Vampire Science (novel)

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Vampire Science was the second release in the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures series. It was written by Kate Orman and Jonathan Blum, released 7 July 1997 and featured the Eighth Doctor and Sam Jones.

While the previous novel had introduced Sam Jones, this novel was the first to explore and flesh out the major details of her character, back story and motivations.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

In the days when the Time Lords were young, their war with the Vampires cost trillions of lives on countless worlds. Now the Vampires have been sighted again, in San Francisco. Some want to coexist with humans, using genetic engineering in a macabre experiment to find a new source of blood. But some would rather go out in a blaze of glory — and UNIT's attempts to contain them could provoke another devastating war.

The Doctor strikes a dangerous bargain, but even he might not be able to keep the city from getting caught in the crossfire. While he finds himself caught in a web of old feuds and high-tech schemes, his new companion Sam finds just how deadly travelling with the Doctor can be.


In 1976 San Francisco, biochemistry student Carolyn McConnell witnesses an encounter between the Eighth Doctor, Sam Jones, and a vampire named Eva. Carolyn helps the Doctor and Sam in their investigation, which eventually leads to Eva’s death and a dead end. The Doctor offers for Carolyn to continue the investigation with them, but she declines. He gives her a stack of twelve white squares, telling her to call him if she encounters any more vampires.

21 years later, in 1997, Carolyn (now an oncologist) sees on the news a report on the murder of Senator Daniel Ben-Zvi that implies a link to vampires. Her partner, lighting designer James Court, tries to reassure and distract her, but she continues to investigate. That night, Carolyn is visited by Brigadier-General Adrienne Kramer of UNIT, who has been aware of Carolyn as a contact of the Doctor’s. Kramer fills Carolyn in on similar incidents to Ben-Zvi’s death and asks for Carolyn’s help in the investigation. That night, James asks Carolyn about the Doctor, but she dodges the question.

The next day, Kramer meets Carolyn for lunch, where she shares the only known connection between the victims: they were all connected to a nightclub called the Other Place. They discuss the Doctor and UNIT. Kramer says she prefers to bring in civilian experts than the US military, as they tend to be uncooperative. Carolyn agrees to work with UNIT on the condition that James remains uninvolved.

James offers to visit the Other Place because he knows the owner. Carolyn advises him against it.

Meanwhile, in the TARDIS, the Doctor leaves on mysterious business, and has Sam impersonate a medical student and call doctors in the area for signs of vampire attacks. She finds a lead with Dr David Shackle, who has been tracking strange deaths among San Francisco’s homeless population. She reveals her identity and the true purpose of her investigation to Shackle, who agrees to help.

As James leaves work to go to the Other Place, the Doctor follows him.

Carolyn waits for James to meet for lunch, for which he is running late. She calls him and the theatre he works at multiple times with no response. She returns home to find him absent. Carolyn retrieves the squares the Doctor gave her and arranges them into a hypercube. The Doctor appears in her house, telling her to psychically send the hypercube, otherwise he’d have never known to come in the first place.

The next morning, Kramer, Shackle, and Sam all convene at Carolyn’s, where the Doctor makes breakfast. They plan to stake out the Other Place that night. The Doctor plans to go inside alone, but Sam insists on joining him.

At the Other Place, the Doctor speaks to Mr Seavey, the owner, who is unconvinced and unbothered by the prospect of vampires. Vampire twins Reaper and Shredder take notice of Sam and the Doctor, and isolate Sam on the dance floor while the Doctor is in Seavey’s office. The twins introduce Sam to another vampire, who attacks her in the middle of the dance floor.

Outside, Shackle leaves the car and begins questioning people in the parking lot. He gets mugged almost immediately.

Sam recovers from her injuries in the hospital, her faith in the Doctor shaken. The Doctor again makes Carolyn breakfast and reveals that he had been watching James in the days leading up to his disappearance, and had attempted to intervene when he was last seen. Kramer suggests calling in the troops, which the Doctor adamantly opposes. Shackle visits Joanna Harris at Angel Labs, who has been testing Sam’s blood for possible anomalies after the attack.

Doctor and Carolyn visit the Other Place for dinner and are approached by Slake, a young, brash vampire. The Doctor intimidates Slake by revealing that he is a Time Lord and leaves. The vampires meet to discuss how to respond, and it is revealed that Harris is in charge of this coven of vampires. Harris sends Slake to summon the Doctor for a meeting. Slake returns to his apartment, where he is keeping James. He offers to turn James into a vampire, which he refuses.

