likely candid-

ates to pen a Telos novella. The preceding twelve titles had either been written by esteemed authors new to the series, or by veterans like Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman whose work had often veered towards the avant-garde. Perry and Tucker, however, are renowned for their charming but nonetheless conventional works. They might well have killed Ace on one memorable occasion, but at the end of the day they brought her back…


To my surprise though, Companion Piece is far from being the traditional tie-in that ‘Perry Tucker’ is famous for. Indeed, it reads more like The Da Vinci Code than it does Storm Harvest, with just a touch of AI thrown in to boot. The plot itself concerns the machinations

of the Catholic Church on the planet Haven, eight centuries or so hence. Haven is a planet where the Pope is a Cetacean (a dolphin!), and it isn’t witches but Lords of Time that are burned at the stake…

 © Telos Publishing 2003. No copyright infringement is intended.

Catherine or ‘Cat’, the new companion of the piece, is beautifully

portrayed; an attractive and engaging young woman, certainly spunky, but not bolshie like Ace. However, coming to this novella

more than six years after its first publication, I read this book well

aware of the twist that was to come concerning her origins. Even so, I enjoyed the ride. Whilst Cat’s story is outwardly very similar

to Antimony’s in Death Comes to Time (which I understand was

released first, but written later), personally I found her story far to

be far more rousing - her struggle to piece together the mystery

of her own memories really makes for an enthralling read.


What I found really extraordinary about this tale though is that,

despite the potentially deceptive title, the authors critique the

seventh Doctor’s character skilfully and succinctly here. The

loneliness that the Doctor feels at this point in his life, coupled with the guilt that feels over losing certain companions, is conveyed magnificently through Cat. What she is, and what she represents speaks volumes in itself.


Perhaps even more interestingly still, here the

authors tackle some really profound, divisive

questions such as “does each of a Time Lord’s

incarnations have an individual soul?”; the real

masterstroke being that such questions are

posed not around a coffee shop table or in an

internet forum, but as the Doctor is strapped to

a crucifix, his soul roving, whilst a religious mad-

man tries to tear the secret of regeneration from

his body.


Overall then, Companion Piece is a startlingly provocative release; one that is sure to sit well with fans of Sylvester McCoy’s seventh Doctor. It certainly did with me.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010


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



The Big Finish audio drama The Death Collectors marks the third story in a row that the Doctor is spurned

by a potential companion. It is therefore reasonable to speculate that, inspired by his encounter with Temeter and Sara in Kingdom of Silver, the seventh Doctor constructed Catherine to keep him company. Accordingly we have placed this novella (and indeed all the Doctor and Cats adventures together) between the Big Finish audio dramas Kingdom of Silver and Keepsake.


This theory is supported by the Doctor discussing his travels with Ace with retrospect, and his referring to “some” companions that died whilst travelling him (Roz in So Vile a Sin, and potentially Hex too in The Angel of Scutari). It also fits well with the apparent passage of time for the Doctor between Kingdom of Silver and Keepsake.

                                                                                                                       Thanks to Jason Robbins


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