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

Read Book

Doctor Who: Nightshade

(Virgin New Adventures #8)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  44 reviews

Ace has never known the Doctor so withdrawn and melancholic. He is avoiding her company, seeking solace in the forgotten rooms and labyrinthine passages of his ancient time machine.

Perhaps he will find the peace he yearns for on his favourite planet, Earth, in the second half of the twentieth century - in the isolated village of Crook Marsham, to be pre
Paperback, 1st, 231 pages
Published August 20th 1992 by Virgin Publishing Ltd
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.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  461 ratings  ·  44 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Brendon Schrodinger
I've been working long hours the last couple of weeks, uni classes are back and I'm teaching new subjects. Much to revise and get my head around. So I guess that is the time that you head for comfort reads, and I head back to Doctor Who especially the New Adventures.

After the mostly mediocre Cat's Cradle Trilogy (Really only Warhead was worthwhile), the range decides to lose the title arcs and head off into individual book territory, which it really should have done all along; those arcs were ne
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nightshade is a fascinating study in contrasts. At its most base level it is a continuation of the adventures of The Seventh Doctor, which had recently left the television set; but it’s much more than that – consciously and obviously moving away from what had been a marginalised BBC kid/young adult show into more adult and grown up territory. It’s no secret that when the show eventually returned it used a lot of what had happened in the New Adventures books as a bedrock, and already the layers a ...more
Sep 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Today, people know Mark Gatiss as a member of The League of Gentlemen, who are all fans of what might be termed "cult" shows (their name deriving from a classic 60's British heist movie.) Or, alternatively, as someone who holds the distinction of both writing and acting in the new series of Doctor Who on television. But long before that, he wrote several entries in the NA canon. This isn't my favourite of them, but it's a storming debut.

Essentially this builds on a minor throwaway conceit; that
Dec 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, sf, doctor-who
This is one of the free Classic Doctor Who ebooks that the BBC has available for download, and I decided to read this 'un first on the grounds that it was Seventh Doctor and Ace, of whom I have seen very little, and that it was also calling itself a bit of a horror story, for which I was in the mood.

It's a bit odd jumping back to read Classic Doctor, when I'm so used to thinking in terms of Ninth and Tenth--especially Tenth. Seventh in particular was an odd change of pace, being of course very d
Alistair Robb
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like Mark Gatiss. He's my kind of people, I've followed him as an actor,script writer and presenter and I like his style. Here "Ace has never known the Doctor so withdrawn and melancholic. He is avoiding her company, seeking solace in the forgotten rooms and labyrinthine passages of his ancient time machine.

Perhaps he will find the peace he yearns for on his favourite planet, Earth, in the second half of the twentieth century - in the isolated village of Crook Marsham, to be precise, in 1968,
Tom Jones
I am hit and miss with Mark Gatiss when it comes to with TV stories. His book Nightshade on the other hand is perfection.

This is without a shadow of a doubt his best work. Not only that but Nightshade is one of my very favourite books. Read it in one sitting and have no problems with it. Well, one little niggle but that's it.

The story is creepy, atmospheric, tense and quite the psychological horror story at times.
The setting is brilliant, the writing, the plot, the monsters, the characters, t
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
I believe this was the first 7th Doctor VNA I read. It made sense as it was available on the BBC website and was the first standalone after the opening two arcs. As such it made quite an impression on me and is one I have returned to often.

It is the first book in the series that really makes use of the novel length to do what is an old fashioned gothic horror style. The actual action doesn't get going until about two-thirds of the way through, instead getting such cliffhangers "The Doctor looked
Gareth Rafferty
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you’ve read or seen anything by Mark Gatiss, you’ll know he loves nostalgia. Nightshade puts that front and centre using nostalgia as a malevolent force. It’s full of sepia flashbacks that lead to a horrifying end, which scratches another Gatiss itch, the Gothic. It’s potent stuff.

