Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Land of Fiction
Video - The Mind Robber
The Mind Robber
 Name: The Land of Fiction

 Format:Television Show, Book and Audio

 Time of Origin: Outside reality.

 Appearances: "The Mind Robber", "The Crooked Man" and "Conundrum" and "The Wonderful Doctor of Oz"; the Land played an important role in "Head Games" but The Doctor didn’t visit it directly; on this occasion; The Sixth Doctor returned to the Land in "City of Spires" and "The Wreck of the Titan", but his location was only identified as the Land of Fiction in "Legend of the Cybermen".

 Doctors: Second Doctor, Fourth Doctor, Sixth Doctor, Seventh Doctor and Thirteenth Doctor

 Companions: Jamie McCrimmon, Zoe Heriot, Leela, Ace, Bernice Summerfield, Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan and K9; Roslyn Forrester, Chris Cwej and Melanie Bush were involved in a crisis linked to the Land without going there themselves.

 History: While the Land of Fiction has never been a threat to The Doctor of its own free will, it has nevertheless been the catalyst for some of The Doctor’s most unique adventures. Existing outside reality as we know it, the Land of Fiction is a realm where fictional creations are real, The Doctor’s visits to the Land resulting in him encountering classic fiction characters such as Gulliver of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, Rapunzel, Sherlock Holmes, Alice of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Captain Nemo’s Nautilus from ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’, and even variations on characters like Batman and the Famous Five. A particularly significant detail about the Land of Fiction is that, while it is possible to write reality to receive the outcome you want, writing the future and then fulfilling it will trap you in the Land forever as a fictional character, with the result that The Doctor has been forced to rely on very unorthodox means when he finds himself trapped in the Land.

Video - The Mind Robber
The Mind Robber
 The Doctor’s first visit to the Land of Fiction was only an accident; with the Second Doctor having just triggered a volcanic eruption that would destroy the island that he and his companions were currently on in order to defeat the ruthless Dominators ("The Dominators"), and the TARDIS controls too damaged for him to depart the island the normal way, he was forced to escape by triggering an emergency circuit that took the entire ship out of Time itself, into the void outside the universe. Although The Doctor tried to repair the TARDIS, his attempt to return to reality resulted in the apparent destruction of the ship as he, Jamie and Zoe were scattered throughout the Land of Fiction, finding themselves in a forest where the trees were letters when viewed from above.

 As they travelled through the forest, they faced such diverse threats as Jamie being turned into a cardboard cut-out and The Doctor bringing him back to humanity by putting his face back together only to make a mistake that he had to correct later, being betrayed to toy soldiers by Gulliver, being attacked by a unicorn, and culminating in The Doctor and Zoe confronting Medusa and the Minotaur in a labyrinth - defeating the three mythical creatures by confirming that they didn’t exist - while Jamie narrowly escaped a soldier by climbing up a cliff with the aid of Rapunzel’s hair. While Jamie fled the robot soldiers, The Doctor and Zoe were confronted by the Karkus, a cartoon character from Zoe’s home era; although The Doctor couldn’t stop the Karkus by confirming his non-existence as he hadn’t heard of him before now, Zoe was able to win the Karkus’s allegiance by defeating him in a fight, allowing him to take them to the citadel where they were reunited with Jamie.

Confronting the Master of the Land of Fiction, the Master - not to be confused with The Doctor’s later Time Lord enemy - revealed that he was an Earth writer who was kidnapped by the Land to serve as its creative source due to his writing skills - in 1926 he wrote an adventure serial for boys in the Ensign magazine, producing 5 000 words per week for 25 years -, who wanted The Doctor to take his place. Although Jamie and Zoe were trapped in one of the Master’s books and seemingly turned into fiction, The Doctor, despite being unable to simply write his victory without becoming trapped in the Land anyway, refused to become the slave of the Land of Fiction, allowing the Master to connect him to the controlling computer so that he could use the Land’s resources against the Master. As the two summoned armies of fictional characters to fight each other, they eventually overloaded the master computer, seemingly destroying the Land of Fiction while The Doctor, Jamie, Zoe and the former Master retreated to the TARDIS, with The Doctor managing to take the Master home before he returned to his usual travels.

