Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Faction Paradox and Doctor Who

(Originally posted on Christmas Day 2002, to Jade Pagoda. The book really got into my head, what can I say?)

So, with the Book of the War firmly in my head, I have to wonder how it fits in with Doctor Who? I mean, after all, the Great Houses are the Time Lords, and the timeships are TARDISes...but yet, we don't hear from the Doctor at all. (Except in the entry on Siloportem...)

So, after a spoiler warning, here are my best guesses on where it all fits in.


Well, first, it's pretty clear that the whole thing ignores "The Ancestor Cell". Grandfather Paradox is not the Doctor, the Enemy is not the super-evolved ancestor cells of every life form in the universe, the Doctor's TARDIS is still dead, and Gallifrey has not gone boom. Oh, and Faction Paradox isn't a bunch of evil, cackling madmen that want to invade Gallifrey and make it into their new home. (In fact, it's pretty clear that FP have no interest in Gallifrey at all, and are awaiting the end of the War to move in on the winner.) This doesn't mean the two can't be reconciled...well, OK, yes, it does. But if you assume that the Doctor changed the course of future history and unhappened the War completely, it becomes easier to reconcile the two. Still impossible, but easier.

It's equally evident that Lawrence Miles takes his own books (Christmas on a Rational Planet, Alien Bodies, and Interference Books 1 and 2) as canon, and most of the storyarcs after them. Shadows of Avalon is canonical to BotW, as is Taking of Planet 5 (the Shift describes the destruction of Mictlan, claiming that while it hasn't happened yet, it will.) Ordifica is mentioned, and so are a few other things that come straight out of Doctor Who with no disguises needed (Chris Cwej, the Yssgaroth, Compassion, etc). A few more needed cosmetic disguises, but little more (the Caldera is the Eye of Harmony, and Casts are Shaydes...I think.) These things can be picked up on pretty easily.

Other than that...the War King is pretty obviously the Master. I don't think anyone's going to dispute that one. His inaugural address alone, in which he says "I once embraced the bombastic titles I just mentioned, considering myself the ruler of everything that any intelligent creature can comprehend", seems to blatantly hint at it. So apparently, the Master has reformed, and is now spearheading the Gallifreyan war effort. Bizarre.

"Grandfather Halfling", the head of House Halfling, appears to be the City of the Saved's resurrected Doctor. He's half-human, half-"Great House member" (ie, Time Lord), and spends his time passionately crusading for the rights of the downtrodden and trampled. Since we know the Doctor died on Dronid (again mentioned in the appendix, though not by name), it would make sense that, as a half-human, he'd be resurrected in the City of the Saved. Of course, questions still remain about the manner of his death. I think he's also the person who
hallucinated under the influence of Praxis in the Rivera Manuscript, but I have no basis for that in fact. It just seems right. Then again, pretty much anything "seems" right when it comes to placing the Doctor in the center of events, even making him Grandfather Paradox, so that doesn't mean much.

The Imperator Presidency seems to be a reference to Morbius, with his crusade, defeat, and execution, but I wouldn't want to wager money on it. Still, though, it does seem likely.

Other than that, nothing staggering leaps out...of course, I'd love to hear others' conjectures on this.


  1. Probably just me but I always got the vague idea that there was some connection between the Doctor and Robert Scarratt, just little things like claiming to have served on two different sides of one war which recalls the Third Doctors Napoleon/Wellington comment and the whole washer woman thing. Scarratt comes across as a militarised Doctor type. In my own head cannon he was to the Doctor what the Doctor was to the Other.

  2. The Doctor's death is described in some detail in "Alien Bodies."
    After doing a lot of research its pretty clear to me that Morbius is indeed the Imperator.
    If you remember that there is more then one Gallifrey, and that the Faction Skulltroopers who invade Gallifrey are from the far future of the Time War, its pretty easy to reconcile "The Ancestor Cell" with the rest of the Faction Paradox stories.