Still, it’s repetitive: the “Sentience” performs the same trick on everyone, only the specifics are different, so it gets a bit samey. Elsewhere we have some slightly spotty characterisation for the Seventh Doctor,
Nicholas Whyte
Apr 08, 2009 rated it liked it

The setting is a familiar Whovian one (most recently seen in The Eleventh Hour): rural England, alien menace, the Doctor sorts it out. To be specific, we're in a Yorkshire village in December 1968; Gatiss packs in a lot of detail, including some memorable characters - the staff of the local radio observatory; the young man who develops a relationship with Ace; the elderly actor who used to play Professor Nightshade on telly (a mixture between Quatermass
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Doctor Who: Nightshade by Mark Gatiss was an incredibly dark adventure with a most beloved character (in a version I'm entirely unfamiliar with) and his companion (again I have no history with Ace). Centered around a small village, The Doctor and Ace are up against a foe that is ruthless in its carnage and hunger. An entity that reveals itself in the form of loved ones long since dead and buried, it seems nigh on impossible that there is a way to stop its growing into a creature that can devour ...more
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: doctor-who
I like Mark Gatiss generally, and I like when Who edges away from sci-fi and into horror. But while I enjoyed this at first, by the halfway mark I was bored. Perhaps Gatiss's writing strengths are in short-form media like television, but I also don't think there was enough story there to warrant an entire novel; the plot takes place over just a couple of days in a very small town, and - despite a chapter-long flashback to centuries ago - it just lacks the enlarged scope of time and place that I ...more
Raychul Kay
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story makes me think about things other than what it was written about.
It has one of my favorite lines ever from a book: "nostalgia is a disease."

You might have to give a flip about Doctor Who to really *get* the whole story, but I doon't think it's necessary.

It really about how people hang onto to things & memories too much, on purporse or on accident, and how that can be dangerous.
Alias Pending
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shorty: Well, then that happened. If you, dear reader, are looking into what makes the great Mark Gatiss great, go ahead and skip this one. It does very accurately re-create the feel of a 7th Doctor episode, which does not make me like either the book or that period of the show's history any better.
Aricia Gavriel
An exceptionally "dark" read, even though the story takes place against a backdrop of Christmas, 1968. Rather well done, in fact ... the first fiction by Mark Gatiss that I've read, though I've seen plenty of his TV work, and of course seen the man himself in Sherlock, and DW itself. He writes well, so I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of his novels.

This one could easily have been a "hard sell" to me, because I actually haven't seen any of the Sylvester McCoy series, and had to look up
Linnea Gelland
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A dark and gritty ghost tale with a lot of characters that all have their own stories and memories. Particularly memories. I thought that Gatiss was babbling on about too many people at first, but then I started to like them. And then, of course, he killed them off. One. By. One... I ended up trying to guess who'd survive the longest, aside from the Doctor and Ace.

I enjoy the moody sort of character, and this time there seems to be no stopping the moodiness. Too bad we never get to know what pri
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping adventure

When the New Adventures line was launched by Virgin in the Nineties, there was a rush of books that mistook "adult" for being gratuitous. There were Doctor Who books that tried too hard to delve into sex, violence, or adult themes.

Then, at long last a book was released where the idea of Doctor Who adventures for adult readers made sense. A book that was grown up, not adult, with delicate themes of racism, survivor guilt, and the nature of relationships handled deftly, tenderl
Taren Capel
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Didn't really connect with this one. It's a satisfactory story, competently told. The prose is a little pedestrian and predictable, but perhaps I'm being unfair (this is only the second NA I've read and I don't know what level they're pitched at, but this wasn't as interesting a read prose-wise as 'The left-handed hummingbird')
Characterisations of Doc and Ace are good; The Doc is down in the dumps. Why? Who knows (that's not a joke). Understand other authors had to explain this away with hints i
April Mccaffrey
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Doing a re-read of sorts of my virgin new adventures and this is by far one of my favourites I have read.

I've always enjoyed Mark Gatiss spooky stories and this one is no exception. I couldn't put it down and I very satisfyingly finished this on the last second of my lunch break today.

I loved Edmund who played Nightshade in this and Jill. Basically, all of the characters.

