Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
Other Guides to this Story
The Sands of Time
This is the sixteenth in Virgin's Missing Adventures series of novels.
Where does this fit?
This happens between Arc of Infinity (Classic Series Season 20) and Snakedance (Classic Series Season 20).
The characters listed below are the series regulars, important recurring characters, and real life historical characters. If a character's appearance is a major spoiler, then their details will be hidden in spoiler tags. In general, recurring characters are not listed here on their first appearance unless they become a series regular during the story, or they are a real life historical character.
Tegan Jovanka is an Australian air stewardess from the 1980s. She first met the Doctor in Logopolis (Classic Series Season 18). In Time Flight (Classic Series Season 19), the Doctor left her behind in her native time at Heathrow. However, she rejoined the TARDIS crew during Arc of Infinity (Classic Series Season 20). Tegan is quite irritable and has a strong sense of national pride.
Nyssa: is a native of the planet Traken, a world where there wasn't even a concept of evil. In The Keeper of Traken (Classic Series Season 18), her father, Tremas, had his body taken over by the Master. In Logopolis (Classic Series Season 18), the Watcher then took her to Logopolis to help the Doctor, shortly before he regenerated. During this story, the Master's plans destroyed Traken along with a great many other planets. Nyssa then joined the TARDIS crew.
Recurring and Historical Characters
Lord and Lady Cranleigh were 1920s aristocrats who met the Doctor in Black Orchid (Classic Series Season 19), when they were still engaged. Lady Cranleigh (Ann) was physically identical to Nyssa. One of their friends has the amusing name of Smutty Thomas.
The now-extinct Osirians visted both Egypt and Mars and left some of their technology behind them. One such piece of technology were the Osirian Service Robots, which look very similar to mummies. The Doctor encountered such robots in Pyramids of Mars (Classic Series Season 13).
The following stories and other resources are not necessary in order to follow the plot (we've summed up the essential bits for you). But being familiar with them will probably enhance your enjoyment of this story.
In Pyramids of Mars (Classic Series Season 13) the fourth Doctor defeated an Osiran called Sutekh.
In Black Orchid (Classic Series Season 19) we meet Lord Cranleigh and his fiancée Ann - who is the spitting image of Nyssa.
In Earthshock (Classic Series Season 19), the Doctor's companion Adric sacrificed himself. He took control of a Cyberman spaceship to ensure that it crashed 65 million years ago and wiped out the Dinosaurs rather than the humans. The Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan were unable to save Adric.
If you can find them, the authors notes that were available with the ebook version of the story contained lots of background information. They also included a flowchart detailing the story, and an alternative ending.