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Placebo Effect
Series: Doctor Who -
BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures
Release Number: 13
Doctor: Eighth Doctor
Companions: Sam Jones
Enemy: Wirrrn
Setting: Micawber's World, July, 3999
Author: Gary Russell
Publisher: BBC Books
Publication: July, 1998
Format: Paperback Book, 279 Pages
ISBN: ISBN 0-563-40587-2
Previous Story: Seeing I
Following Story: Vanderdeken's Children


Publisher’s Summary

It is 3999. An artificial planetoid, Micawber's World, is hosting the Intergalactic Olympic Games, and athletes from all the worlds in the Galactic Federation are coming to take part. But when the Doctor and Sam arrive, murders soon begin...

The Doctor finds himself drafted in to examine some bizarre new drugs that are said to enhance the natural potential of the competing athletes. But what is their real purpose? Why are members of the Security Forces disappearing randomly? And just why is Chase Carrington, manufacturer of the drug, so protective of his company’s secrets?

Watching and waiting, at the very heart of Micawber’s World, is a race of parasites the Doctor has fought before. The Wirrrn have come to the Milky Way from Andromeda, determined to spread their seed throughout a whole new galaxy, and it seems to Sam that the Doctor’s hands are too full to pay their threat full attention...


  • The Doctor
    • Is now at least partly aware Sam had "a bit of a crush on him".
    • The Doctor states "I've never had a faith, as such. I had a House. And a birthsign. And a Chapter to be loyal to." (His house is House of Lungbarrow, his birthsign is Crossed Computers and his Chapter was the Prydonian)
  • Sam Jones
    • Sam recalls to herself being chased by; Daleks, Zygons or Psionovores.
    • Another reference to Sam's middle name being A (for Angeline).
  • Kyle Dale
    • Member of the Church of the Way Forward.
  • Stacy Townsend
    • Is working in an office on the planet Antares.
  • Ssard
    • Works at the Martian Commission on Io.
  • Susan Dallion


  • The Church of the Way Forward does not approve of inter-species breeding.
  • The Guardian of the Solar System is mentioned by numerous people.
  • There have been terrorist threats from Galaxy 5 and the Free Rasta VI.
  • There are notes pertaining to the Doctor in the Galactic Federation database referring to; Peladon, the Ancient Diadem and the planet Pakhar.


Races and species

  • How the Foamasi can fit into human sized bodies despite their size: "Our skeletons have hollow bones with double-joints every few centimetres. This means we can compact our natural forms quite comfortably inside a full replica-human bodysuit for up to eighteen hours at a time."
  • Jadeans are genetically engineered, and cannot have their minds read by telepaths.
  • The Teknix are a cloned species, bald and very efficient.
  • The Foamasi Ambassador says he works for: Martians, Pakhars, humans, Cantryans, Chelonians, the Tzun, Lurmans, Vegans, but won't work with the Daleks.
  • Cows have been exported all over the galaxy.
  • Security officer Gar is a V'orrn.
  • Other species mentioned include Doradan, Hiind, Morrain, Parad, and Saurian.


  • This is the first 'crossover' novel of the EDAs, crossing characters from the Radio Times comic strip with novel characters and events.
  • In his introduction Garry Russell notes that the Wirrrn were spelt with three Rs in the novelisation of The Ark in Space, and continues the tradition throughout this novel.


See also

External Links

This article uses material from the "Placebo Effect" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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