Audio - The Crooked Man
The Crooked Man
(John Dorney)
During the 21st century, a rift was created in the Land of Fiction when it began to become 'overpopulated', as the sheer volume of fiction in various mediums meant that some of the more obscure characters had to be erased ("The Crooked Man"), prompting characters such as fictional caricatures of actresses or murderers in obscure crime novels to relocate to the real world (one of them described it as them choosing to leave, but The Doctor described it as choosing to jump rather than push), killing real people to take on their essences and ensure their stability in the new world. When a young woman called Laura Corbett was abandoned by the father of her child after she told him she was pregnant, she created a fictional father of Simon Corbett to explain the pregnancy to her friends and family, with the Land's current instability allowing Simon to travel to the real universe via the rift due to both his strong fatherly instincts and the large collection of books belonging to Laura's father, Laura choosing not to question this twist despite the obvious strangeness. Tracking the source of the instability after witnessing a murder in a second-hand book store where the storage cabinets and door were broken from the inside, the Fourth Doctor and Leela realised that various obscure and ruthless characters were using the breach to escape the Land. This culminated in The Doctor, Leela and the Corbetts facing the 'leader' of the constructs in the form of the Crooked Man, a character in a book written by Laura's father that drained imagination (Laura speculated that her father created the Crooked Man as a story to discourage her from reading and potentially damaging his books). Although the Crooked Man attempted to trap The Doctor, Simon, and others in the Land of Fiction after the other characters drove them into the library, The Doctor was able to destroy the original Crooked Man manuscript to kill the monster. Realising the truth of Simon's origins after the Crooked Man revealed that he only found the breach to reality rather than creating it, The Doctor told him that the only way to stop the invasion was to seal the breach from the other side. Although aware that this would separate him from his family, Simon's strong will and his love for his child allowed him to hold off the villains long enough for The Doctor and Leela to escape, Laura subsequently forming a relationship with local policeman Ellis Andrews, concluding that reality was more important than perfection.

Audio - The Wreck of the Titan
The Wreck of the Titan
(Barnaby Edwards)
The Land of Fiction played a crucial role in The Doctor’s reunion with Jamie and Zoe when Zoe, after returning to her own time with her memories erased ("The War Games"), was captured by the Cybermen during an attack on the space station where she worked. Although the Cybermen attempted to convert Zoe into a Cyber-Planner, the process resulted in her memories of her time with The Doctor being restored just as she gained access to the ship’s control systems, allowing Zoe to send a feedback wave into the propulsion systems that opened a rift in space-time to send the Cyber-ship outside of Time into the Land of Fiction, concluding that the Land was somewhere where the Cybermen could do no harm. However, after she and the Cybermen arrived in the Land, Zoe realised that the Cybermen could use the Land’s master computer to destroy human imagination by reversing the polarity to suppress imagination rather than enhance it, making all sentient races easy prey for the Cyber-conversion process. Although now experiencing reality on a different level as she operated as the Mistress of the Land of Fiction - to the extent that she referred to The Doctor’s adventures as ‘a tale for children which adults enjoy’ -, Zoe nevertheless dedicated herself to the task of leading her fictional army against the Cybermen, her generals include Alice Liddel - of Alice in Wonderland - and Count Dracula (As well as Sherlock Holmes before his capture), but eventually had to accept that she needed help when most of her forces were destroyed or converted, such as when the Cybermens’ conquest of the ‘Four-Colour Kingdom’ of comics cost her access to the fictional superheroes.

Unable to create a fictional version of The Doctor herself, Zoe opened a small hole in space-time and sent a stream of data through to the TARDIS navigational circuits, bringing the Sixth Doctor into the outskirts of the Land, where the Cybermen were mining ink to produce more fictional armies for themselves ("City of Spires"). She then provided The Doctor with a companion in the form of a fictional duplicate of Jamie - albeit older than the Jamie she had known as he had to create his own heroic backstory as rebel leader the Black Douglas in the absence of The Doctor - in order to keep The Doctor safe until he could reach her, passing through such realms as an Arctic sea after landing on the Nautilus ("The Wreck of the Titan") until The Doctor learned their true location and Jamie’s true nature. Using the Cybermens’ ‘datamats’ - data-based Cybermats that functioned in a similar manner to computer viruses -, The Doctor was able to rewrite the datamats’ programming so that they could rewrite notional reality, releasing the reprogrammed datamats into the Cybermen computer systems and disrupting the Cybermens’ grasp of reality, causing the Cybership to wink out of existence and restoring the Land to normal - with Alice taking over as the Land’s Master -, although Zoe’s memories of The Doctor were once again lost as the Time Lord conditioning reasserted itself when The Doctor took Zoe back to the Wheel ("Legend of the Cybermen").