Honestly 5/5.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Doctor, tired, contemplative and, perhaps for the first time, truly unsure of himself, arrives in a sleepy Northern town. Of course, where the Time Lord goes, danger is never far, and soon enough, it seems, the dead are rising - not from their graves, but from memory - and the consequences of excessive fondness for the past are formidable indeed.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mark Gatiss writes an incredibly compelling horror story set in the world of Doctor Who. Gatiss captures the essence of the familiar characters while creating others with ease. Gatiss’ love of classic horror films, particularly of the Hammer Fils era comes through in this terrifying tale that fits nicely in the series built on science fiction and fantasy.
David Elkin
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An interesting look at the Seventh Doctor and how he is running out of steam. Ace is there but without ruining the ending you need to read the book. Gatiss is a solid author and well versed in the Dr. Who cannon. If you are a fan, read the book. I read the nook version of the book
Rob Cook
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nightshade has the feel of a classic 'village under siege' storyline with plenty of guest characters providing cannon fodder for the alien enemy. I felt the ending was very sad and didn't expect it to end the way it did.
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, 2012, 7, media
I blame Josh and Ashley from The Oncoming Storm podcast for this one (and any future New Adventures I read in the coming months). They're reading the books from the beginning at a rate of once a month. I tried doing that once, many years ago, and I got as far as the book before this one. So when they raved about this one, I thought I might give it a go. When I found it was one of the ones the BBC released a few years back and I could read it free from, that pretty much sealed the d ...more
Starts off as a compelling, legitimately spooky ghost story, but about halfway through devolves into that old Doctor Who chestnut, the "base under siege" story. And there's a subplot involving a retired actor who once played a part on TV that was more or less Professor Quatermass, and though he gets a few good scenes, it doesn't really lead anywhere. It's too bad, too, because Gatiss absolutely nails the characterization - it's easy to envision Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred saying this stuff ...more
Palindrome Mordnilap
What a breath of fresh air it is to read Mark Gatiss' clean, crisp prose after the car crash that was "Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark"! Here is a tightly paced novel set in a believable location with a foe that pushes the boundaries of traditional Doctor Who stories whilst maintaining a fierce loyalty to the show's history.

"Nightshade" is a story about guilt, desire and fear literally coming to life with fatal consequences. Gatiss spins a tale that has depth and a real sense of mystery, carefully thre
Noah Spore
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book reminds me of a recreation of a battle during World War II. Often times, the recreation is extremely accurate, as this book is, with minor adjustments to help smooth over any problems or the like. Nightshade, as it seems to want to create a battle within our world, smooths itself over rather nicely, helping the reader understand anything and everything assuming everything is anything. This is probably one of the better novels in the New Adventures line, and while I find its baddie a ta ...more
Nov 18, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I wanted to give this a four but the ending just felt like a complete betrayal to me. The Doctor acted entirely out of character as far as I can see and even now I fail to see the reason for such a blatant and it has to be said, nasty turn off events.

The author said it was supposed to be resolved in the next novel, but for whatever reason, wasn't. it just didn't make any sense for him to lie so blatantly to Ace like that, especially over something that meant so much to her.

Anyway, I'm still loo
Michael Otway
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I chose 4 stars because they don't let me do halves. In reality I'd give it 3.5.

Like all Gatiss stories, it is good, well written and solid, without ever being amazing. Nightshade is a good idea, it's written well with great imagery and an original concept, but it never quite reaches a high point that makes it truly stand out. It also drags on a little bit too much overall and could have done with 50 or so less pages.

Having said all that, it is a solid book, one worth reading, and it is quite go
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Tv tie-in books usually come in two categories: crap and ok. This one is ok. It's not great fiction, it drags on for a while in the middle part, the Doctor is side-lined and comes off as being very ineffectual - although for some reason every character defers to him as being the Saviour, for no particular reason - maybe they've seen it on tv. Anyway, the book is entertaining enough if you keep your expectations low. This ebook is for free, it certainly won't make me buy any of the other ones.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Doctor Who: Timewyrm-Revelation
  • Doctor Who: Birthright
  • Doctor Who: Set Piece
  • Doctor Who: All-Consuming Fire
  • Doctor Who: White Darkness
  • Doctor Who: Cat's Cradle-Warhead
  • Doctor Who: Timewyrm-Exodus
  • Doctor Who: Transit
  • Doctor Who: The Highest Science
  • Doctor Who: Conundrum
  • Doctor Who: Iceberg
  • Doctor Who: Legacy
  • Doctor Who: The Dimension Riders
  • Doctor Who: Blood Heat
  • The Dying Days
  • Doctor Who: Timewyrm-Genesys
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Virgin New Adventures (1 - 10 of 61 books)
  • Doctor Who: Timewyrm-Genesys
  • Doctor Who: Timewyrm-Exodus
  • Doctor Who: Timewyrm-Apocalypse
  • Doctor Who: Timewyrm-Revelation
  • Doctor Who: Cat's Cradle-Time's Crucible
  • Doctor Who: Cat's Cradle-Warhead
  • Doctor Who: Cat's Cradle-Witch Mark
  • Doctor Who: Love and War
  • Doctor Who: Transit
  • Doctor Who: The Highest Science
“A better time. A simpler time,' said the Doctor. 'That's what we all yearn for. The pain of wanting to belong somewhere. To go home.” 4 likes
“I know that what's done … is done. No sense living in the past. The only way for me is forward. Always forward.” 4 likes
More quotes…