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The Discontinuity Guide
The Eighth Doctor Adventures

The Adventuress of Henrietta Street

November 2001

The Adventuress of Henrietta Street cover

Author: Lawrence Miles

Roots: Moulin Rouge. Sabbath's physical description is similar to that of the Marvel Comics villain the Kingpin. The book opens with the Colliers Encyclopedia definition of tantra. The Kama Sutra is mentioned throughout. The Hellfire Club also figures significantly, with references to Francis Dashwood, its founder. There are references to Casanova, Cagliostro, Byron, Harriss List of Covent Garden Ladies, Napoleon, the Marquis de Sade's book The 120 Days of Sodom, The Prisoner, Fuselis The Nightmare, Wessel's Anno 7603, The Salem Witch Trials, Frankenstein, The Arabian Nights Entertainments, Mephistopheles, and West's Death of General Wolfe. The arrival of Fitz and Anji naked by teleportation is reminiscent of Terminator. Fitz impersonates James Bond again. The Doctor and Sabbath attend the premiere of Mozart's The Abduction From the Seraglio in Vienna.

Dialogue Triumphs: Sabbath on the Doctor's name: 'I'd be more impressed, Doctor, if most of the people who use that title weren't either third-rate quacks or peddlers in pornographic literature.'

Continuity: [Note: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street is written in the style of a (rather chatty) historical text, with very little dialogue and from the point of view of a human author who is unaware of the Doctor's true origins. The fictional author notes that the historical texts from which his conclusions are drawn are often conflicting and are of varying reliability, and very little is explicitly stated therefore the events of the novel are all open to interpretation, except the prologue and epilogue. Consequently, some of what is stated below is my own interpretation of the events described].

The Man With the Rosette who attends the Doctor's wedding in response to the invitation addressed to family is almost certainly the Master - the Doctor recognizes him despite his amnesia, and when he says good grief, the man replies spoken like the man I used to know, a reference to the Third Doctor. He tells the Doctor that he has gained everything that the Doctor has lost and vice versa hence his lack of a beard, which the Doctor now has. The Master implies that with the destruction of Gallifrey, it is no longer appropriate for the Doctor and him to treat the Universe as their battleground, and that perhaps one day the Universe will be ready for them again and he can go back to trying to kill the Doctor. [It is not explained how the Master survived falling into the Eye of Harmony in Doctor Who, possibly he was released when the TARDIS was destroyed in The Shadows of Avalon and managed to gain a new body; alternatively, David A. McIntee's hypothesis that the Master seen in Doctor Who was a clone created as part of a trap for the Doctor by the Master and the Daleks might be true. Of course, both of these suggestions assume that the meeting here between the Doctor and the Master takes place after Doctor Who for both of them, and that Gallifrey's destruction didn't affect the events of that story]. He has met Sabbath, who reminded him of the Doctor. He later tells Scarlette that he is departing from Earth and might go back to sleep until the Universe is ready for him again. He drinks red wine at the wedding. The addendum to the novel suggests that he will return in a most unexpected capacity.

Sabbath is a large man, with an overweight but powerful body, having decided circa 1782 to establish himself as a behind-the-scenes manipulator and that his figure was unimportant. He has closely-cropped hair, almost a cru-cut. His eyes are described as deep-set, with conflicting reports of their colour [a nod to the Doctor's changing eye-colour within the novels]. He is described as a man of wit, and has a deep, commanding voice. In his youth, he had a reputation as a master of seduction - he tried to seduce Scarlette in 1780, and is reported to have seduced Covent Garden celebrity Fanny Murray circa 1762. Sabbath was present at the Gordon Riots in 1780. According to rumour, he was indoctrinated into the British Secret Service in 1762 at the age of 21 and his initiation test required him to be bound with thirteen locks, thirteen chains and thirteen garters, hung with lead weights weighing at least three-hundred pounds and thrown into the Thames; he was not seen to have surfaced, but he turned up bone-dry at Cambridge the following morning. Sabbath is not his real name, but rather his Service confirmation name, possibly inspired by the Jewish cabbalistic trend then prevalent in the Service.

Once he became a Serviceman, he was given rooms at Cambridge University for a time. Sabbath left the Service of his own accord, and impressively, easily dealt with any rat-catchers (Service hit men) sent after him. He finally severed all ties with the Service in 1780. The Jonah, Sabbath's warship, is a large iron vessel built in a dock in Manchester. It is approximately twelve yards across and twenty yards long, with no sails and armed with cannons mounted along its length. The bridge-room is twenty feet wide and thirty long, lined with alcoves containing various religious icons (it is suggested that these might be a way for Sabbath to symbolically keep an eye on those who moved in the same circles as himself). A huge map of the world, on which small flags mark various contours, dominates one wall (it is suggested that these contours represent time walls - see below). Sabbath took the young Mayakai warrior Tala Lui as his apprentice [or rather companion, to extend the comparison between Sabbath and the Doctor]. He first encountered her in 1776, when she was ten years old. She is a formidable warrior and assassin, but is killed by the Apes. Sabbath respects the Doctor, but sees himself as Earth's Champion and is keen to extend his sphere of influence. As far as the still-amnesiac Doctor can recall, Sabbath reminds him of the Master. He seems to know of the Time Lords, but refers to them as Elemental and seeks to give the Jonah the same powers of travel as their machines. The addendum states that Sabbath is spotted on many occasions in the nineteenth and twentieth century and may be looking after Earth's history, and also that he returns Juliette to her own time.

