Virgin Decalog

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The Virgin Decalog books were collections of short stories published by Virgin Publishing based on the television series Doctor Who: they gained their name from the fact that each volume contained ten stories (although the last collection contains eleven). Five volumes were published between 1994 and September 1997, although volumes 4 and 5 did not feature the Doctor or any other non-Virgin copyrighted characters. This is because the BBC decided not to renew Virgin's licence to produce original fiction featuring the Doctor or any characters featured in the TV series (Virgin transitioned to featuring characters created for literature over which the BBC had no rights). Following this, the BBC began producing their own Doctor Who fiction, including short stories under the name Short Trips.

The Books[edit]

Decalog[edit]

The first volume of stories published was Decalog (Virgin, 17 March 1994), edited by Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker. It contained the following stories:

Title Author Doctor/Companion
Playback Stephen James Walker Seventh Doctor
Fallen Angel Andy Lane Second Doctor, Jamie & Zoe
The Duke of Dominoes Marc Platt Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith
The Straw That Broke the Camel's Back Vanessa Bishop Third Doctor, Liz, UNIT
Scarab of Death Mark Stammers Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith
The Book of Shadows Jim Mortimore First Doctor, Ian & Barbara
Fascination David J. Howe Fifth Doctor, Peri
The Golden Door David Auger First Doctor, Dodo, Steven and the Sixth Doctor
Prisoners of the Sun Tim Robins Third Doctor, Liz Shaw and UNIT
Lackaday Express Paul Cornell Fifth Doctor, Nyssa & Tegan

The Story Playback by Stephen James Walker was a short linking piece that recurred between the other stories, detailing the story of an amnesiac claiming to be the Doctor having his memories restored by going through the items in his pockets: each item relates to one of the stories.

Decalog 2: Lost Property[edit]

The next volume was Decalog 2: Lost Property (Virgin Publishing, 20 July 1995), again edited by Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker. This volume abandoned the linking story concept used in Decalog, and instead concentrated on having all its stories written on the same theme – a property that the Doctor owns somewhere or when in the universe. It contained the stories:

Title Author Doctor/Companion
Vortex of Fear Gareth Roberts Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe
Crimson Dawn Tim Robbins Fourth Doctor, Leela & K-9
Where the Heart Is Andy Lane Third Doctor, Jo & UNIT
The Trials of Tara Paul Cornell Seventh Doctor, Bernice,
Housewarming David A. McIntee Sarah Jane Smith, Mike Yates & K9
The Nine Day Queen Matthew Jones First Doctor, Ian & Barbara
Lonely Days Daniel Blythe Fifth Doctor, Nyssa
People of the Trees Pam Baddeley Fourth Doctor, Leela
Timeshare Vanessa Bishop Sixth Doctor, Peri
Question Mark Pyjamas Mike Tucker and Robert Perry Seventh Doctor, Ace & Bernice

Decalog 3: Consequences[edit]

The final Decalog collection before Virgin lost their licence to use The Doctor and characters from the 1963-89 series was called Decalog 3: Consequences (Virgin Publishing, 18 July 1996), and was joint edited by Justin Richards and Andy Lane. It introduced a new idea for linking the stories whereby each story would contain an element from the previous and subsequent stories, and the first contained an element from the last and vice versa. It contained the following stories:

Title Author Doctor/Companion
. . . And Eternity in an Hour Stephen Bowkett Third Doctor, Jo
Moving On Peter Anghelides Sarah Jane Smith, K9
Tarnished Image Guy Clapperton First Doctor, Dodo
Past Reckoning Jackie Marshall Fifth Doctor, Nyssa
UNITed We Fall Keith R. A. DeCandido Fourth Doctor, the Brigadier
Aliens and Predators Colin Brake Second Doctor, Jamie & Zoe
Fegovy Gareth Roberts Sixth Doctor, Mel
Continuity Errors Steven Moffat Seventh Doctor, Bernice
Timevault Ben Jeapes Fourth Doctor, K9
Zeitgeist Craig Hinton Fifth Doctor, Turlough

This was Steven Moffat's first Doctor Who work. He later went on to write for the 2005 revival of the television series, and would become head writer for the series from the 2010 season onwards. Jackie Marshall was an established writer of Doctor Who fan fiction at the time. DeCandido went on to write novels for the Star Trek franchise. Moffat would later use many plot elements from Continuity Errors as the basis for the 2010 Christmas Special, as well as for River Song's backstory in "Let's Kill Hitler".

Decalog 4: Re-Generations[edit]

The first Decalog collection after Virgin lost their licence to use Doctor Who TV characters was called Decalog 4: Re-Generations (Virgin Publishing, 15 May 1997), and was again joint edited by Justin Richards and Andy Lane. In order to try to keep the audience of previous Decalogs even though the Doctor could no longer appear in the stories, it was decided to theme the collection around the family history of one of the Doctor's companion Roz Forrester. As this companion had been created by co-editor Andy Lane for the Virgin New Adventures, there were no copyright issues in including her. It contained the following stories:

Title Author
Second Chances Alex Stewart
No One Goes to Halfway There Kate Orman
Shopping for Eternity Gus Smith
Heritage Ben Jeapes
Burning Bright Liz Holliday
C9H13NO3 Peter Anghelides
Approximate Time of Death Richard Salter
Secret of the Black Planet Lance Parkin
Rescue Mission Paul Leonard
Dependence Day Justin Richards and Andy Lane

Decalog 5: Wonders[edit]

The final Decalog collection was called Decalog 5: Wonders (Virgin Publishing, 18 September 1997), and was jointly edited by Paul Leonard and Jim Mortimore. This time, all but one story were free-standing science fiction pieces on the theme of "the Ten Wonders of the Universe", without direct connection to the Doctor Who universe. One story, The Judgement of Solomon by Lawrence Miles, however features former New Adventures companion, Bernice Summerfield. The collection contained the following stories:

Title Author
The Place of All Places Nakula Somana
Poyekhali 3201 Stephen Baxter
King's Chambers Dominic Green
City of Hammers Neil Williamson
Painting the Age with the Beauty of Our Days Mike O'Driscoll
The Judgement of Solomon Lawrence Miles
The Milk of Human Kindness Liz Sourbut
Bibliophage Stephen Marley
Negative Space Jeanne Cavelos
Dome of Whispers Ian Watson
Waters of Starlight Stephen Marley

Following the publication of this book, Virgin produced no further Decalog collections.

See also[edit]