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Doctor Who and The Crusaders
Series: Doctor Who - Frederick Muller (original release)
Doctor Who - Target Novelisation (reprints)
Release Number: 12 (given to later editions)
Doctor: First Doctor
Companions: Vicki, Barbara Wright, Ian Chesterton
Enemy: El Akir
Setting: Earth ,
Author: David Whitaker
Publisher: Frederick Muller (original edition)
Target Books, W.H. Allen & Co (reprints)
Publication: 1965 (Muller edition)
May 1973 (Target version)
Format: Hardcover and paperback editions, 160 Pages (Target paperback edition)
ISBN: ISBN 0-426-11316-0
Previous Story: Doctor Who and the Zarbi
Following Story: Doctor Who – The Space Museum

Doctor Who and the Crusaders was the third and last of the original trilogy of Doctor Who novelisations published in the mid-1960s, years prior to the launch of the Target novelisation range.



  • This novelisation is based on the original television serial generally referred to as The Crusade which included individual episode titles and was shown from 27th March 1965 and written by David Whitaker. The book was originally published by Frederick Muller in 1965 and was the last new Doctor Who novelisation to be published until Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion in 1974.
  • In 1973, this novel, along with the two preceding Frederick Muller books, was reprinted by Target Books, launching its long-running line of novelisations.
  • The 1965 first edition was the first Doctor Who novel to include an image of the TARDIS on the cover. It was also the first novelisation cover to not depict the Doctor (this wouldn't happen again for more than a decade).

Publisher's Cover Blurb


1965 Frederick Muller edition

From unknown Space, the Tardis returns to Earth, but not to the world Ian and Barbara know. The little blue telephone box has wheeled sharply in the cosmos and cut back through the pattern of history to the struggle between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, Crusader v. Saracen.
When Barbara is captured by the Saracens and later kidnapped by the monstrous El Akir, Ian appeals to Richard for help, but despite having achieved a splendid victory over Saladin at Arsuf the English King has his own troubles and cannot assist him. So Ian sets out to rescue Barbara alone, while the Doctor becomes involved in court intrigues.
In a dramatic climax, Ian finds himself fighting for his life in the harsh, cruel world of the twelfth century, where only the cleverest and strongest survive.
Readers of Doctor Who's adventure with the Daleks and Doctor Who and the Zarbi will find here all the excitement that made those books firm favourites with youngsters of all age groups.

1967 Green Dragon edition

Back through time go Dr. Who, Ian and Barbara - back to the twelfth century, to Richard the Lionheart and the Crusades.
Barbara is captured by the Saracens. Adventure piles on adventure as Ian and Dr. Who, in their different ways, attempt to rescue her. This is a book brimful of excitement!

1973 Target Books edition

Back on Earth again, Tardis lands DOCTOR WHO and his friends into the midst of the harsh, cruel world of the twelfth-century Crusades. Soon the adventurers are embroiled in the conflict between Richard the Lionheart and the Sultan Saladin, ruler of the warlike Saracens.
`They’re well-written books-adventure stories, of course, but with some thought…the creation of the character of the Doctor had a touch of genius about it.’ Westminster Press

1982 Target Books edition

Within minutes of the TARDIS's arrival on twelfth-century Earth, the Doctor and his companions are in serious trouble.

They happen to intercept a Saracen attack on Richard the Lionheart, therby enabling the English King to escape otherwise certain capture.

But Barbara is kidnapped and carried off by the Saracens to the Sultan Saladin's court.

Saladin spares her life -- on condition she entertains his court by telling stories. And, like Scheherazade, if she fails, then she must die...

Deviations from the Televised Story

  • Mention is made of a trip to Tyron.
  • Barbara and Vicki play Martian Chess in the TARDIS at the start of the novel.
  • The Doctor has a lengthy discussion with Ian about altering time and the rights and wrongs in the universe.

Author, Writing and Publishing Notes

  • One of three titles brought by Target from Frederick Muller that were used to launch the series of Doctor Who novelisations.
  • The hardback edition illustrations were retained.
  • Quickly sold out of the first 20,000 copies and were reprinted.
  • Title page of the Target edition includes: “THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCTOR WHO The cover illustration and others contained within this book portray the first DOCTOR WHO whose physical appearance was later transformed when he discarded his worn-out body in favour of a new one.”

Audio release

This story was released in a 5 CD format. It is read by William Russell (Ian). It was later released in the limited edition in Travels in Time and Space alongside the audio releases of Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks and Doctor Who and the Zarbi.


  • Includes 15 illustrated pages by Henry Fox
  • The 1967 Green Dragon edition include 6 illustrations by an uncredited artist that did not feature in the Muller/Target editions

Associated Images

Publishing History (UK)

To be added First Publication:

  • Hardback
W.H.Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback


Paperback: Target Books / Virgin Publishing Ltd. UK 1982 Cover by Andrew Skilleter (£1.35 UK)

International Editions

To be added

External Sources

This article uses material from the "Doctor Who and the Crusaders" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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