Book - Conundrum
(Steve Lyons)
The Doctor returned to the Land of Fiction in his seventh incarnation when searching for a foe that had been manipulating her personal history, attributing the restoration of the Land to his enemy’s manipulation (This initially appears to contradict the Sixth Doctor’s visit to the Land, but it may be that The Doctor was more focused on the presence of a new Master of the Land of Fiction - an adolescent who called himself the Writer - rather than the fact that the Land still existed, given that it was last seen under the control of Zoe’s allies) ("Conundrum"). While exploring their new destination of the town of Arandale, The Doctor’s companion Bernice Summerfield befriended Norman Power, an old man who claimed to have once been a superhero, while The Doctor and his other companion Ace investigated recent murders in the city, Ace noting that American PI Jack Corrigan was too cliché to be real. As they investigated the mysterious Force underneath Arandale Keep, The Doctor appeared to share his companions’ assumption that they were just in an ordinary small American town, The Doctor had actually been suspicious of their current location from the beginning; upon their arrival in the Land, the TARDIS’s recently-repaired chameleon circuit ("The Left-Handed Hummingbird") had turned it into a gingerbread house, a disguise that could only make sense in the Land of Fiction (The Writer was unable to access The Doctor’s mind and predict how he would react to everything around him, most likely due to his status as a Time Lord granting him superior mental barriers).

As Ace uncovered the truth about their current location when she ran to the edge of the town before the Writer could compensate, The Doctor provoked the Writer into revealing his presence by playing a game of Scrabble and laying down a word that couldn’t fit on the board, exposing a continuity error that forced the Writer to confront The Doctor directly. Although the Writer believed that he had trapped The Doctor in the perfect dilemma by putting him in a position where he would either save Arandale and become a fictional character, die in the town’s imminent destruction, or take the Writer’s place, The Doctor had actually already outsmarted him. By tricking the Writer into defining the nature of the Force that had given Norman Power his abilities as McAllister’s Radiation by claiming that it could be responsible for the powers that Norman had manifested if humans were exposed to it under rare circumstances, The Doctor was able to escape the Land when the Writer triggered that radiation source to explode, the resulting energy release disrupting the Land long enough for The Doctor and his companions to return to the TARDIS and escape the influence of the Land.

Book - Head Games
Head Games
(Steve Lyons)
The Doctor returned to the Land of Fiction when he discovered a rift in the Land that had opened over a distant planet ("Head Games"), with The Doctor being forced to seal it despite the fact that it would deprive the planet’s civilisation of the power source they had come to depend on due to the dangers such a rift could pose to reality. Unfortunately, the energy from the rift reached Jason, the former Writer of the Land of Fiction, allowing him to manipulate reality as the fictional energies contaminated the real universe, allowing him to recreate The Doctor’s fictional counterpart, Dr. Who, who he had competed against in the past. Having recovered his ‘companion’, in the form of Jason, and claimed the TARDIS for himself, Dr Who captured The Doctor and set out to trap his associates for their ‘crimes’, Dr. Who’s more straightforward nature causing him to see the world only in black and white analogies of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ rather than The Doctor’s ability to recognise when morally complex actions were necessary, such as when he had been forced to allow a solar system to be destroyed in order to preserve history even when he had an opportunity to stop it ("The Pit").

Oblivious to the wider issues facing them, Dr. Who and Jason agreed to help the humans of Detrios defeat the green lizard monsters ‘threatening’ them - in reality the lizards had a rich natural culture and were objecting to their human oppression -, with Jason’s resentment at the criticism of the ease of their solution prompting the creation of a monstrous dinosaur that Jason defeated just to make a point. Although Dr Who and Jason were able to capture The Doctor, Benny, and The Doctor’s former companion Melanie Bush, they were able to escape Jason’s prison as it was a fictional construct that vanished when he wasn’t paying attention; even when Jason gave the TARDIS weapons to destroy the ship that The Doctor was using to escape, his subconscious caused him to bring them back as Jason’s writing always featured the arch-foes being inexplicably reborn in the sequels. After failing to capture Ace during a visit to England in 2002, Dr Who and Jason decided to stage a ‘revolution’ against the ‘dictatorship’ of Queen Elizabeth II, but Dr Who’s ‘smart bullets’ - bullets that avoided other objects to focus on their target - failed to even wound the Queen, suggesting that Jason realised on some level that what he was doing was wrong.

As The Doctor and his companions confronted Dr Who and Jason in Buckingham Palace while UNIT soldiers attempted to storm Jason’s force field, The Doctor countered Dr Who’s charges of genocide by pointing out that the crisis on Detrios was the fault of the ruling class who spent more time arguing about their dying sun than actually taking action, as well as forcing Jason to acknowledge that he had been wrong to kill the native Detrians just because they looked like lizards. As Jason acknowledged the need to grow up and take responsibility, Dr Who faded away, his work done, allowing Jason to work with The Doctor’s companions to seal the rift over Detrios and give the natives the chance to work out a more appropriate solution to their power problems . However, this confrontation left The Doctor with several long-term issues, as Mel’s anger at what he had become made him more aware of his own guilt over his past treatment of her, his guilt and the energy released by the rift causing his fears to manifest as his memory of his sixth incarnation, now corrupted into a manifestation of The Valeyard ("The Trial of a Time Lord"). The Doctor was initially forced to seal this aspect of his mind away for a time, concerned that the memory of his past self would break out of his subconscious and become The Valeyard properly the next time he regenerated. However, he was eventually able to accept the need to forgive himself and achieve a new peace with his predecessor's memory, accepting that he was The Doctor in all his lives and neither of them deserved to be locked away forever ("The Room With No Doors").

