The Doctor Who Newbies Guide

The Whoniverse is a vast construct. 26 years of the Classic TV series, a decade and a half of novels, half a decade of audios, and the new TV series adds up to a lot of material. And stories frequently make references to other stories. In fact, one of the major criticisms of the ongoing series of novels has been that too many of them are part of ongoing story arcs (though the criticism says more about the fans making it than it does about the books themselves). Although most stories do explain what you need to know, references to the past can easily leave you confused and bewildered.

That's where the Newbies Guide comes in. Though it currently doesn't cover very many stories, it gives you a guide to everything you need to know to understand a story. Where possible, I have tried to minimise or eliminate spoilers for the story being discussed, but it's not always possible. Also, be aware that a very large proportion of entries include spoilers for other stories.

How does it work?

We've got separate indexes for various series, so look in the individual indexes to find the story you're after. Each individual entry contains the following information:

The Newbies Guide assumes that you can handle throwaway references to previous adventures without having to know where they come from. After all, an awful lot of throwaway references refer to events that have yet to be chronicled. Therefore, if I don't explain a reference, then either it's not important to the plot, or I've mucked up. If you really want to track down every single reference, try looking at this site's Discontinuity Guide (for books),'s DiscContinuity Guide (for audios) and the book The Discontinuity Guide (for TV stories).

A note on story titles

For historical reasons, there are several Doctor Who stories that have more than one name. The early Doctor Who stories had onscreen titles for each episode rather than for the whole story. As a result some of them have acquired several names, though most are only referred to by one. There are a few later examples where the title is ambiguous as well. Rather than use all the possible names every time we reference these story, here are the names we'll be using:

When referring to short stories from any of the short story collections, we use the anthology title, then a colon, then the story title. We have usually omitted the subtitle of those collections that have them, to make this easier to read. So, for example, the short story Continuity Errors from Decalog 3: Consequences would be referred to as Decalog 3: Continuity Errors.


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You visited the Whoniverse at 4:28 am BST on Thursday 12th July 2007


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