Kramer’s forces have set up camp nearby, against the Doctor’s wishes.

The Doctor arrives at the Orpheum theatre, where the vampires have their base of operations. He successfully negotiates the release of James, reveals that he was the one who killed Eva, then urges the vampires to find a viable substitute for human blood. Harris informs him that she is already attempting to do this. Harris proposes a bloodfasting (physical and psychic bond) between herself and the Doctor to establish trust before they continue to work together, but admits that she does not know the risks as she has never observed a bloodfasting between a vampire and a mortal before. The Doctor agrees, but begins to react poorly after they exchange blood.

Carolyn explains how she met the Doctor to James, who wants to leave the city. The Doctor, after a period of unconsciousness, reawakens temporarily blind. He and Sam go to where Kramer’s forces have set up camp. The Doctor learns that his blindness is a side effect of Harris being asleep, and can see again. Kramer calls off her forces when she learns that killing Harris will kill the Doctor. James leaves the city, but Carolyn chooses to stay.

Slake becomes increasingly frustrated with his fellow vampires’ apathy. Sam asks to go with the Doctor to see Harris, but he doesn’t want her to face the vampires again. Harris shows the Doctor her ongoing experiments. He brings some samples back to Carolyn, who says she wants to leave San Francisco to travel with the Doctor now that James has left her. He urges her to wait until the situation has been resolved to make a decision. Harris asks Abner, the most reasonable of Slake’s cohort, to attempt to convince them of her blood substitute’s viability. The Doctor calls Shackle, asking him for help with their research, but he claims he is too busy. Neither knows the other is working with Harris. Slake gathers his forces of six younger vampires for an attack.

The Doctor and Sam bring Carolyn to the TARDIS, showing her the lab she’ll be working in, the library, and the butterfly room. As Carolyn considers moving into the TARDIS, Sam considers moving out. Shackle, falling into a depression, speaks with Harris, who offers to turn him into a vampire. He tells this to the Doctor, Sam, and Carolyn, who intervene as if he is suicidal. The Doctor meets again with Harris, threatening to act against her coven if she turns Shackle. She agrees. Shackle returns to Harris, having decided that he wants to turn, but she informs him that her plans have changed and she cannot help him.

Abner informs Harris and the Doctor of Slake’s plans to attack civilians at the Other Place. The Doctor calls in Kramer’s forces, pleading with her not to kill any vampires. Kramer makes no such promises, and Sam is intent on finding and killing the vampire who attacked her. At the Other Place that night, the Doctor is able to confuse and distract Slake long enough for UNIT to evacuate the civilians. Harris and the older vampires arrive, exerting their authority over Slake and his posse. Sam is unable to identify the vampire who attacked her. Harris pacifies the other vampires by allowing them out on a hunt, on which they kill a homeless man. She tells the Doctor that she wouldn’t go hunting while they are bonded because she doesn’t want him to experience that. Sam is uncomfortable with the situation’s resolution.

Slake goes to Angel Labs, hoping to kill Harris. He finds Shackle instead, and agrees to turn him. He does so via injection so it will not be traced back to him.

While working in the TARDIS, Carolyn finds a birthday card addressed to “grandfather,” and asks the Doctor about his age. She also develops Vamp-Away, a substance that is toxic to vampire cells. Later, Sam confronts the Doctor about the ethics of allowing the vampires to live, and storms off. The Doctor asks Kramer for advice, who tells him that his current regeneration comes across differently than his previous one, especially to a woman going through relationship troubles like Carolyn.

Sam stakes out Angel Labs and follows Harris to a warehouse, where she is keeping human cloning experiments in cages.

The Doctor visits James at his hotel room in an attempt to reconcile him and Carolyn. At the same time, Harris discovers Sam spying on her, and tries to kill her, but the Doctor notices through the bloodfasting. He threatens suicide (which would kill Harris as well) to save Sam’s life. Harris locks Sam in one of the cages and then feeds on a man outside in retribution, forcing the Doctor to experience this secondhand.

Slake, having learned of the Doctor and Harris’s bloodfasting from Shackle, plans to overthrow Harris and the older vampires by targeting the Doctor. In a fit of annoyance, Slake kills Abner, intimidating the other young vampires to join him in his revolution.

