Before Sean switched on his randomizer to pick this month's selection from the proverbial hat, he had to think back about whether or not the BBC provided any past Doctor novels involving Christmas. Answer: They didn't. So, for December we present Atom Bomb Blues by Andrew Cartmel. From the back cover:
Los Alamos, New Mexico, 1945. The Second World War is coming to its bloody conclusion, and in the American desert the race is on to build an atomic bomb.
The fate of the world is at stake -- in more ways than one. Someone, or something, is trying to alter the course of history at this most delicate point. And destroy the human race. Posing as a nuclear scientist with Ace as his research assistant, the Doctor plays detective among the Manhattan Project scientists, while desperately trying to avoid falling under suspicion himself.
As the minutes tick away to the world's first atom bomb blast, the Doctor and Ace find themselves up to their necks in spies, aliens of the flying-saucer variety, and some very nasty saboteurs from another dimension...
Published in November, 2005, this novel is the final installment of the BBC's Past Doctor Adventures. They had already begun releasing the New Series Adventures featuring the Ninth Doctor and Rose months earlier, something of a death toll for the Past Doctor and Eighth Doctor series.
Author Andrew Cartmel is best known as the shows script editor from seasons 24 through 26 and for spearheading the "Cartmel Master Plan," which would have come to fruition in season 27, had the show not been cancelled. This would have involved peeling away much of the Doctor's mysterious persona and revealing much of his back story. They had barely touched the tip of the iceberg in "Silver Nemesis" by dropping hints that the Doctor harbored some deep, dark secret. This was continued in the Virgin New Series Adventures, particularly in the final Seventh Doctor installment, Marc Platt's Lungbarrow.
The BBC Past Doctor Adventures which feature the Seventh Doctor and Ace differ quite a lot from the Virgin New Adventures not just in the way they exclude characters like Roz and Chris (if one were to be a continuity hound, all of the Past Doctor Adventures would take place before all of the Virgin New Adventures), but they feature a Doctor and Ace who are less riddled with angst than we saw in a novel like Conundrum.