Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
Other Guides to this Story
The Well-Mannered War
This is the thirty-third, and last, novel in Virgin's Missing Adventures range. It was later made available as an ebook on the BBC website.
Where does this fit?
This happens between Shada (Classic Series Season 17) and The Leisure Hive (Classic Series Season 18).
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.
Romanadvoratrelundar (Romana) is a Time Lady chosen to accompany the fourth Doctor on his quest for the Key to Time in The Ribos Operation (Classic Series Season 16). Their quest succeeded, and they may have had adventures following this. In Destiny of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 17), Romana regenerated for the first time. Her second incarnation is fun-loving and has a deep friendship with the fourth Doctor.
The original K9 was a robotic dog the Doctor inherited from Professor Marius during The Invisible Enemy (Classic Series Season 15). After leaving K9 Mark I on Gallifrey in The Invasion of Time (Classic Series 15), the Doctor created a new improved K9. K9 Mark II is highly logical and has difficulty with colloquialisms. He is fiercely loyal to his master and mistress.
Recurring and Historical Characters
Menlove Ereward Stokes is an appalling artist who first met the Doctor in The Romance of Crime (Virgin Missing Adventures novel). He is irritating to be around, and developed a crush on Romana.
The Black Guardian is one of the Guardians – who are essentially gods. He is the opposite to the White Guardian. He sought to prevent the Doctor and Romana's quest for the key to time (Season 16), and vowed revenge on them after they succeeded in finding all six segments and uniting them.
The Chelonians are a warrior race that resemble tortoises. For most of their history, they considered all other races to be inferior parasites. The Doctor has encountered them a number of times in his travels, though from his point of view this is the earliest recorded story featuring them.
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.
The Black Guardian's previous encounter with the Doctor was seen in The Armageddon Factor (Classic Series Season 16).
The Author's Notes that were made available with the e-book version of the story provide lots of background information.
The Doctor and Romana first met Stokes in The Romance of Crime (Virgin Missing Adventures novel), though you don't need to know anything about that story. Stokes is next seen in the first of the Bernice Summerfield New Adventures, Oh No It Isn't!
This group of Chelonians is almost certainly descended from the group the Doctor encountered during The Highest Science (Virgin New Adventures novel), and who were briefly seen in Happy Endings (Virgin New Adventures novel).