Doctor Who Target Novelisations Reviews

Doctor Who and the Crusaders is a novelisation of the four-part Doctor Who story broadcast in 1965 featuring Julian Glover as Richard the Lionheart also known as the story where Ian is proclaimed a Knight of Jaffa. The novelisation is written by David Whitaker who wrote the television story and this is a much richer version of the story than what we saw on screen; there is more violence and the story is also more adult in tone. Written by an author steeped in that particular era of the show the characterisation of the regulars is first rate and if I am being honest is stronger than it ever was in the television show itself. This is one of the earlier of the novelisations of Doctor Who stories but remains one of the best.

An Unearthly Child is a novelisation of the very first Doctor Who story when we were introduced to the Doctor and the TARDIS for the very first time, and began the journey into space and time in a rackety old Police Box, which is still continuing 50 years later. Written by Terrance Dicks this is a very straightforward adaptation from the original script which can be read in about the same time it would take you watch the television version. If you all you expect of this is a straightforward retelling of the television story in a prose format then this will be just what it required, but if you want more depth to the characters and the story, then you will be sorely disappointed, but at the time, before the days of BBC Videos and repeats, then this was as good as your were going to get, and is just about enough to give you an idea of how the story might look like.

The Three Doctors by Terrance Dicks is the prose version of the tenth anniversary story featuring the first, second and third Doctor’s fighting against Omega. Like a lot of the novelisations of the television stories this doesn’t stray away from showing the action as it happened on screen and doesn’t really delve any deeper into the characters than what we see on screen. It is still a lot of fun to read though, and the gel guards don’t look as ropey as they did on screen.

The Five Doctors is a novelisation by Terrance Dicks of his own script for the twentieth anniversary special. This was famously released a couple of days before the episode was screened back in 1983. This is a typical Terrance Dicks novelisation and is very readable and is pretty much as exciting as the televised version but this could have been so much more and it is a pity that Terrance didn’t add more stuff and depth to his script and make it a bit more than just a straightforward retelling, but, as this is what the TARGET novels were mostly used for, that wasn’t the case but it is still a good example of the form.

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