The Deadly Daffodils

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Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons, 1970s Target reprint.  The edition I own.

Title: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons
Televised as: Terror of the Autons
Written by: Terrance Dicks
Teleplay by: Robert Holmes
Televised in: January 1971
Published in: May 1975
Chapters: Four through Nine

The novelization of Terror of the Autons, coming out immediately after Doctor Who and the Giant Robot, is the first time we’ve gotten back-to-back Terrance Dicks on the schedule. It’s not quite the first of his soon-to-be standard 3/3/3/3 books – a four-part story novelized in twelve chapters, with the cliffhangers falling neatly every three chapters, at the end of Chapters 3, 6, 9, and 12. As with Giant Robot, there’s one stray non-conformist, the Episode Three cliffhanger which falls in the middle, rather than at the end, of Chapter 9. Fast-forward two to three years, when the release schedule is dominated by five or six straight 12-chapter Terrance Dicks books, and this might look like a glimpse into a less-than-dazzling future.

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The Master Storyteller

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Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons.  Original Target edition.

Title: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons
Televised as: Terror of the Autons
Written by: Terrance Dicks
Teleplay by: Robert Holmes
Televised in: January 1971
Published in: May 1975
Chapters: One through Three

Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons is almost a perfect synthesis of the Target book line to date; it’s the 14th novelization overall, and the 11th one by Target, but it combines the best of all that’s gone before.  This one is by Dicks, novelizing a Robert Holmes story, but is written very close to the style of Malcolm Hulke, the other mainstay of the early Target going. Continue reading

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Robot Monster

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Doctor Who and the Giant Robot.  1980s Target reprint, the edition I own.

Title: Doctor Who and the Giant Robot
Televised as: Robot
Written by: Terrance Dicks
Teleplay by: Terrance Dicks
Televised in: December 1974/January 1975
Published in: March 1975
Chapters: Five through Twelve

I realized a bit of the way through that, in publication order, this is the first novelization to lack internal illustrations.  I knew this wasn’t the end of the line for illustrations, because I clearly remember them from books published shortly after this one (Doctor Who and the Green Death, I’m looking at you – or rather, I will be in a week’s time, because you’re two books down the road).  Thus, Giant Robot is lacking the now-familiar “Illustrations by Alan Willow” credit on the copyrights page.  My thinking is that because Giant Robot follows so closely on from the airing of its parent story – barely two months between the broadcast of Part Four and the release date of the first edition – there just wasn’t time for Willow to work his usual magic.  None of the books released after 1975 will carry interior illustrations, so we’ve nearly reached the end of the line for this phase of the novelizations.  A big loss.

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New Body, New House

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Doctor Who and the Giant Robot.  Original Target edition cover.

Title: Doctor Who and the Giant Robot
Televised as: Robot
Written by: Terrance Dicks
Teleplay by: Terrance Dicks
Televised in: December 1974/January 1975
Published in: March 1975
Chapters: One through Four

That’s one interesting cover, isn’t it? It’s a pretty radical design change from the previous 18 months or so of the Target book line.  Now, we’ve got the new Season 11-onward stylized Doctor Who logo, scenes from the book dramatized on the front and back covers (rather than the usual collection of different portraits on the front), and a much more comic-book style of illustration.  Plus, check out that li’l drawing of Tom Baker superimposed on the O in Who.  It’s an interesting effort, but Baker doesn’t look quite right, and this experiment would not be repeated again – although a couple of Peter Davison-era novelizations would somewhat resurrect the effort, with a photo of the Fifth Doctor himself popping up from out of the neon-tube Who logo. Continue reading

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Centuries Ago, By Our Time

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Doctor Who and the Cybermen, 1980s Target reprint cover.  The edition I own.

Title: Doctor Who and the Cybermen
Televised as: The Moonbase
Written by: Gerry Davis
Teleplay by: Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis
Screen Credit to: Kit Pedler
Televised in: February/March 1967
Published in: February 1975
Chapters: Seven through Eleven

That 1980s Target reprint cover finally corrects the look of the Cybermen; unlike the picture on the the first edition, this is the correct depiction of the Cybermen of The Moonbase.  Except that it makes them look gold instead of silver.  Oh, well. Continue reading

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The Gerry Davis Show

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Doctor Who and the Cybermen.  Original Target edition.

Title: Doctor Who and the Cybermen
Televised as: The Moonbase
Written by: Gerry Davis
Teleplay by: Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis
Screen Credit to: Kit Pedler
Televised in: February/March 1967
Published in: February 1975
Chapters: One through Six

The original cover to Doctor Who the Cybermen is notable for two reasons. First, it’s the last novelization to use the original Target Doctor Who logo – nearly identical to the logo seen on screen with every story from An Unearthly Child up through The Moonbase itself. So this one story killed off the logo twice, once on TV, and then in the book line. The other interesting thing about the cover is that it uses the wrong Cyberman – it uses the 1968 model from The Invasion, the current Cyber-costume in Doctor Who circles at the time the book was published in early 1975 (and which would be seen again weeks later on-screen in Revenge of the Cybermen), but not the one used during the first three Troughton-era Cybermen adventures, including the adventure being novelized.

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The Verbiage of Peladon

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Doctor Who and the Curse of Peladon, 1970s Target reprint.  The edition I own.

Title: Doctor Who and the Curse of Peladon
Televised as: The Curse of Peladon
Written by: Brian Hayles
Teleplay by: Brian Hayles
Televised in: January/February 1972
Published in: January 1975
Chapters: Nine through Eleven

It’s been an eventful last few days in Doctor Who fandom, what with the death of John Hurt,  the announcement of Peter Capaldi leaving the show after this next season (pause while I run into the other room and let out a Charlie Brown-sized scream of anguish), and the current U.S. political situation resembling the cliffhanger to Part Three of The Keeper of Traken.  But, this blog being what it is, we’re going to talk about a 42-year-old book instead. Continue reading

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