Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Doctor Who: The Roundheads” as Want to Read:
Doctor Who: The Roundheads
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Doctor Who: The Roundheads (Past Doctor Adventures #6)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  144 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
"I tell you - we will cut off this King's head. Aye, with the crown on it!"

It is December 1648. Although victorious over the Cavaliers in the Civil Wars, the Roundheads are struggling to retain power. Plans are afoot to spirit King Charles from his prison, and the Doctor and his companions become embroiled in the intrigue...

Ben finds himself press-ganged and on board a mys
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 24th 1998 by BBC Books (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Doctor Who, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Doctor Who

Doctor Who by Simon Bucher-JonesDoctor Who by David A. McInteeDoctor Who by Peter AnghelidesDoctor Who by Lance ParkinThe Sorcerer's Apprentice by Christopher Bulis
Classic Doctor Who Books
67th out of 102 books — 3 voters
Doctor Who by Jonathan    MorrisDoctor Who by Jacqueline RaynerDoctor Who by Trevor BaxendaleDoctor Who by Justin RichardsDoctor Who by Gary Russell
Doctor Who Books
250th out of 288 books — 112 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 491)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
The guard slid the visor of his helmet upward and began to advance, slowly ad carefully, along the corridor. "Who's there, I say?" he barked, steadying the pike in his hands.

The Doctor stepped out from his hiding place, holding his hands above his head.

The guard was puzzled. "What the devil...?"

The Doctor smiled sheepishly. "No. Not the devil. The Doctor."

In the winter of 1648, there is a huge power struggle between Charles, the King of England, and the Parliament that wants him to be supplanted
Sean Homrig
Jul 28, 2014 Sean Homrig rated it it was amazing
Maybe it was because I had low expectations and expected a boring historical story akin to "The Reign of Terror" (ducking now to avoid the eggs being thrown), but Mark Gatiss hits it out of the park with this one. It remains only one of two historical adventures written solely for the books and for me is perhaps the best historical "Doctor Who" adventure yet. The treatment for this story is an episode for disaster, with too many characters, a hokey subplot involving pirates, and the assumption t ...more
James Barnard
May 01, 2014 James Barnard rated it it was amazing
God bless Mark Gatiss. Just as some of us were thinking he’d turned his back on ‘Doctor Who’ fiction, he came back with this, a book which easily matches his more popular work in terms of quality. No issues here with an author being unable to capture Patrick Troughton’s Doctor in print. This is a thoroughly entertaining tale which really feels like it could have actually been made by the Season Four production team, if they hadn’t decided not to bother with historical stories.

Naturally, ‘The Hig
Mary JL
Sep 26, 2012 Mary JL rated it liked it
An average Doctor Who story, set in the time of the English Civil War.

The time travlers are split up; we follow Ben Jackson's adventures on a mysterious ship. The Doctor and Jaime are in London Tower , suspected of treason; and Polly is swept up in a plot between the forces of Cromwell and King Charles I.

The characterization of the se cond Doctor is acceptable, but he is not 'on stage' very much and has little to do. The plot has a few really rough spots. Not a bad book--but very little to lift
May 07, 2015 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
I listened to the audio version of this read by Anneke Wills. It probably took at least 3 times as long listening to it as reading it would have but she did a wonderful job. There were so many voices which brought the different characters to life. There were really two stories here, The doctor, Jamie, Polly and Oliver and the King and Ben and the Pirates! I must admit I enjoyed the Ben and the pirates story more than the other one. I loved him hanging out with the old woman pirate. She was fanta ...more
May 12, 2015 Garrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steeped in the details of the history of the aftermath of the English Civil Wars, this one carries with it a sort of grim inevitability that is missing from some of the books and shows in the series. The characterizations are excellent well done, and the events of the story slip neatly between those of history itself - in short, everything a Doctor Who story should accomplish, and with pirates, too. The Second Doctor stories always seem to have a starker line between the comedy and the tragedy, ...more
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]Gatiss takes the Second Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie back to late 1648 for a pure historical story: they get involved with Oliver Cromwell and a plot to liberate Charles I from captivity. I'll have to say up front that this didn't completely work for me. Simon Guerrier handled this period (setting his story a year later, and the other side of the Irish Sea) far better in The Settling; Gatiss's characters talk like history lessons (ap ...more
David Layton
Jan 03, 2016 David Layton rated it liked it
The book attempts a novelistic version of the Doctor Who historicals. Given the freedom that a novel has, Gatiss goes all out, including spies, voyages at sea, a female pirate captain, and the Doctor playing soothsayer to Oliver Cromwell. Much of it is silly in the way that "The Romans" was silly. The adventures of Ben and the Pirate Captain are just too much for me to take, too many cliches and not much contribution to the story. Gatiss has written better books than this.
Kate Sherrod
Dec 14, 2015 Kate Sherrod rated it it was amazing
Full review shortly at, but in brief, this is a near-perfect historical, full of ridiculous scrapes, wild sub-plots, well-rounded contemporary characters (Charles I and poor "Tumbledown Dick" Cromwell [son of Oliver] are presented with particular sensitivity and sympathy) and an adventure that only the Second Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie could have. Great fun. This will probably be my gold standard for Whoniverse prose fiction 8)
Daniel Kukwa
Aug 15, 2015 Daniel Kukwa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who
Another wonderful effort from the pen of Mark Gatiss. This time, rather than an ode to a particular era, it's more a celebration of old-school "Doctor Who" historical stories from the 1960s, with a bit of extra modern bite to remind us that "romp" doesn't always mean "safe" when the Doctor and his friends goes back in time.
Christopher Buchanan
If you like historicals, you'll love this. Very companion driven as well as the story follows Ben and Polly for the most part. Gatiss does a fantastic job of weaving a great story through a historical context without taking any great liberties (that I'm aware of anyway). An absolute gem of a story.
Sep 14, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who, review
The Second Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie. Between The Macra Terror & The Faceless Ones.
It's the winter of 1648 and the fate of the imprisoned King Charles hangs in the balance. Jamie and the Doctor are swiftly captured and incarcerated in the Tower of London, leaving Ben and Polly loose on the streets, inevitably becoming embroiled in events that could change the course of history. I always seen to enjoy the purely historical Doctor Who books more than any other type. No aliens or ancient po
May 21, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it
The Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie land in London, just after the civil war. They split up to enjoy the sights, only problem is that they all get into trouble. Polly gets embroiled with Cavaliers, Ben with sailors, the Doctor and Jamie with Roundheads. This is a fun book with great character moments for all the regulars. It's been well researched and is a pure historical. I always have a soft spot for historicals, especially when they are well done like this one. A very good read.
Scott Haworth
Jan 17, 2015 Scott Haworth rated it really liked it
An excellent historical story, with plotting and counterplotting, swordfights on sailing ships, and a tragic romance or two. I liked how the Doctor didn't know what would happen because the attempted assassination wasn't in the history books.
Jan 02, 2009 Travis rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
A decent historical adventure and some nice characterization of the second Doctor, Jamie and the much neglected Ben and Polly.

A nice epic feeling story with lots of adventure, history and a lady pirate.
Simon Curtis
Feb 24, 2010 Simon Curtis rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any fan of good writing and the English Civil War
About as good a historical Doctor Who novel as you will get. Spot this theme in Mark Gatiss' Doctor Who works.
Stephen Hartwell
Aug 31, 2015 Stephen Hartwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who, sci-fi
Fantasy and history rolled into one
Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson marked it as to-read
May 27, 2016
Barry Attwater
Barry Attwater marked it as to-read
May 26, 2016
David marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Matthew Torpy
Matthew Torpy marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Richard Moors
Richard Moors marked it as to-read
May 21, 2016
Jake marked it as to-read
May 21, 2016
Bent marked it as to-read
May 07, 2016
Helen marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Pat Winter
Pat Winter marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2016
Roger added it
Apr 23, 2016
Ian Duerden
Ian Duerden marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Doctor Who: Salvation
  • Doctor Who: Illegal Alien
  • Doctor Who: City at World's End
  • Doctor Who: Dreams of Empire
  • Doctor Who: Fear Itself
  • Doctor Who: Business Unusual
  • Doctor Who: Players
  • Doctor Who: Last Man Running
  • Doctor Who: The Infinity Doctors
  • Doctor Who: Mission: Impractical
  • Doctor Who: Vanishing Point
  • Doctor Who: Eye of Heaven
  • Doctor Who: Relative Dementias (Past Doctor Adventures)
  • Doctor Who: Verdigris
  • Doctor Who: Zeta Major
  • Doctor Who: The Time Travellers
Mark Gatiss (born 17 October 1966) is an English actor, screenwriter and novelist. He is best known as a member of the comedy team The League of Gentlemen, and has both written for and acted in the TV series Doctor Who and Sherlock.

Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Gatiss has written three episodes for the 2005-revived BBC television series Doctor Who. His first, "The Unquiet Dead", aired on 9 April 20
More about Mark Gatiss...

Other Books in the Series

Past Doctor Adventures (1 - 10 of 76 books)
  • Doctor Who: The Devil Goblins from Neptune
  • Doctor Who: The Murder Game
  • Doctor Who: The Ultimate Treasure
  • Doctor Who: Business Unusual
  • Doctor Who: Illegal Alien
  • Doctor Who: The Face of the Enemy
  • Doctor Who: Eye of Heaven
  • Doctor Who: The Witch Hunters
  • Doctor Who: The Hollow Men
  • Doctor Who: Catastrophea

Share This Book