Doctor Who
Spin-Offs: Bernice Summerfield: 1998
Bernice Summerfield first appeared in Paul Cornell's Love and War, a novel in Virgin Publishing's New Adventures range of original Doctor Who books. When the company lost the licence to produce Doctor Who fiction in 1997, it was decided that Benny would be made the lead character.

The New Adventures ceased publication in December 1999, but Benny was revived the following year in a series of original novel and audio dramas from Big Finish Productions.

A number of anthologies and collections of original novellas have also been released by the company.
Tempest

Tempest cover image
by Christopher Bulis
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • January 1998
Back Cover Blurb
Smith consulted his watch very deliberately. 'You have one hour to find the Imnulate and hand it over to me. If you do not, I will tear this train and its passengers apart piece by piece!'

Tempest: a wild and untamed world perpetually wreathed in clouds and storms. The only means of long-distance travel across its surface are the great transcontinental monorails that traverse its lonely and dangerous wastelands. Returning home from a lucrative lecture, Professor Bernice Summerfield finds herself on the most celebrated of these mighty trains.

The Drell Imnulate: a fabulous and unique religious idol. Precious enough to kill for. So important to those rival factions who follow the way of its maker that they will dare anything to ensure its return.

Isolated in the wilderness and far from civilisation, death strikes the luxurious Polar Express, and a routine journey turns into a nightmare. But can Bernice save a train on the brink of disaster.
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield
Notes
  • Tempest was the only novel by Christopher Bulis for the Bernice Summerfield series of New Adventures, although he has written no less than eleven titles over the years for the various ranges of Doctor Who novels from Virgin Publishing and BBC Books.
Walking to Babylon

Walking to Babylon cover image
by Kate Orman
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • February 1998
Back Cover Blurb
'I'm scared of letting all of these people down. Like the whole human race. At least if I get blown up as well, they can say I died heroically. Asuming I ever existed at all.'

When Bernice Summerfield visits the People — an incredibly advanced civilisation living in a Dyson sphere — she discovers that even in utopia they still have their problems.

An illegal time-travel experiment threatens a war that could destroy them all. Rather than risk it, the People and their ultra-powerful computer, God, are prepared to eradicate the source of the problem — the ancient city of Babylon. But such action would involve the death of a quarter of a million human beings, and do incalculable damage to Earth's history.

Babylon — and the human race — have one hope. Benny returns to the cradle of civilisation to try and stop the interference. She has just one week to prevent a catastrophe that could mean she will never be born. Her only assistance comes from a Victorian linguist who has stumbled across the experiment himself. But he's no help at all — even though he has a power neither of them suspects.
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield

Familiar Faces
God / The People / Clarence
Notes
  • Walking to Babylon was Kate Orman's only full-length Bernice Summerfield novel, although she had earlier made her name writing six Doctor Who novels for the New Adventures series between 1993 and 1997. Apart from short stories, her next major contribution to the Benny universe would be the novella All Mimsy Were the Borogroves for the Nobody's Children collection from Big Finish in 2007.
  • Walking to Babylon saw Benny making a return visit to the People on the Worldsphere, originally created by Ben Aaronovitch for his 1995 Doctor Who novel The Also People.
  • A full-cast audio adaptation of Walking to Babylon was released by Big Finish in November 1998.
Oblivion

Oblivion cover image
by Dave Stone
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • March 1998
Back Cover Blurb
Roz snarled up into the face of her abductor. 'If you touch me I'll kill you. Who are you? Just what the hell is going on?' The blond man looked down at her with a mixture of what looked like fear and pain. 'My name's Chris Cwej,' he said. 'And as to what's going on, hell is probably as good a word for it as any.'

Something has burst through the worn and patchwork fabric of the universe, like a high-velocity round through a rotten apple. The timelines are cut loose and whipsawing — alternative pasts, presents and futures slicing through the world we think of as real.

At the centre of the disruption three adventurers, Nathan li Shao, Leetha and Kiru, are trapped on a parallel Earth — flung from one twisted alternative to another by a man called deed, who has usurped the power of the Godhead. If their friend Sgloomi Po cannot reach them in time they will be obliterated. Deed is attempting to forge his own reality and consign all others to oblivion.

