The Pit Neil Penswick
#12 March 1993 ISBN 0-426-20378-X 276 pages
cover art © byPeter Elson

In many ways, this is the archetypical Doctor Who scene.  What other series would have the audacity to feature an eccentrically-dressed middle-aged man, 18th-century poet William Blake, and blue alien savages riding pterodactyls — all on the same cover!

You've just got to love it.

While investigating the strange disappearance of an entire planetary system, the Doctor uncovers the shocking truth: it was just the latest casualty in a war dating from Gallifrey's ancient, murky past, a war which he thought was long since over...


Not the most skillfully-told of novels — much of it consists of the standard padding of drab baddies and tedious run-arounds — it more than makes up for it in the originality of its underlying concepts. The Yssgaroth, and the details of Gallifrey's ancient war against unreality itself, are major additions to the Doctor Who universe, and the sentinel-like character of Kopyion Liall a Mahajetsu is among the range's most memorable.

  • Prelude — from Doctor Who Magazine #197

illustrations © by Phil Bevan

  • Starting with this novel, Virgin switched from their bimonthly schedule to a monthly one, reflecting the commercial success which the New Adventures met with among readers. It did, however, put a strain on editor Peter Darvill-Evans, who suddenly had to double the range's output, which resulted in something of a drop in the quality of the novels.
  • The Time Lords' past war with the Great Vampires was first mentioned in the television story State of Decay (1980).
  • The Yssgaroth, created by Penswick, were later included as part of Lawrence Miles' Faction Paradox setting.