The Doctor grows a neat goatee beard whilst at the house on Henrietta Street, since he sees great changes in the universe and wants to find out if he too can change (he claims that he has worked out how to transform himself into a creature of pure light by adapting his self-biology, but estimates that it would take three thousand years of concentration - growing a beard is an easier change to make). Scarlette refers to him as Doctor Might Jack-of-the-Moon, meaning someone who dwells on high-minded things at the expense of the everyday world. Because of Gallifrey's destruction, the Doctor feels that he no longer has the right to interfere in the affairs of the Universe, since he no longer has any authority as a Time Lord; to allow himself to continue righting wrongs, he decides to become Earth's Champion and thus needs to root himself to Earth, thus making it his home. To achieve this, he plans to marry Juliette in a largely symbolic ceremony in which she represents the Earth, attended by the organisations that have inherited an arcane knowledge of time. Juliette however is lured away by Sabbath and becomes his new companion following Tala Lui's death. Instead, the Doctor and Scarlette wed in the vault of the Church of Saint Simon on St. Belique, on 1st December 1782.

Whilst at the house, he writes a book entitled The Ruminations of a Foreign Traveller in his Element, in which he seems to describe the Time Lords. He discusses regeneration, but notes that no such race exists in this universe. The book was published in 1783 and had a small circulation - a copy remained in the Windsor bookshop for several years. He also paints a portrait of an imaginery Grandfather [a reference to Grandfather Paradox - see The Ancestor Cell]. Whilst dying, he writes a will consisting of thirteen articles on thirteen pages, which he separates and places within thirteen boxes, to be stored in the catacombs of the TARDIS [a reference to the fact that Time Lords have thirteen incarnations]. The Doctor builds a new sonic screwdriver out of glass, since the correct metal alloys are unavailable on Earth in 1782 (c.f. the sonic suitcase in Father Time). Sabbath removes one of the Doctor's hearts, which is apparently killing him. This, it is suggested, is because one Time Lord heart connects the Time Lord to Gallifrey through the Eye of Harmony and empowers him. Since Gallifrey no longer exists, the heart is rooting the Doctor to a non-existent home and this is killing him. The heart is black and cancerous when Sabbath removes it, but this is only because it is trying to link him to the Eye; Sabbath tells Juliette in one of the two parts of the novel that arent subject to interpretation that the heart functions perfectly, and he transplants it into his own chest, thus allowing him to bridge the gap between worlds and extend his sphere of influence beyond Earth [transplanting the Doctor's heart into his own chest gives him the symbiotic nuclei and allows him to pilot the Jonah through the Time Vortex]. The addendum hints that the Doctor might have future incarnations, suggesting that the destruction of Gallifrey has not affected his ability to regenerate. Amusingly, one of the guests at his wedding is a Chinese quack named Dr Nie Who. Scarlette remains on Earth after marrying the Doctor and is apparently the subject of many subsequent legends.

Exactly how the Doctor got to Earth without the TARDIS is unclear, as is how he transports Fitz and Anji, both naked, to the house on Henrietta Street. It is suggested that the TARDIS was unable to travel to Earth due to time walls which are crisscrossing the planet. Exactly what these are is unclear, but it is hypothesized that if the Doctor can navigate a path between them, he can summon his TARDIS [Presumably they are some kind of temporal distortion caused by the destruction of Gallifrey]. If Fitz's account is accurate (and accurately reported) the TARDIS contains a fast-flowing river and an opera house, which the Doctor claims he was supposed to deliver somewhere, but forgot. Once he becomes ill, the Doctor recuperates in a room of brilliant white inside the TARDIS, which is probably a new Zero Room, and he also produces another wheelchair from somewhere in his ship (Castrovalva).

Fitz has sex with Lisa-Beth, although mainly for fun rather than out of any emotional connection. The addendum notes that there is record of either Fitz or Anji dying in the twenty-first century, although notes that this record may be erroneous.

It is implied that Gallifrey wasnt just destroyed in The Ancestor Cell; it was completely removed from history [elemental is used as a metaphor for Time Lord throughout, although Fitz and Anji are also referred to as Elemental Champions]. The Master notes that there are only four of us left now, which might mean Time Lords if so, this could include the Doctor, the Master, Iris Wildthyme (who visited the Doctor following Gallifrey's destruction in Father Time) and Romana [On the other hand, Iris might not be included, since it was implied in The Blue Angel that she is from the Obverse. Also, Miranda is clearly a Time Lady, so some Time Lords must still exist in the future from which she originated]. There are numerous references to the Doctor's family never having existed anymore. The Doctor notes that removing that kind of power from the universe cannot be done completely however, since their effects on history were too great; consequently, new people are know trying to step into the breach and do the Time Lords' role. Part of the result of Gallifrey's removal from history is that the old knowledge of time has worked its way into eighteenth century Earth culture, albeit in a rudimentary form.

