Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Title: The Also People
Publication Info: London : Doctor Who Books, 1995.
The Doctor takes Benny, Roz, and Chris on vacation to the Worldsphere, a world populated by the technologically advanced, utopians society of The People. In addition to the advanced People – who can change their shape and gender – the Worldsphere is populated with sentient artificial lifeforms, including God (who got its name as a joke from watching over the Worldsphere), ships, drones, and even tables, bathtubs, and parachutes.
Because The People are so technologically advanced they have a nonaggression treaty with the Time Lords that prevents them from developing time travel. The Doctor and God are friendly but also don’t trust one another and dance around a lot of tensions. And despite saying the visit to the Worldsphere is a holiday, the Doctor also has ulterior motives involving an old frenemy, and a difficult decision for Benny. When a drone is murdered, the Doctor also volunteers to investigate the crime, and Roz is key in using her skills in the procedural story.
The Also People is inspired by a science-fiction series called the Culture by Iain M. Banks. I’m not at all familiar with Banks’ work, but it does appear to be another example of Doctor Who crashing into another genre and making another story.