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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who 15: Relative Dimensions > UNBOUND ADVENTURES


Since 1999 Big Finish has produced Doctor Who audio plays and serials that complement the television series. Within this audio universe are a number of productions that depict alternative realities of their own…

Unlike many science-fiction series, Doctor Who has always treated travel into parallel universes and other dimensions as a rare and dangerous event. While the series was originally conceived as featuring past, present, future and ‘sideways’ stories, the last of these options was quietly dropped very early on. That general reticence has continued, even with the proliferation of stories in books, comics and audio dramas. Although Big Finish have released well over 500 plays, the number of these that feature the TARDIS travelling sideways is small.

When Big Finish has featured alternative realities, it’s tended towards the direction set by the TV series. In 2010, for example, there were four plays that paired the Sixth Doctor with the Second Doctor’s companion, Jamie. In City of Spires, the Doctor arrives in the Scottish Highlands in the middle of a rebellion against the hated Redcoats. Many of the details seem right, but the landscape has been taken over by what seem like vast, anachronistic oil wells – only the black liquid they’re pumping seems less like oil and more like ink. In Night’s Black Agents and The Wreck of the Titan, the Doctor and Jamie trek through the nightmarish Scottish landscape, encountering creatures from myth and folklore, and then travel to the Titanic on its maiden voyage. There, an encounter with Captain Nemo and the Nautilus reveals the truth: the TARDIS has returned to the Land of Fiction, a universe of stories and ideas lying outside our own reality that first appeared in 1968’s The Mind Robber.

The final play in the series, Legend of the Cybermen, reveals that the Land of Fiction has been invaded by the least imaginative of the Doctor’s enemies, and that – under the command of another former companion, Zoe – the fantastical peoples of the Land of Fiction have taken up arms against their relentlessly logical foes.

Clockwork Soldiers patrol the Land of Fiction in The Mind Robber (1968).
Night’s Black Agents (2010) by Marty Ross and Legend of the Cybermen (2010) by Mike Maddox see the Doctor return to the Land of Fiction.
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About Doctor Who Magazine

Doctor Who’s creators envisaged a series that would go forwards, backwards and sideways in time. The Doctor’s trips to parallel universes and alternative dimensions have provided the show with some of its best-loved adventures – from its black-and-white beginnings to the latest episodes, starring Jodie Whittaker. Uncover the background to these memorable journeys and explore the greatest stories beyond the television series in this lavish publication, which is packed full of exclusive features and rare images.