To help end the chaos, Sgloomi has assembled a number of old friends: Bernice Summerfield, the feckless Jason Kane and Christopher Rodonante Cwej...but there has been one small mistake. A miscalculation has placed someone among them who should not be there. Someone who should be dead.
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield

Familiar Faces
Chris Cwej / Roz Forester / Nathan Li Shao / Leetha / Kiru / Sgloomi Po
Notes
  • Oblivion is a sequel to Dave Stone's 1995 Doctor Who novel Sky Pirates!, and sees the return of Nathan li Shao, Leetha, Kiru and Sgloomi Po. As the cover shows, the book also features the long-since-dead Roz Forrester, who was killed off in So Vile a Sin.
The Medusa Effect

The Medusa Effect cover image
by Justin Richards
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • April 1998
Other Editions
Flag of UK The Medusa Effect
Click for cover image UK / eBook / Virgin Digital / January 2012
Back Cover Blurb
'Bernice Summerfield?'
'That rather depends on who wants to know.'
'I'd like to offer you a job. I think you'll find it rather interesting.'
'Isn't that just a little innapropriate? I mean, we're at a funeral.'
'That rather depends on the job.'


Medusa — an experimental spaceship developed by the Advanced Research Department of St Oscar's University. Missing since it was launched, presumed lost in the wars, it was a project so secret it has never been declassified.

Now, twenty years on, Medusa is coming home.

After one of the investigation team dies suspiciously, Professor Bernice Summerfield is assigned to help discover what went wrong. But to do so she must solve a riddle. What is the strange link between the original crew and the team now on board the drifting ship? And why do their ghosts still haunt Medusa?
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield

Familiar Faces
Irving Braxiatel
Notes
  • The Medusa Effect was the second of four novels written for the Bernice Summerfield range from Virgin by Justin Richards, and he would go on to write The Doomsday Manuscript, the first full-length novel in the series of books from Big Finish.

    Back in the world of Doctor Who books, he now has over fifteen original novels to his name (more than any other author), and is also a successful writer of children's books.
Dry Pilgrimage

Dry Pilgrimage cover image
by Paul Leonard and Nick Walters
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • May 1998
Back Cover Blurb
'I am going to make you immortal.'

Bored with her job, bored with being perpetually skint, Bernice Summerfield leaps at the chance of a free holiday arranged by her new friend Maeve Ruthven, St Oscar's Professor of Comparative Religion.

But all is not what it seems.

Benny's holiday rapidly goes from bad to worse to downright dangerous. For a start, the 'luxury cruise' is a religious pilgrimage, and alcohol is forbidden to those on board. Then she is attacked, badly injured and confined to a wheelchair.

And that's before the murder.

Benny finds herself caught in a web of intrigue — not knowing who on board can be trusted or which way to turn. And with the future of more than one world resting on her actions, she must decide who to believe, expose the hidden killer and prevent a ruthless grab for power.
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield
Notes
The Sword of Forever

The Sword of Forever cover image
by Jim Mortimore
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • June 1998
Back Cover Blurb
'I'm sure the Beach Boys didn't have mutant elephants in mind when they wrote "Surfin' USA".'

When Bernice Summerfield finds human skull fragments containing her own DNA in the stomach of a mummified dinosaur, she embarks on a trail of murder and betrayal. From the alien jungles of France to the primal continent of Pangaea, the trail leads even further back in time. Together with Patience, the smart-cloned raptor, Benny must brave alien hybrids, agents of the Knights Templar guarding a secret older than time — and have breakfast with the man who would be Emperor of Earth.

All to find the fabled Sword of Forever, a mythical device with the power to destroy and create civilisations — but at what price?

Everything goes critical as Bernice and Patience travel across 120 million years and two universes — where ancient traps guard crumbling ruins, love is unrequited, time is running out, treasure is always buried and X never fails to mark the spot.
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield
Notes
  • The Sword of Forever was Jim Mortimore's only contribution to the Bernice Summerfield range of New Adventures.
  • The Sword of Forever marked the end of monthly publication for the New Adventures series, a run of releases which stretched back back to February 1993 with Gareth Roberts' Doctor Who novel The Highest Science. From this point on, the New Adventures would be released bi-monthly until their end in December 1999.
Another Girl, Another Planet

Another Girl, Another Planet cover image
by Martin Day & Len Beech
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • August 1998
Back Cover Blurb
'I'm being stalked. I'm sure of it now. I'm frightened, and I need a friend.'

Lizbeth Fugard is an archaeologist working on a backwater rock of a world. She's bankrolled by a government she despises, and has recently split up with her partner. And, just when she thinks life can't get any worse, someone starts following her — keeping to the shadows, but always there. Watching. Waiting. Eyes boring into her soul. The most beguiling eyes she has ever seen — and the most terrifying.

