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The Ancestor Cell
Series: Doctor Who -
BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures
Release Number: 36
Doctor: Eighth Doctor
Companions: Fitz Kreiner, Compassion
Enemy: Faction Paradox, Grandfather Paradox
Setting: Gallifrey, Rassilon Era
Author: Peter Anghelides and Stephen Cole
Publisher: BBC Books
Publication: July 2000
Format: Paperback Book, 288 Pages
ISBN: ISBN 0-563-53809-0
Previous Story: The Banquo Legacy
Following Story: The Burning


Publisher's Blurb

The Doctor's not the man he was. But what has he become? An old enemy -- Faction Paradox, a cult of time-travelling voodoo terrorists -- is finally making him one of its own. These rebels have a mission for him, one that will deliver him into the hands of his own people, who have decreed that he must die. Except now, it seems, the Time Lords have a mission for him too...

A gargantuan structure, hewn from solid bone, has appeared in the skies over Gallifrey. Its origin and purpose are unknown, but its powers threaten to tear apart the web of time and the universe with it. Only the Doctor can get inside... but soon he will learn that nothing is safe and nothing sacred.

Shot by both sides, confronted by past sins and future crimes, the Doctor finds himself a prisoner of his own actions. With options finally running out, he must face his most crushing defeat or take one last, desperate chance for salvation...


  • The Doctor was the 407th and 409th president of Gallifrey.
  • Both 'versions' of Fitz appear in this novel, the 'current version' and the original who became Father Kreiner.
  • Romana is a Prydonian.
  • Romana is President, War Queen and Mistress of the Nine Gallifreys.
  • Mali
  • The original doesn't appear, this Greyjan is 'remembered' into existance by the Faction Paradox.
  • He was president for three days (between the 2nd September 1752 and 14th September 1752).
  • Mother Tara


  • The Faction Virus which infected the Doctor during his paradoxical regeneration on Dust, continues to affect him.
  • The Edifice which hangs over Gallifrey is revealed to be the Doctor's TARDIS which he thought was destroyed.
  • The Panopticon should have six sides, but due to the Faction Paradox's interference it keeps losing sides until it's a circle.
  • Gallifrey is destroyed here by the Doctor, then is destroyed again as a result of Last Great Time War.


  • This is the first time Gallifrey is destroyed (but not the last).


The Ancestor Cell saw the culmination of the War arc, which had begun in Alien Bodies. The creator of the storyline, Lawrence Miles, was extremely displeased with The Ancestor Cell, and went on to continue his War storyline in his own Faction Paradox series.

Among Miles' criticisms were the identities of the Enemy (primordial cells irradiated by temporal interference and then energised by a leaking bottle universe) and Grandfather Paradox (a future incarnation of the Doctor). According to Miles, Stephen Cole claimed that both revelations were not definite answers.

Lance Parkin's novel The Gallifrey Chronicles reveals that Grandfather Paradox is in fact everyone's potential future.


  • EDA: Alien Bodies was the first novel to feature both the Faction Paradox and the first mention of the future War, The Enemy and sentient TARDISes similar to Compassion.
  • Compassion drops the Doctor on Earth which leads into EDA: The Burning.
  • Compassion also delivers Fitz on Earth 100 years later in time to meet the Doctor, which he does in EDA: Escape Velocity.

External Links

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


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