Book - The Crooked World
The Crooked World
(Steve Lyons)
While The Doctor didn't return to the Land of Fiction for some time after that, he experienced a few trips that led him to locations similar to the Land. The Eighth Doctor once visited a planet populated by cartoon animals ("The Crooked World"), which he eventually determined was a planet where the natives could be influenced and shaped by others, with the cartoon-like appearance of the inhabitants the result of a human child crash-landing on the planet in the distant past. Although the influence of The Doctor and his companions temporarily caused the world's villains to band together, they were also able to help the planet as a whole learn independence and free will. On another occasion, the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones arrived on what appeared to be Earth only to meet 'the Trouble Seekers', characters from a children's mystery series that Martha had read ("The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage"), eventually determining that an entity called the Ch'otterai had been separated from its body and was gaining power by manipulating the minds of those who came to its new world. The Ch'otterai even tried to make The Doctor take it to the Land of Fiction so that it could gain more power, but The Doctor was able to instead trap it in the TARDIS, where the ship overpowered the Ch'otterai's mind and destroyed it.

Book - The Wonderful Doctor of Oz
The Wonderful Doctor of Oz
(Jacqueline Rayner)
The Thirteenth Doctor returned to the Land for real when an attempt to attend the premiere of The Wizard of Oz revealed that nobody was aware of the film or even the book series ("The Wonderful Doctor of Oz"). Unintentionally accompanied by Theodore, a teenager who overheard The Doctor and her companions talking, The Doctor retrieved a copy of the original book from the TARDIS library and linked it to the console to try and run a scan to work out what had happened, only for the TARDIS to be caught in a tornado and sent to what appeared to be a 'real' Oz, albeit inhabited by variations of some of The Doctor's old foes, such as the Cybermen. With the TARDIS mercury links drained, The Doctor, her companions and Theodore were forced to travel through Oz, accompanied by a new K9 The Doctor had just finished, but suffered various attacks on their journeys as a flock of crows drained Graham O'Brien's intellect, a Cyberman variant shut down Ryan Sinclair's emotions, and lion-creatures took Yasmin Khan's courage. After a brief detour to Chinatown - populated by figures made of china - to rescue The Doctor when she was abducted by flying Ogrons, the group reached the Emerald City, where the 'Wizard' was revealed to be L. Frank Baum himself, from a point when he was still writing the second book, believing that he was just running the Oz theme park he'd always dreamed of making.

Having determined that Baum was controlling the system and had been brought here by a dark-haired woman, The Doctor soon realised that she was dealing with Missy, the first female incarnation of The Doctor's old friend-turned-foe The Master, who had created this scenario as a trap for The Doctor. With Graham, Ryan and Yasmin still basically handicapped as Baum had no power to fix them himself, The Doctor left K9 to look after them while she and Theodore travelled to confront Missy, who had adopted the role of the Wicked Witch of the West. Missy briefly managed to capture The Doctor and Theodore, but when the two discovered the container holding the essences taken from Graham, Ryan and Yasmin, Theodore was able to break the container and temporarily absorb the essence of all three, making himself strong and smart enough to find a way to escape captivity and overpower Missy. With Missy's unwilling aid, The Doctor was able to separate Baum from the Land's controlling computer, but the subsequent chaos as all the characters ran wild without a controller allowed Missy to escape. Realising that someone had to stay in the Land to keep it in operation and protect the characters, Theodore volunteered for the role, using his new control of the Land to 'rewrite' himself to become Dorothy, having always felt more like a girl rather than a boy. Accepting Dorothy's decision, The Doctor left K9 with her to help Dorothy catalogue the existing books in the Land of Fiction and use them as material for new scenarios, as Dorothy doubted she had the creativity to create completely new stories and characters.

The Doctor Meets Rapunzel and The Karkus
The Doctor Meets Rapunzel and The Karkus
Jamie and Zoe Surrounded by White Robots
Jamie and Zoe Surrounded by White Robots
The Master (of the Land of Fiction)
The Master (of the Land of Fiction)
The Unicorn
The Unicorn
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
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