All she can think of is to call on the help of her old friend Professor Bernice Summerfield, and Bernice is only too happy to get away from her own work and see a bit more of the galaxy.

But on arrival she is soon immersed in sabotage, political secrets, gun-running, and an age-old love affair that ended in disaster and disgrace. To end a cycle of violence and hate, Bernice and Lizbeth must discover the truth — but doing so could have implications far beyond this obscure world.
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield
Notes
  • Len Beech was a pen-name of writer Ben Leech. Another Girl, Another Planet was his only contribution to the series.
Oh No it Isn't!

Oh No it Isn't CD cover Cassette Cover
by Paul Cornell

Adapted by Jacqueline Rayner
  • UK
  • 2 × CD / 2 × Cassette
  • Running Time: 1h 50m
  • Big Finish Productions
  • September 1998
  • Audio Number: 1.1
Back Cover Blurb
What could possibly go wrong on Professor Bernice Summerfield's investigation into the lost civilisation of Perfecton? Nothing, it seems — until they leave the planet and spot a dirty great missile heading towards their ship. But instead of oblivion, Benny finds herself plunged into the strange world of — panto.

Characters / Cast
Professor Bernice Summerfield Lisa Bowerman
Wolsey the Cat Nicholas Courtney
Jayne Waspo / Bitchy Jo Castleton
Michael Doran / Cute Jonathan Brüün
Captain Balsam / King Rupert Colin McIntyre
Lt Prince / Prince Charming Nicholas Briggs
Professor Candy / Dame Candy James Campbell
The Grand Vizier Mark Gatiss
The Grel Master Alistair Lock
Notes
  • Oh No It Isn't! was the first of six novels from the New Adventures series to be adapted as audio plays, and their popularity was such that Big Finish would go on to produce a series of original dramas featuring Benny as well as a range of novels and anthologies after Virgin dropped the New Adventures. Two of the adaptations, Birthright and Just War, were actually based on Doctor Who novels so it was necessary to re-write the stories in such a way as to avoid any copyright complications.

    The high quality of the audio adaptations persuaded BBC Worldwide that Big Finish could be trusted to produce a series of original Doctor Who dramas. The first release in that series would be The Sirens of Time in July 1999.
  • Oh No It Isn't! was the first book in Virgin Publishing's New Aventures range after the loss of the Doctor Who licence in May 1997.
Beyond the Sun

Beyond the Sea CD cover Cassette Cover
by Matthew Jones

Adapted by Matthew Jones
  • UK
  • 2 × CD / 2 × Cassette
  • Running Time: 1h 41m
  • Big Finish Productions
  • September 1998
  • Audio Number: 1.2
Back Cover Blurb
Bernice Summerfield has drawn the short straw. Forced to take two freshers on their very first dig, her no-good ex-husband Jason turns up, claiming that he is in deadly danger and is promptly kidnapped. Bernice's only clue to his whereabouts is a dusty female-shaped statuette — reportedly part of an ancient and powerful weapon. But Bernice knows that's just silly nonsense. Lost alien civilisations do not leave their most powerful weapons lying around for any nutter to find. Or do they?

Characters / Cast
Professor Bernice Summerfield Lisa Bowerman
Miranda Sophie Aldred
Doctor Kitzinger Anneke Wills
Jason Kane Stephen Fewell
Tameka Vito Jane Burke
Emile Mars-Smith Lewis Davis
Scott Nicholas Pegg
Leon Barnaby Edwards
Notes
  • An adaptation of Beyond the Sun, the third novel in the New Adventures series to star Bernice Summerfield.
Beige Planet Mars

Beige Planet Mars cover image
by Lance Parkin & Mark Clapham
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • October 1998
Back Cover Blurb
'Professor Summerfield, your very presence here has raised this hotel's insurance premiums by seven point two per cent.'

It is the year 2595. Mars, once the distant target of humanity's ambitions in space, has been colonised for five hundred years. To mark the aniversary, the planet's university is holding an academic conference. Naturally, esteemed expert on Martian archaeology Bernice Summerfield is invited to present a paper based on her long career in this field.

But other matters distract Bernice from academia. Decades ago, hostile aliens invaded Mars. At their moment of greatest need, Mars' human population was betrayed by its leader. And although the occupation was quickly ended, the anger of those who fought to save Mars still runs deep.

