Birthright (Robinson novel)
|Series||Doctor Who book:
Virgin New Adventures
Bernice Summerfield and Ace
Birthright is a novel by Nigel Robinson from the Virgin New Adventures. The New Adventures were a spin-off from the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Although part of the main run of New Adventures featuring the Seventh Doctor, the Doctor only appears in the beginning and end of the novel; most of the story involves his companions Bernice Summerfield and Ace. The events in this book occur simultaneously (from the point of view of the characters) to those in the New Adventure Iceberg, which was written by former Doctor Who actor David Banks. A prelude to this novel was published in Doctor Who Magazine #203, penned by the author.
After the TARDIS malfunctions and then explodes, the Doctor's companions find themselves in two different time zones. Bernice is stranded in the East End of London of 1909, where a series of grisly murders is occurring blamed on Spring Heeled Jack, while Ace is trapped on the planet Ant'ykhon fighting alongside guerrilla fighters against alien oppressors.
Ace discovers that Ant'ykhon is actually the planet Earth, 22,000 years in the future and devastated by rising temperatures. The Charrl, an insect-like race, now inhabit Earth. They have been using an unstable trans-dimensional link called the "Great Divide" to travel to Earth's past in order to escape from the dying planet. Once there they implant humans with their eggs, but inadvertently kill them, causing the murders blamed on Spring-Heeled Jack. Since the Great Divide is unstable, any Charrl that travels to the past eventually crumbles into dust.
Back in 1909, Benny is scratched by one of the time-travelling Charrls and is implanted with an egg. This has the effect of placing her under the control of the Charrl, causing her to replace the missing Time Vector Generator in the TARDIS and reunite it with its other half in the future. This also stabilizes the Great Divide and allows Jared Khan, a Charrel agent, to attempt to use the Great Divide to give him immortality. The TARDIS time rams its other half and sends it and Khan back to Siberia 1908, where it explodes, causing the Tunguska event.
In the far future, Ace and Benny are aided by Muldwych, a mysterious hermit and former ally of the Charrl. He uses the TARDIS to entrap the Charrl inside one its interior dimensions, then sweeps the Great Divide over London, clearing it of Charrl and their eggs (and curing Benny). But when he tries to use the TARDIS to escape from his exile on Earth, the TARDIS expels him from the ship and returns him to Ant'ykhon. The Doctor emerges from the interior of the TARDIS, claiming to have been asleep in his room the entire time (but see Iceberg for details).
Benny lives with Margaret Waterfield, the sister of Edward Waterfield (The Evil of the Daleks) and the aunt of companion Victoria Waterfield. Benny also makes use of a bank account set up by the Doctor under the name R.J. Smith, Esq. Benny is a co-signatory, along with Susan Foreman, Victoria, Sarah Jane Smith, and Melanie Bush.
|Big Finish Productions audio drama|
|Written by||Nigel Robinson
adapted by Jac Rayner
|Directed by||Nicholas Briggs|
|Produced by||Gary Russell|
|Executive producer(s)||Jason Haigh-Ellery|
|Length||1 hr 50 mins|
|Release date||February 1999|
In 1999, Birthright was adapted by Big Finish Productions into an audio drama audio drama starring Lisa Bowerman as Bernice. The plot was changed to fit in with the run of Bernice audio dramas, with alterations to the plot including the use of Time Rings, and Ace's role being replaced by Bernice's ex-husband Jason Kane. Big Finish had no license to do Doctor Who stories at the time and had been adapting later Benny-led New Adventures, before then converting the Doctor Who stories Birthright and Just War in this manner.
- Bernice Summerfield — Lisa Bowerman
- Mikhail Vladamir Popov — Colin Baker
- Jason Kane — Stephen Fewell
- John Lafayette — Barnaby Edwards
- Jared Khan — John Wadmore
- Queen Ch'tizz — Jane Shakespeare
- Chf. Insp. Prior — Jonathan Reason (aka Jonty Reason) 
- Charlie — Benjamin Roddy
- Birthright Prelude
- Birthright at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Birthright at The TARDIS Library
- The Cloister Library - Birthright
Audio Adaptation Reviews
- Birthright (audio) reviews at Outpost Gallifrey
- Birthright (audio) reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide