Cold Fusion
Cold Fusion.jpg
AuthorLance Parkin
SeriesDoctor Who book:
Virgin Missing Adventures
Release number
Fifth Doctor; Seventh Doctor
Adric, Nyssa, Tegan; Chris, Roz
Set inPeriod between
Castrovalva and
Four to Doomsday
PublisherVirgin Books
Publication date
December 1996
Preceded byThe Plotters 
Followed byBurning Heart 

Cold Fusion is an original novel written by Lance Parkin and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.[1] It features the Fifth Doctor, with Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan, immediately after Castrovalva. Also appearing is the Seventh Doctor, with Chris and Roz, from between the Virgin New Adventures novels Return of the Living Dad and The Death of Art.[2] It was the only one of the Virgin Doctor Who novels to feature more than one Doctor.[3]


The Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Adric and Nyssa arrive on an unnamed ice planet (which goes unnamed throughout the novel), which has settlements at the equator and not anywhere else. The planet is run by the Scientifica, a technocratic society allied with the Earth Empire, but there is a more than usual presence of Adjudicators on the planet. Tegan and Nyssa get a hotel room where they run into a man who claims to be "Bruce Jovanka" with a bad Australian accent, while the Doctor and Adric enter the Scientifica's complex and encounter three very diverse characters: Whitfield, the woman who runs the Scientifica; Tertullian Medford, the primary Adjudicator on the planet; and a badly decaying woman who the Doctor subsequently learns is Gallifreyan when she regenerates and nicknames "Patience" (she was previously known as only the Patient).

When the Doctor and Adric are ambushed by a beautiful black woman on the skitrain tracks, then arrested for being alien spies, Tegan and Nyssa run into their own troubles with the husky blond "Bruce". And all the meanwhile, a little man is elsewhere on the planet, investigating a strange machine found buried in the subterranean soil.


The story deliberately contrasts the characterisation of the Fifth Doctor and of the Seventh Doctor in the Virgin New Adventures.[4]

In an interview for the BBC, in discussing Cold Fusion, Parkin described the character of Adric as "hopeless with Davison".[5]

Cold Fusion includes many references to the Cartmel Masterplan which would be more fully explored in Lungbarrow. More is learned about the character of Patience in the BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel The Infinity Doctors, also by Lance Parkin. It is suggested that she is the Doctor's (or possibly The Other's) wife, but how she fits into normal continuity is deliberately not revealed.[1]

Notably, this novel features a sequence in which the Doctor recalls his life on Gallifrey and in which this earlier Doctor has recently regenerated in a form heavily inferred to be one of the "Morbius Doctors" seen in the mind bending sequence of the serial The Brain of Morbius, specifically the incarnation which was represented by an image of Douglas Camfield. While it is inferred in this book to be an incarnation of the Doctor, the novel Lungbarrow suggests it may in fact be an incarnation of the Other.[6]

Names in the book are very similar to those of the main characters (and the actors) in the BBC comedy Terry and June, so the book includes a Medford, a Whitfield, a Scott, and a Terry and June.[4]

Audio adaptation

In July 2016, Big Finish Productions announced that they would release an audio drama adaptation of the novel, with Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse reprising their television roles as the Fifth and Seventh Doctors, Tegan Jovanka, Nyssa and Adric respectively. In addition, Yasmin Bannerman and Travis Oliver reprise their roles as the Seventh Doctor's companions Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej from Big Finish's adaptations of the New Adventures novels Damaged Goods and Original Sin.[7]


Readers of Doctor Who Magazine gave the novel a rating of 76.69% (from 845 votes).[8]



  1. ^ a b Parkin, Lance; Lars Pearson (2007). AHistory: An Unauthorized History of the Doctor Who universe (2nd ed.). Des Moines, Iowa: Mad Norwegian Press. ISBN 978-0-9759446-6-0.
  2. ^ "Shelf Life" (review) by Dave Owen, Doctor Who Magazine, #246
  3. ^ Pearson, Lars (1999). I, Who: The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who Novels (1st ed.). Des Moines, Iowa: Mad Norwegian Press. ISBN 0-9673746-0-X.
  4. ^ a b FTN interviews Doctor Who writer Lance Parkin, 13 January 2013
  5. ^ Interview (Lance Parkin), BBC, January 2004 (Wayback Machine archive)
  6. ^ Parkin, Lance & Pearson, Lars (2012). A History: An Unauthorised History of the Doctor Who Universe (3rd Edition), p. 715. Mad Norwegian Press, Des Moines. ISBN 978-193523411-1.
  7. ^ "Big Finish releases - "Cold Fusion"". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  8. ^ "The best (and worst) of Virgin", by Dave Owen, Doctor Who Magazine, No. 265 (May 1998)
  9. ^ "Big Finish releases - "Cold Fusion"". Big Finish. Retrieved 14 October 2016.