The Stone Rose
|Series||Doctor Who book:
New Series Adventures
|Set in||Period between
"New Earth" and "School Reunion"
|April 13, 2006|
|Preceded by||The Stealers of Dreams|
|Followed by||The Feast of the Drowned|
The Stone Rose is a BBC Books original novel written by Jacqueline Rayner and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was published on April 13, 2006, alongside The Feast of the Drowned and The Resurrection Casket. It features the Tenth Doctor, Rose and Mickey. It is the first original novel to feature the Tenth Doctor.
After Mickey Smith discovers a 2000-year-old statue of Rose in a museum, she and the Doctor travel to Ancient Rome and discover some unpleasant secrets. Rose meets a girl who can predict the future, and learns to be careful what she wishes for.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2007)|
Rose, Jackie, and the Doctor visit the British Museum where Mickey has discovered a statue of the goddess Fortuna from second-century Rome, which looks exactly like Rose. So the Doctor and Rose head off for Rome.
The TARDIS brings them to AD 120. Rose and the Doctor save an elderly man named Gracilis from muggers. They learn that he is looking for his son, Optatus. A few people overhear his conversation with the Doctor and Rose and recommend a slave girl named Vanessa. When she is told what Gracilis wants, she starts to work calculations on a bit of parchment. After some discussion, Gracilis buys her from her 'owner'. The next morning, the Doctor and Rose see the new statue of Optatus. The sculptor is an unpleasant person named Ursus, who invites Rose to come to his workshop the next day to be a model for a statue of a goddess.
Later, Rose goes to find Vanessa, who is with Marcia. Marcia tells them that she has known Ursus since he was a child, but that ten months ago his statues started appearing in temples. The Doctor comes bounding in to tell them what he has discovered. Prior to his disappearance, Optatus had been visiting Ursus for a couple of weeks. The impression that he had was that the statue was still in the planning stages and then Ursus says that the statue is almost done.
Vanessa wakes Rose the next morning to get ready for her modeling appointment; Vanessa is prevented from accompanying her, but remains watching outside. Rose feels herself nodding off, then realizes that she cannot move as Ursus removes his gloves and touches her.
The Doctor goes to the studio and tackles Ursus. Vanessa comes up with a bronze lamp, but hits the Doctor by mistake. When he awakes, the Doctor tells Vanessa that he thinks she knows more than she is telling, because she knows of an unbuilt wall dividing two countries that do not yet exist. She starts to talk, and admits to being scared for a long time, since she first arrived in Rome.
Vanessa and the Doctor go into the workshop, but there is nothing there and the Doctor believes that the statue was Rose herself. The Doctor returns to the villa, asking Gracilis for help. The Doctor arrives in Rome on the 19th, which is Quinquatrus. He begins checking temples, starting with Minerva's, and asking about statues made by Ursus. He spends all day searching, and as evening approaches, he enters another shrine to Fortuna, and find a statue who shares the pose, but isn't Rose. The Doctor comments "Rose is prettier than you." and is surprised to hear the statue reply "Thanks." As he starts forward, a glass vial of green liquid rolls from behind the statue to his feet, and the voice says it will bring back Rose and all the others. The Doctor steps forward again, but is interrupted by Gracilis who shouts a warning. The Doctor drops the vial when he is slapped by a Roman soldier. He is dragged away from the shrine, unable to get the vial back.
The Doctor is taken to the Flavian Amphitheatre, thrown into the dungeon, and has his sonic screwdriver taken away. He is awake all night, and the guards come in the morning to tell him he is being set free. On the way, he grabs his sonic screwdriver. He meets up with Gracilis again once outside, and they go back to Fortuna's temple. The vial is not there, but Gracilis had picked it up on his last visit. The two of them go looking for statues done by Ursus, and find Tiro first. After bringing him back to life, they begin scouring Rome for the rest, using Gracilis' art contacts to help in their search. Gracilis arranges transport for all of the slaves, plus the TARDIS. They arrive back at the villa and bring Optatus back to life.
The Doctor is wondering how he is going to ever find Rose, and then decides to go back to the museum in 21st century London. He lands the TARDIS inside and finds Mickey there. Mickey states that "Whoever made this must have really known her." The Doctor tells Mickey that the statue isn't of Rose, but is Rose. Mickey gets mad at the Doctor, and they decide it's best to bring her back, but nothing happens when the liquid pours on her. His hand brushes her face, and then he runs back to the TARDIS. He returns with Rose's denim jacket, and shakes out her earring. Meaning that Rose is only wearing one earring. The statue, however, is wearing two, so it can't be her. He runs back to the TARDIS and leaves.
