Goth Opera

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Doctor Who book
Book cover
Goth Opera
Series Virgin Missing Adventures
Release number 1
Featuring Fifth Doctor
Tegan, Nyssa, Romana II
Writer Paul Cornell
Publisher Virgin Books
ISBN ISBN 0-426-20418-2
Set between Snakedance and Mawdryn Undead
Number of pages 238
Release date July 1994

Goth Opera is an original Doctor Who novel, published by Virgin Publishing in their Missing Adventures range of Doctor Who novels. It was the first book in that series and a sequel to the New Adventure book Blood Harvest, but it can be read separately.


As the Fifth Doctor and his companions vacation in Tasmania they get caught up in a scheme by the Time Lord Ruath to resurrect the vampire Yarven (from Blood Harvest). Ruath sends a vampire baby to attack the Doctor and turn him into a vampire, but the child instead attacks and converts Nyssa. Unable to provide Yarven with the Doctor's Time Lord blood, Ruath gives her own blood to Yarven, causing her to die and regenerate into a vampire Time Lord.

Nyssa, while trying fight her new vampire nature, is drawn to Yarven's castle, where she learns more about Ruath's plan. Ruath has created a genetically enhanced mist that can turn normal humans into vampires, and kill those who use traditional methods (garlic, crosses, etc.) to protect themselves. Ruath has also invented a Time Freeze, a small Time Loop that can hold the Earth in a perpetual night, leaving the vampires free to roam and feed.

Nyssa contacts the Doctor and aids him in entering the castle, which turns out to be Ruath's TARDIS. Ruath captures the Doctor and Tegan. She informs Yarven that his brain, now enhanced by Time Lord blood, will become the controller of the Time Freeze mechanism, and offers the Doctor the change to become her vampiric consort. Yarven, however, decides he doesn't want to sacrifice himself, and places the Doctor in the Time Freze. The Doctor manages to use Ruath's command ring to take control of her TARDIS and force it to materialize on a distant planet, where the rising sun incinerates Yarven and his vampire hordes. The death of the vampire child cures Nyssa of her vampirism. Ruath survives the dawn, but is sucked into the Time Vortex after Nyssa opens the doors to the Doctor's TARDIS while it is in flight.

Background and continuity[edit]

The plot for the novel was originally developed from an unproduced comic strip for Doctor Who Magazine, which would have featured the Fourth Doctor in a fight against Dracula. Cornell revised the story to use the Fifth Doctor for this first Missing Adventure.[1]


The novel's cover was originally to feature a far more graphic image of Nyssa's shirt covered in blood.[2] The artwork had to be adjusted and the blood airbrushed out when retailer W H Smith insisted that they would not stock the book in that form.[3]


  1. ^ Pearson, Lars (October 1999). I, Who. New York: Sidewinder Press. ISBN 0-9673746-0-X. 
  2. ^ Paul Cornell interview, TSV 48
  3. ^ Jade Pagoda post by Craig Hinton, 29 June 2004

External links[edit]