Those with arcane knowledge of time include the Hellfire Club, the Grand Lodge Freemasons, Russian witch-cults, and various newer religious orders in the East. It is implied that the thirteen parties invited to the Doctor's wedding are those with this knowledge, and they include the Hellfire Club, the Grand Lodge of British Freemasonry, the Church, the Ereticy (a Russian witch-cult ostensibly patronized by Catherine the Great), Cardinal de Rohan (a French aristocrat with an interest in the occult), the Doctor's family (see above), the Grand Lodge Temple of St. Andrews Trust (the American branch of the Hellfire Club), the almost-extinct Mayakai people, Mrs Gallacher's House of Flagellation, a Chinese organization, the Followers of Mr Mackandal of Saint-Dominigue (a religious/political guerrilla movement in the French West Indies, the British Secret Service, and a thirteenth party.

The Apes' origin, if the Doctor's account is accurate, is as follows; at the limits of human understanding, there is a point where time and mind are indistinguishable [possibly a references to block transfer computations]. This point is at the limits of human consciousness, beyond which human understanding cannot pass. This point is the [other dimensional] Kingdom of Beasts, from where the Apes come - they are savage and bestial manifestations of human ignorance, and are released into the real world when human curiosity draws too near to the boundary. Normally, this cannot happen, but the destruction of Gallifrey has made time unstable, thus altering its boundaries. The Apes appear in late eighteenth century Europe, because at that time and place, humans are starting to think of time in dimensional and scientific terms for the first time. The Kingdom of Beasts is described as a bleached gray-white mirror image of the real world, with ruined and dusty replicas of places like London therein. The Kingdom apparently touches on other worlds and times however, since the vast ruined fortress in which Sabbath apparently removes the Doctors heart is clearly based on the (five sided) Panopticon as described in The Ancestor Cell. The Kingdom is watched over by a black eye-like sun [which may be a reference to the Eye of Harmony], and there is apparently no night in the Kingdom. It is suggested that once the Doctor marries Scarlette and becomes bound to the Earth, the gateway into the Realm is largely closed, and it is closed completely once the Doctor kills the King of Beasts with his sonic screwdriver, although the Doctor hints that the Universe will never be as stable as it once was [due to Gallifrey's destruction].


Following the destruction of the Time Lords and Gallifrey in The Ancestor Cell, time travel technology has clearly become more widespread in the universe, supporting the theory that Gallifrey wasn't just destroyed in the present, it was removed from time altogether. Non-Time Lord time travel technology appears in Eater of Wasps, Trading Futures, The Book of the Still, The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, Mad Dogs and Englishmen and Camera Obscura. Interestingly, the Onihr are also seeking time travel technology in Trading Futures and have found what are clearly Time Lord robes during their research, further muddying the issue of just what effect the destruction of Gallifrey had on the rest of the universe...

Links: Sabbath is set up as a recurring character and next appears in Trading Futures. The Hellfire Club, which features significantly here, was mentioned in Minuet in Hell, where the Doctor claimed that its power and influence had been greatly exaggerated over the years. Since it is clearly seen here to be an important occult power, this raises several possibilities - either the Doctor was lying or merely wrong in Minuet in Hell (he was after all trying to reason with Brigham Dashwood in that story), or the destruction of Gallifrey and the introduction of the old knowledge of time in arcane form into Earth society has altered things somewhat. The Doctor's requested wedding gifts include six glass phials containing liquid mercury, of the type which might be used to forge the link between the worlds, which is a reference to the TARDIS fluid links (The Daleks, The Wheel in Space). The Doctor mentions the living worlds Ceresalpha (Dark Progeny) and one where faerie-tales come true (Grimm Reality). There are numerous allusions to Gallifrey's destruction in The Ancestor Cell. The Eye of Harmony is mentioned (The Deadly Assassin).

Location: The House on Henrietta Street and other parts of London, 20th March 1782 to 13th February 1783; Cambridge, Spain, Vienna, and the Kingdom of the Beasts during this time; Manchester, June 1782; Paris, [August 1782]; Saint-Dominigue, Summer and Autumn 1782. Sabbath and Juliette depart from Earth in the Jonah on 18th August 1783.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor's arrival at the house, sans TARDIS, occurs during February 1782, but is not seen. He claims that he was once invited into the boudoir of Marie-Antoinette.

The Bottom Line: A hugely impressive piece of work, which breaks all the rules of Doctor Who novels by taking the form of a pseudo-historical text. It is rich in detail and filled with imaginative ideas and wit, whilst still having an engaging plot. It is also filled with hugely significant subplots and events, and addresses the destruction of Gallifrey and its effects on the Doctor Who universe, something that has been occupying Internet fandom since The Ancestor Cell was published. Adventuress is notable for the Doctor's wedding, the introduction of Sabbath, a seeming cameo from the Master, and, most controversially of all, the loss of the Doctor's second heart - all in all, a triumphant return to the fold for Miles.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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