Faction Paradox

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Faction Paradox is a fictional time travelling cult/rebel group/organized crime syndicate, originally created by the author Lawrence Miles. The Faction's belief-system as portrayed has some similarities to voodoo,[1] and is sometimes described as such. The family/organization were originally featured as recurring antagonists in the BBC Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, but have since featured in their own continuing tales. Although the Faction Paradox stories outside of the BBC Books share situations and characters in common with the Doctor Who universe, the two continuities are presented as similar but distinct.

Overview[edit]

The Faction Paradox universe is centered on the "War in Heaven", a history-spanning conflict between the "Great Houses" and the "Enemy". Originally a subplot in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, the War features characters and concepts evolved from the original Doctor Who set-up, in several cases with names changed or obscured for reasons literary (most of the groups or items mentioned are described in rather different terms with a different emphasis on certain aspects) and legal (the Faction and The Enemy are Miles's creations, but other elements are not — thus the Great Houses are the new series' equivalent to Doctor Who's Time Lords).[2] Faction Paradox themselves are not the Enemy, and play a relatively small, neutral part in the War, willing to act against both sides in their own interests. Lawrence Miles has described them as "a ritualistic time-travelling guerrilla organisation".

The semi-mythical founder of Faction Paradox is Grandfather Paradox, named after the grandfather paradox of time travel theory. Originally a member of the Great Houses himself, the Grandfather created a new group after he became frustrated with the ways of the Great Houses. Faction Paradox therefore takes a good deal of pleasure in irritating the Great Houses, and many of their traditions and rituals are aligned in direct opposition to the way the Great Houses do things. Their time machines are bigger on the inside, in much the same way as TARDISes are, and the titles its members use such as 'Cousin' reference family units which the Great Houses have lost since they became sterile. In the BBC novel The Ancestor Cell, it is indicated that Grandfather Paradox may be an alternate future form of the Doctor, but this book is explicitly not part of the independent Faction Paradox canon. This BBC-only version of the Grandfather is followed up in The Gallifrey Chronicles by Lance Parkin which states that Grandfather Paradox is everyone's possible future self, and according to Gallifreyan myth, he was a Time Lord who acted out the grandfather paradox.

Faction Paradox also take a perverse pride in causing time paradoxes (something that is against the laws of the Great Houses) and achieving impossible or absurd effects for their own sake. For instance, they typically wear ritual skull masks which are in fact the skulls of creatures that, in the Great Houses' version of history, never existed. Their stronghold on Earth exists in a version of London, within what they call "The Eleven-Day Empire", bought from the British government in 1752. In that year, the British Empire first adopted the Gregorian calendar, and in so doing had to correct their dating scheme by 11 days (2 September 1752 being followed by 14 September 1752). Faction Paradox claimed the missing 11 days as their base (even though, logically, only the numbering scheme changed and no days were actually "missing").

Books[edit]

Doctor Who (BBC Books)[edit]

Faction Paradox debuted and appeared repeatedly in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, a series of Doctor Who novels published by BBC Books featuring the Eighth Doctor (as portrayed by Paul McGann on television and in audio dramas). The most relevant books to the Faction Paradox Universe are:

Faction Paradox (Mad Norwegian Press)[edit]

In 2002 the Faction started appearing in a series of books of their own, published by Mad Norwegian Press. These novels roam the ongoing War in Heaven; the Faction and its members are sometimes featured only as minor characters. The books have also featured characters from the Doctor Who novels, including Chris Cwej and Compassion. Mad Norwegian's final book in the series, Erasing Sherlock, was published in December 2006.

After 'The Book of the War,' five 'Faction Paradox' novels were produced:

Faction Paradox (Random Static)[edit]

In 2007, New Zealand-based publishers Random Static announced they would be publishing further Faction Paradox novels. What turned out to be the sole title of the new range was published in January 2008. The cover art, by Emma Weakley, won the Sir Julius Vogel Award (New Zealand science fiction and fantasy award) for Best Artwork in 2009.[4]

Faction Paradox (Obverse Books)[edit]

In June 2010 Obverse Books, publishers of the Iris Wildthyme short story anthologies, announced that it had also acquired a license to produce collections of Faction Paradox short stories and longer fiction.

Other[edit]

This Virgin New Adventures novel contains the earliest (though only a passing) reference to the Faction, at least in the form of its founder Grandfather Paradox.

Originally published by Virgin Publishing in 1999 as something of a standalone part of their Virgin New Adventures line, Mad Norwegian Press later republished this novel, which features several characters and concepts connected to the Faction Paradox universe.

Audio[edit]

A series of full-cast audio dramas dubbed The Faction Paradox Protocols was produced by BBV between 2001 and 2004. All were written by Lawrence Miles. These stories centred on two Cousins of the Faction, Justine and Eliza. (Justine features in the BBC novel Alien Bodies and Eliza is implied to be the character Christine Summerfield from Dead Romance.) The first two stories were set in the Eleven-Day Empire, the second two in 18th Century London, and the last two split between Cousin Justine's past before joining the Faction, and the Great Houses' prison facility (analogous to Shada, the Time Lords' prison planet from the unfinished Doctor Who serial). Although there were six releases and an ongoing story, each pair (usually released close together) formed a two-part story. In order they were:

  • The Eleven-Day Empire
  • The Shadow Play
  • Sabbath Dei
  • In the Year of the Cat
  • Movers
  • A Labyrinth of Histories

In 2004 Magic Bullet Productions, known for their Kaldor City audio dramas, obtained the license to produce further Faction Paradox audios, dubbed The True History of Faction Paradox. The narrative of this series continued from the BBV releases, although the first CD was also written to be accessible to newcomers. Like the BBV audios, these stories focused on Cousin Justine and Cousin Eliza, but the characters were recast.

The dramas in the series, released between 2005 and 2009, have featured guest stars including Julian Glover, Peter Miles, Philip Madoc and Gabriel Woolf. Woolf plays the ancient Egyptian god Sutekh, whom he had previously played as a Doctor Who villain in the 1975 story Pyramids of Mars. The six titles are:

  • Coming To Dust[7]
  • The Ship of a Billion Years[8]
  • Body Politic[9]
  • Words from Nine Divinities[7]
  • Ozymandias[10]
  • The Judgment of Sutekh[11]

Comics[edit]

Cover of the first comics issue

In 2003, the first two issues of a Faction Paradox comic were produced by Mad Norwegian and published by Image Comics. The series was subsequently cancelled. The comic was written by Lawrence Miles with art from Jim Calafiore, and inks by Peter Palmiotti.[12] It was set after the events of the War in Heaven, although due to its short run it did not give much detail on the post-War universe.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]