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A series of twelve novels by Simon Hawke, written from 1984 to 1991. The main characters live in the 27th century, but the greater part of each book takes place in the past.

After the invention of Time Travel, the world has ended war in the present. International conflicts are resolved by sending soldiers into the past to fight in wars that have already happened, but the soldiers have to be careful not to cause a Temporal Paradox, which could have disastrous effects on the timestream. The main characters are members of the Time Commandos, a unit with the job of averting paradoxes by carrying out "adjustment" missions in the past.

The main recurring characters are Lucas Priest, an everyman type who's the main audience identification figure; Finn Delaney, a career soldier with an exceptional service record and a serious discipline problem (he has very little patience with any officer who doesn't earn his respect -- which is nearly every officer he's ever met); and Andre de la Croix, who was born in the 12th century but wound up emigrating to the 27th and joining the Time Commandos after getting mixed up in an adjustment mission.

A recurring antagonist, Nikolai Drakov, was introduced partway through the series. One of his plots resulted in attracting the attention of another set of recurring antagonists, Time Commandos from an Alternate Universe who became convinced that their own universe's survival depended on them sabotaging the protagonists' history.


Tropes found in this series include:

  • Action Girl: Andre
  • All the Myriad Ways: Averted; the characters are understandably horrified to learn that their technology has caused the equivalent of a nuclear war in the Alternate Universe, which declares war on them, and whenever they set out to mess with the alternate world's history, it's with a full understanding of the consequences.
  • Alternate Universe
  • Back From the Dead: Lucas, via a screwy time-travel trick that fixed it so he never died in the first place
  • Cloning Blues: The main villain clones himself, implants the clones with his memories, and gives them scars identical to his own. As a result, the heroes can't be sure if they're meeting the original or a clone, and the villain himself often wonders which he is.
  • Cloning Gambit: see above.
  • Does Not Like Women: Doctor Darkness. Actually, he just doesn't like people (and moved to a base on a planet around another star to get away from them) but Andre is told he has particular issues with women.
  • Drinking Contest: After Andre joins the Corps, Lucas and Finn agree on a drinking contest to settle which of them gets to make a move on her. When she learns about it, she insists on being allowed to compete as well, wins handily, and makes it clear that she's not much impressed with either of them.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Andre.
  • Flock of Wolves: In The Pimpernel Plot there's a scene where, apart from The Scarlet Pimpernel and his nemesis, everybody in the room turns out to be an undercover time traveler, with about half of them working for the villain and the other half there as backup for the heroes. (Possibly a bonus in-joke for readers familiar with the source novel: in the original version of the scene, apart from the Pimpernel and his nemesis, the room is empty.)
  • Genius Bruiser: Finn.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The hominoids.
  • Have a Gay Old Time:
    • In the original The Prisoner of Zenda, there is a scene in which it is decided that the King's double must hold up the ruse by making love to the King's fiancée. When this scene is revisited in The Zenda Vendetta, the conversation is re-worded to make it quite clear what this will (and will not) involve.
    • In The Dracula Caper the team, disguised as contemporary American secret agents, use "gay" in the modern sense, leading to the following exchange:

 H.G. Wells: The deceased was gay?

Agent: He means the deceased was homosexual, Mr. Wells.

H.G. Wells: I'm so glad I learned that before travelling to America, I would hate to give the wrong impression.

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