Rose wakes up with the Doctor grinning in front of her. Vanessa arrives, the Doctor again asks how Vanessa got to Rome, and she says her father worked in AI (Artificial Intelligence). Vanessa was watching a vidcast on Rome in her father's study, with a box sitting on the desk. And she remembered herself saying that she wished she lived back then, and then she was here.
The three of them come in to Ursus' workshop and while speaking to Ursus and the goddess, the Doctor figures something out. He says to Minerva "I wish I could see what you really look like." and Rose spies a creature in a box that looks like a cross between a dragon and a platypus. Ursus in fury lunges at the Doctor with a knife, but Ursus touches Vanessa (turning her to stone), and Rose jumps on Ursus' back. She knocks him down and he falls on his own dagger, but the Doctor was also turned to stone during the chaos. Rose wishes that he had never come to Rome, and then the Doctor had vanished.
Rose talks to the creature in the box, and is told that it is a GENIE (Genetically Engineered Neural Imagination Engine). Its purpose is to grant all wishes it hears. Rose realizes what has been happening and as a test, makes a very careful wish for chips. She then wishes for the vial to be refilled, and brings Vanessa back. Vanessa asks if the GENIE can return her home, but the GENIE says there isn't enough energy available. Soon, Rose wishes for herself and Vanessa to be safe.
Safe turns out to be a white nothingness. However, during her time in the white nothingness, Rose works out that if she'd said the words "I wish you'd never come here." then the Doctor would have never come to Rome and wouldn't have taken her to Rome, so she wouldn't have been there to make the wish, and she wouldn't be in Rome after she made the wish. So, Rose wishes that she and Vanessa were back in the temple and that they could see everything as it really is. The world reappears, and Rose sees the figure of the Doctor, who explains about the GENIEs, how they became a problem for Earth and that time was re-written to save the Earth, resulting in all the GENIEs (except Vanessa's one) to have never existed.
They take the TARDIS from the villa, and arrive in Fortuna's shrine. The Doctor gives Rose the vial and a metal device to talk through. She hides behind the statue, and sees the Doctor coming in. She rolls the vial out to him, and then watches his arrest by Rufus. Gracilis sees the vial, picks it up and walks away. The Doctor and Rose then take Vanessa home, but are having trouble deciding what to do with the GENIE. Rose tells the GENIE is a slave, and if it is set free, it would be able to fulfill wishes if it wanted to. Rose wishes it free, and the GENIE disappears.
They are getting ready to head home themselves, when Rose realizes there is a problem because her Fortuna statue was never made. However, The Doctor says he made the statue that appeared in the 21st century museum, because he went to the Renaissance and took a sculpting course with Michelangelo. They make one final trip to the villa, and gave the statue to Gracilis and Marcia, to take the place of the statue of Optatus.
References to popular culture
- The title is a reference to influential Manchester band, The Stone Roses.
- Ursus's ability to turn things he touches to stone is similar to the legend of Midas, who turned all he touched to gold.
- The book makes reference to the genies in stories such as The Arabian Nights, suggesting the legends arose from vague memories of the 24th century humans travelling back to Arabia with the help of their 'GENIEs'.
- The Doctor jokes that other legends and stories arose from time travel or alien invasion, including the Famous Five, Miss Marple, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Moomins and RoboCop.
- Jackie mentions the BBC/HBO series Rome.
- The book mentions Poirot and Sherlock Holmes when the Doctor is doing his 'detective work'.
- The Beatles are talked about: The Doctor meets these four guys in a jail cell and calls them John, Paul, George and Ringo.
- When the Doctor is in the arena preparing to act like a gladiator, there is a reference to The Wizard of Oz: "Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!"
- When Rose figures out a solution to stopping the GENIE, she uses the Disney movie Aladdin as an example of freeing the GENIE.
An abridged audio book version of The Stone Rose read by David Tennant was released in July 2006 (ISBN 1-84607-063-5) by BBC Audiobooks. Also included was an interview with the author by David Darlington.
In January, 2007, the Radio Times made an offer of adding a free copy of "The Stone Rose," in two parts over two issues. These versions omitted the interview.
Matt Michael, reviewing the book for Doctor Who Magazine, wrote that the portrayal of the Doctor tended towards the "generic" (the book had been released before the debut of Tennant's first full season).
- Michael, Matt (21 June 2006). "Off The Shelf: The Stone Rose, The Feast of the Drowned, The Resurrection Casket". Doctor Who Magazine (370): 60–61.
- The Stone Rose title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- The Stone Rose at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Cloister Library - The Stone Rose
- The Stone Rose at The TARDIS Library