Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
Empire of Death
This is the sixty-fourth novel in the Past Doctor Adventures range.
Where does this fit?
This story happens between Time Flight (Classic Series Season 19) and Arc of Infinity (Classic Series Season 20).
Other Guides to this Story
The fifth Doctor is much younger-looking than his other incarnations. He wears old-style cricketing clothes and a sprig of celery. He is much more vulnerable and innocent than his other incarnations and more like an older brother to his companions.
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. In Earthshock (Classic Series 19), Adric - another member of the TARDIS crew - died.
Recurring and Historical Characters
Queen Victoria was the British Queen for most of the 19th Century. During her reign (commonly referred to as the "Victorian Era"), the British Empire covered a quarter of Earth's land surface. After the death of her husband Albert, Victoria withdrew from public life for several years out of grief.
In Time Flight (Classic Series Season 19), the Doctor and Nyssa left their companion Tegan in her native era, the 1980s. In Earthshock (Classic Series Season 19), the Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan were unable to prevent their companion Adric from dying.
A little bit of background on Queen Victoria can be obtained from any good history book on the era, though it's not necessary.