The Scarlet Empress
The Scarlet Empress{{#set:Has image=File:The Scarlet Empress.jpg}}
Doctor: doctor::Eighth Doctor
Companion(s): Sam
Main enemy: The Empress
Main setting:
Hyspero, Abbasid Era, Third Decade
Town of Fortalice, Hyspero, c9968AD
Key crew
Publisher: publisher::BBC Books
Writer: Paul Magrs
Cover by: Black Sheep
Release details
Release number: 15
Release date: 7 September 1998
Format: Paperback Book; 33 Chapters, 288 Pages
ISBN 0-563-40595-3
←Previous Next→
BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures
Vanderdeken's Children The Janus Conjunction

The Scarlet Empress is the fifteenth BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures novel. It was written by Paul Magrs. It features the Eighth Doctor and Samantha Jones. It is also the first full length novel to feature Iris Wildthyme, a Time Lady who first appeared in PROSE: Old Flames.

Publisher’s summary Edit

Arriving on the almost impossibly ancient planet of Hyspero, a world where magic and danger walk hand in hand, the Doctor and Sam are caught up in a bizarre struggle for survival.

Hyspero has been ruled for thousands of years by the Scarlet Empresses, creatures of dangerous powers — powers that a member of the Doctor’s own race is keen to possess herself: the eccentric time traveller and philanderer known only as Iris Wildthyme.

As the real reasons for Iris’s obsession become clear, the Doctor and Sam must embark on a perilous journey across deserts, mountains, forests and oceans. Both friends and foes are found among spirits, djinns, alligator men and golden bears — but in a land where the magical is possible, is anything really as it seems?

Chapter Titles Edit

  1. Does Travel Make You Happy, Ms. Jones?
  2. I Was A Charmer
  3. She Was Never Without Her Enchantments
  4. After All I've Survived!
  5. Down, Boys
  6. Another Day, Another Lovely Adventure
  7. Nobody Thinks Nothing
  8. Any Vigilante's Life
  9. All About Equilibrium
  10. Standing Around Virtually Naked
  11. I'm Entirely Credulous
  12. Queen of Misrule
  13. Pulling Out Her Hearts
  14. Hating Monsters
  15. Hands of the Duchess
  16. I've Been Possessed by the Best of Them
  17. Telling Tales
  18. Will You Come Back For Me?
  19. They're All Weird Places
  20. Out of Body
  21. Something Like a Genie
  22. I've Had My Moments
  23. Going Down
  24. The Walrus and the Turtle
  25. On The Kristeva
  26. In the Belly of the Beast
  27. The Bearded Lady's Tale
  28. Welcome Back
  29. With the Empress
  30. Something for Iris
  31. Stealing Honey
  32. A Month Later
  33. Inside The Machine

Plot Edit

to be added

Characters Edit

Main Charaters

Hysperian royalty

Inhabitants of Fortalice

Other characters

References Edit

Books Edit

  • Aja'ib is a book of fantastic stories, tales and adventures.

Culture Edit

The Doctor Edit

  • The Doctor describes himself as an ethnomethodologist and his job as being keeping everyone out of the trap of genre-death.
  • The Doctor is "an inveterate underliner (of books), a scribbler in margins, a very unpassive reader".
  • The Doctor recalls "jumping off an Ice Warrior ship over Central London. Scuba diving with Zygons. Causing havoc once again on Skaro."
  • Iris was not fond of the Seventh Doctor. She describes him to his immediate successor as "a portentous little feller, swaggering around, thinking he’s got all the world’s darkest secrets under his hat." Furthermore, she thinks that he was "a pretentious old thing" who "got on [her] nerves" as he regarded himself as the Guardian of Forever and Time's Champion.

Foods and beverages Edit

  • Iris consumes a variety of alcohol, mostly gin.
  • Sam drinks too much of the crystallised wine.
  • Gila buys some fish. They all come with names.
  • The Doctor offers the Mock Turtle a jelly baby prior to travelling through the vortex in Iris' bus.