So when a veteran of the war is found dead, old wounds are reopened. Bernice finds herself investigating a murder with the least reliable of allies — and soon discovers that the consequences of the Seige of Mars are far from being ancient history.
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield

Familiar Faces
Jason Kane
Notes
  • Beige Planet Mars was the first of two books for the series to be co-written by Mark Clapham. His final contribution was the very final book published in the New Adventures series, Twilight of the Gods, which he co-wrote with Jon de Burgh Miller.
Walking to Babylon

Walking to Babylon CD cover Cover 1 Cover 2
by Kate Orman

Adapted by Jacqueline Rayner
  • UK
  • 2 × CD
  • Running Time: 1h 50m
  • Big Finish Productions
  • November 1998
  • Audio Number: 1.3
Back Cover Blurb
Professor Bernice Summerfield: 26th Century achaeology professor, and tutor at St Oscar's University on the planet Dellah. Prone to getting involved in adventures, scrapes and general derrng-do armed only with her wits, cunning and a flask of brandy! Aged about 35ish, but frequently says she's younger. Odd that...

Jason Kane: 20th Century guy, kidnapped by aliens and taken to the future where he met and married Bernice. Then they got divorced. Spends most of his time these days in bars, getting involved with very dodgy deals, criminal low-lifes and other undesirables. Far more intelligent and resourceful than he gives himself credit for.

The Time-Rings: Given to Benny and Jason as wedding rings, they are two extraordinarily powerful devices which, used together can take them anywhere in time and space. Some people would go to any lengths to get hold of them...

The People: Now established as the most powerful beings in the cosmos, the People are spoken of in hushed whispers simply because they are, well, the People. Just won a very protracted war with another, similarly powerful race. Not entirely to be trusted.

Characters / Cast
Professor Bernice Summerfield Lisa Bowerman
Ninan-ashtammu Elisabeth Sladen
Jason Kane Stephen Fewell
John Lafayette Barnaby Edwards
WiRgo!xue Nigel Fairs
!Ci!c-tel Anthony Keetch
Miriam Louise Morell
The Drone Steven Wickham
Babylonian Child Alex Canini
Notes
  • The audio adaptation of Walking to Babylon was Part One in the Time Ring trilogy of audio plays which continued with an adaptation of Birthright and concluded with Just War.
  • Walking to Babylon was the only one of the six novel adaptations which did not use the original book artwork on the front cover. The layout was later changed to reflect the new cover design for the series of original Bernice Summerfield audio dramas. Hover over the "Cover 2" link above to see the revised version.
Where Angels Fear

Where Angels Fear cover image
by Rebecca Levene & Simon Winstone
  • UK
  • Paperback
  • Virgin Publishing
  • December 1998
Other Editions
Flag of UK Where Angels Fear
Click for cover image UK / eBook / Virgin Digital / June 2010
Back Cover Blurb
'Do you believe?'

Something odd is happening on the university planet of Dellah, home to Professor Bernice Summerfield, famed archaeologist, adventurer, raconteur and barfly. A long-ignored religion is rapidly gaining recruits. The faithful rejoice and talk of their God walking the land once more. And in secret rooms on campus, arcane arts are practised with dangerously successful results.

Behind these aparent absurdities, something far darker is going on, something that has consequences for everyone. The most powerful races of the universe are running scared, withdrawing their own strongholds, and leaving the lesser peoples to their fate.

But what can have warped reality in this way? And why? Has the time of the Gods finally come? As Bernice and her friends begin to investigate, they soon realise that in the terrible conflict to come each of them will have to choose sides.
Regular Characters
Bernice Summerfield

Familiar Faces
Irving Braxiatel / God / Clarence / Emile Mars-Smith
Notes
  • Rebecca Levene's only other major work for the Benny universe was The Serpent's Tooth, one of three novellas included in the Parallel Lives collection in 2006. In 2007 she edited the Missing Adventures anthology which celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of Benny's first appearance in print.
  • Simon Winstone later went on to be a script editor on the Doctor Who television series.
  • Where Angels Fear was something of a landmark book in the series of Bernice Summerfield New Adventures, as it ended with Dellah quarantined and Benny and Braxiatel off planet as the Gods have taken over the planet.

    The book has major links to Ben Aaronovitch's The Also People, which first introduced the Worldsphere and the People, as well as its controlling supercomputer, God. The concepts had also been used in Simon Bucher-Jones' Ghost Devices the previous year, which also featured the first appearance of Clarence, and in Kate Orman's Walking to Babylon.