Sam wakes up in the cage to find the Doctor and Harris arguing. Harris lets Sam out, and she and the Doctor reconcile. Harris argues that live animals are necessary rather than synthetic blood to appease vampires like Slake, who would never be content without the hunt. Before any conclusion can be reached about the ethics of Harris’s clones, Gregorio, one of the oldest vampires, calls Harris, fatally wounded from Slake. Slake and his posse have killed all of the older vampires and begin to attack civilians. The Doctor leaves a reluctant Sam and Harris to synthesize Vamp-Away while he meets back up with Kramer and Carolyn. Slake’s vampires attack Carolyn’s house, forcing her, the Doctor, and Kramer to regroup at James’s hotel room.

They enlist James’s help, going to the Orpheum during the day while the vampires are away. They are attacked by vampiric squirrels controlled by Slake and learn that the Vamp-Away only works internally, not as a contact poison; they’ll need to inject it into the vampires to kill them. James is able to kill a squirrel that is attacking Carolyn. UNIT, under James’s instruction, set up artificial sunlight in the theatre. James and Carolyn reconcile.

The Doctor takes Harris to the funeral of the man she fed on the night before. Back at the warehouse, Harris accuses Sam’s activism of being performative. Slake’s vampires, along with their “secret weapon,” attack the warehouse. Their “secret weapon” is Weird Harold, the vampire who attacked Sam. Harris explains that Weird Harold is a vampire their coven had found starving and alone, unable to hunt for himself. They had nursed him back to health the best they could, but his hunger was too strong. They kept him locked in the Other Place, and even Harris was afraid of him. Slake’s vampires cut the power in the warehouse, leaving Harris and Sam alone in the dark with Weird Harold. Harris escapes. Sam is able to fight and kill Weird Harold, but is captured by Slake.

On the way to the Orpheum, Shackle and Sam discuss Shackle’s decision to become a vampire. At the theater, James’s lights harm the vampires, but don’t kill them. The Doctor attempts to fend Slake and his posse, but is overwhelmed, and all six of them feed on him. A few moments later, they all die, and Sam assumes it is a delayed reaction to the light. Harris offers to turn the Doctor in an attempt to save him. He apparently agrees, but when she drinks from him, she instead becomes human again, and he appears to be fine.

With the situation resolved, the Doctor (Sam, Kramer, Carolyn, and James in tow) takes Harris for ice cream, her first real food in centuries. He reveals that, long before the situation escalated to the point of war, he had consumed copious amounts of Vamp-Away, making his blood toxic to vampires. Carolyn decides not to travel with the Doctor. Harris decides to continue her research, potentially in cooperation with UNIT.

In an epilogue, Shackle finds himself to be the only vampire left alive, with no job, home, or people to follow left.




Communications technology[[edit]]

  • The Doctor gives Carolyn a hypercube to contact him.



The Doctor[[edit]]

Foods and beverages[[edit]]





  • The TARDIS is parked on the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets in San Francisco.
  • The Doctor has a room in the TARDIS that has a hillside complete with sunshine and butterflies; included with the butterflies is a Flutterwing.
  • Sam's room in the TARDIS contains a Victorian writing desk, an ergonomic chair from the mid 2050s, a mammoth wardrobe with children's coloured stickers and peeling paint, a 14th century Persian rug, and a 4 poster bed.
  • There are two bats inside the TARDIS, Jasper and Stewart.

United Nations Intelligence Taskforce[[edit]]


  • Great Vampires created the vampires on Earth.
  • Vampires have motivation problems; conversion doesn't occur after a bite, you have to exchange blood.
  • The V Factor is the gene which makes vampires, vampires.
  • There are 14 vampires in a coven (one more than a Time Lord's life).


  • This is the first appearance of the Doctor's Volkswagen Beetle, which gets parked in the console room.
  • Sam has an Altairian driver's licence.


  • The character space that Carolyn McConnell inhabits was originally written for the character Grace Holloway (from the Doctor Who television movie), but clearance couldn't be sought to use the character. The first chapter of an early draft with Grace was published in the charity anthology Perfect Timing.
  • There are a variety of references to Time Rift, a fan made film that Jonathan Blum appeared in (as the Seventh Doctor).
  • In the 2010 series episode The Eleventh Hour, the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory encounter a race of space police, called the Atraxi, who travel in crystalline ships. As to whether they and the planet Atraxi 3 are related remains to be answered.


External links[[edit]]