Business Unusual


Business Unusual is a BBC Books original novel written by Gary Russell and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Sixth Doctor, Melanie Bush, and the Brigadier. This novel depicts Mel's first adventure with the Doctor, an event not depicted in the television series. Mel's first appearance in the programme, Terror of the Vervoids, was set in the Doctor's future relative to his trial in the season-long story The Trial of a Time Lord. The Doctor subsequently met Mel in the final segment of that story, The Ultimate Foe, but this Mel was from his future and had already met him. Thus, the events of Business Unusual represent Mel's first encounter with the Doctor, but not the Doctor's first encounter with Mel. Business Unusual also plugs another hole in Doctor Who history: in the original series, all the Doctors except the First and Sixth shared at least one adventure with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. This novel was the first attempt to match the Sixth Doctor with the Brigadier; the 2000 Big Finish audio drama The Spectre of Lanyon Moor would bring both characters and the actors who played them together. Some of the plot elements of Business Unusual (the Pale Man and the Irish twins Ciara and Cellian) form part of a trilogy of novels which began in Gary Russell's Virgin Missing Adventures novel The Scales of Injustice and concluded in his PDA Instruments of Darkness. The novel's plot involves a corporation called SenéNet, as anagram of Nestene who are behind it. Much as Gary Russell's follow-up novel, Instruments of Darkness, contradicted the Big Finish audio history of Evelyn Smythe, this novel treads heavily over the Big Finish history of the Brigadier. Both this novel and the audio The Spectre of Lanyon Moor chronicle the first encounter between the Sixth Doctor and the Brigadier.
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series: Doctor Who
date of publication: 1997
genre: novel
follows: The Ultimate Treasure
followed by: Illegal Alien

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