Gallifrey Edit

Individuals Edit

Iris Wildthyme & The Doctor Edit

"Really, Doctor, this is hardly -" (Third Doctor)
"You see, my dear, it's very simple..." (First Doctor)
"I'm not exactly breaking the Laws of Time, but -" (Second Doctor)
"There were once three sisters and they lived at the bottom of a treacle well..." (Fourth Doctor)
"Only in the direst of emergencies can you -" (Fifth Doctor)
"Nice? Nice?" (Sixth Doctor)
"I saw this coming." (Seventh Doctor)
  • Iris claims the Doctor's previous self was a pretentious old thing calling himself "Guardian of Forever" and "Time's Champion".
  • Iris refers to the Master as a "phallocentric dope" (most likely a reference to his Tissue Compression Eliminator).
  • The Doctor challenges Iris' claims, stating, "You didn't foil the Dalek invasion of Earth in the twenty-second century. I did! It was me, Susan, and Ian and Barbara! And the Cyber tombs on Telos...You weren't there Iris. You weren't to be seen!"
  • Whilst in a river with patriarchal psychic river jellyfish-like creatures, Sam is telepathically contacted by said patriarchal creatures, who tell her that the Doctor was woven on a loom and only thinks he has a human mother.
  • The Doctor recalls having Christmas dinner with Iris, Tegan and Turlough.
  • Iris is in her "old lady" body. She has a house in every world, time zone and planet visited (the Doctor comments, to himself, that she collects homes as he does companions).
  • Iris once proposed to the Doctor in Venice.
  • Iris once travelled with an "obtuse shape-shifter who loved nothing better than to spend much of his time as a lippy garrulous penguin."
  • Iris's mother left her when she was quite young, with an older man, an offworlder.
  • Kroton the Cyberman is a friend of Iris. At this point in his life the Doctor is not familiar with him.
  • Iris astral projects herself around Hyspero while everyone sleeps in Major Angela's house with the bears.

Locations Edit

Species Edit

  • Sam sees Draconian princes, Spiridons in purple furs and Martians in armour on the streets of Hyspero.
  • The Doctor mentions vampires to Sam while discussing the borders between magic and science.
  • According to the Doctor the Chelonian version of Cinderella had to be seen to be believed.
  • Iris is sick because she took high tea with a Draconian prince and ate a live Kaled mutant from the shell.


  • Its dimensional stabilisers are fixed with a pair of laddered tights. It follows the Doctor, Iris and the Mock Turtle under the sea to where they're regurgitated by the giant fish on a desert island.
  • She has some cassettes in her TARDIS of Motown, ABBA, and Shirley Bassey.
  • In Iris's bus the time winds come in through the windows when it's in flight.
  • The console of Iris' TARDIS is made of teak, brass and Formica.
  • The Doctor can pilot Iris's TARDIS.
  • Sam suggests to the Doctor the TARDIS should have a white and luminous control room and look a bit more futuristic, than the gothicness that it currently looks like.

Technology Edit

  • Sam and Gila trade a dismantled and useless etheric beam locator for some bread.
  • The Scarlet Guards have T-Mat-like devices on their belts.
  • The Doctor pulls a crystal from his pocket that he claims is "no ordinary jewel. It is from Metebelis Three, in the Acteon galaxy," but is actually something he picked up in Portabello Road.

Time travel Edit

  • The Doctor describes travelling through the Vortex as "vworp vworp".
  • The Doctor, Iris and the Mock Turtle catch a ride inside a giant fish that (probably) keeps them outside time.

Notes Edit

  • This novel is often narrated in first person by Iris Wildthyme, Gila, Sam Jones and the Doctor.
  • There are numerous references to past stories.
  • There are bronze and verdigris towers in Hypero. Sam also bathes in a verdigris tub (there are a few other references). PROSE: Verdigris is a novel Paul Magrs wrote after this novel which also features Iris Wildthyme.

Continuity Edit

  • When "he was sent to avert the genesis of the dreams and desires of one particular historical despot". (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
  • When he met "the vicious slime-like beast in the pit that only [he] could befriend and talk to". (TV: The Creature from the Pit)
  • When he "was forced to battle a multi-legged fiend that secreted acid from every pore in an arena watched by some million or more". (COMIC: Doctor Who and the Iron Legion)
  • When he visited "the world at the edge of the cosmos where [he] fell into a puddle and met the last known and very strangest creature in the world". (TV: Planet of Evil)
  • When he "went to the centre of the world and met people for whom time had stood still". (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)
  • When he encountered "the demon who lived under a church and unleashed himself one sacred night". (TV: The Dæmons)

External links Edit