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Target Books published many Doctor Who novelisations in paperback (and, later, hardcover) as well as few related nonfiction works and two original novels from the 1970s through to the early 1990s. Many older fans, in particular, grew up to have as many fond memories of the novelisations as they did the parent series itself. Though Target did publish other children's books, Target remains most closely associated with their Doctor Who range.
The Target Years
1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994+





Target Books was a publishing imprint set up in 1972 to a range of paperback fiction for readers of approximately 14 years of age. It was for its long lived and highly successful range of Doctor Who novelisation with which it became best known. Though most widely known as paperbacks, the novelisations saw first printings in hardback by sister publishers Allan Wingate (and later by W. H. Allen).

The Target imprint changed hands many times over its history but up until the end, when it adopted a more modern monochrome version, retained its distinctive brightly-coloured logo. By the end of the series, they novelised almost every Doctor Who television story and adapted every one of the First, Second and Third and Seventh Doctor's on-screen adventures.

The importance of the Doctor Who novelisations to maintaining interest and knowledge in the franchise cannot be overestimated. Considering that, prior to the 1980s, it was usually not possible to obtain recordings of previously aired stories, coupled with the fact reruns were rare and sporadic, and many episodes from the 1960s were deleted and believed lost, the novelisations were (and in some cases remain) one of the only venues for reliving past stories, or catching up on stories never seen before by fans.

  • See also
Target Novelisation Covers (for a televised ordered gallery)
Non-Target Novelisation Covers

The 1970s

In 1973, Target reprinted Doctor Who titles, Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks and Doctor Who and the Crusaders, adapted by David Whitaker and Doctor Who and the Zarbi, adapted by Bill Strutton, had previously seen publication as hardbacks by Frederick Muller. For the Target edition, the Daleks novel had its title shortened to Doctor Who and the Daleks. All had new covers by Chris Achilleos, who would illustrate the first wave of Target Doctor Who books.

An original publication, Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion by Terrance Dicks would follow in 1974. Over the years, "Uncle Terry", as fans would nickname him, would write more Target Books and have a closer association with them in the minds of fans, than any other writer. He would also write a short series of simplified Junior Doctor Who novelisations for younger readers.

Linking some early Target novelisations to their television counterparts was a challenge at times, as for the first few years Target occasionally published novelisations under titles that differed from the TV originals. This practice actually pre-dated Target, with Doctor Who and the Zarbi having been based upon The Web Planet. Under Target, for example, Spearhead from Space became Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion. When the decision was made to keep the original title, the prefix Doctor Who and... was usually added. There were a few exceptions, such as the release of Doctor Who: The Three Doctors. Also there were occasional exceptions for first-edition hardcover publications, such as the novelisation of Revenge of the Cybermen which was first published as Doctor Who: The Revenge of the Cybermen in hardcover, and Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen in paperback.

The Muller reprints were not the last books by another publisher to be reissued by Target, as the company also published a new edition of The Making of Doctor Who, a book previously issued by Piccolo Books.

Beginning in the second half of the 1970s, W.H. Allen and/or related publishers began issuing hardcover editions of the novels. In some cases these predated the paperback editions by months, often they were published simultaneously, and in the case of a few of the 1974-75 books hardcover editions weren't published for nearly a decade.

The 1980s

During the 1980's, experimentally, they published two original novels featuring further adventures of the Doctor's companions, Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma by Tony Attwood and Harry Sullivan's War by Ian Marter, who had played Harry Sullivan on television. Target also took up three scripts from the "lost" version of Season 23, which, due to the delay and re-thinking of Season 23 by the then-current production team of Doctor Who, never made their way onto screen. Target also began to look beyond the televised series for source material by novelising the radio play Slipback and the spin-off special K-9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend.

Beginning in 1981, Target began making a concerted effort to enlist the original script-writers in writing the novelisations based upon their stories, and were successful in commissioning novelisations even from writers who last worked on the series in the 1960s. Where the original author was unavailable, unwilling, or deceased, the range turned to one of its staff writers, such as Marter or Terrance Dicks. The practice of having the original scriptwriters write the books when possible would continue for the remainder of the line.

In 1982, Target phased out the practice of adding Doctor Who and... to its novelisation titles. In 1988, the practice of publishing hardcover editions was abandoned following publication of The Smugglers.

The Virgin years

During the 1990's with the company having been acquired by Virgin Publishing , the only titles still held by Target were the Doctor Who stories. Many of the titles were reissued with new covers, but to many readers they were still affectionately regarded as Target Books. Indeed Virgin itself referred to the later titles as part of "the Target Library"!

The end of Target Books

In the later years of the run, Target was successful in negotiating with Terry Nation's estate the rights to adapt four of his Daleks storylines, most notably The Chase and The Daleks' Master Plan; the latter had to be published in two volumes.

Target eventually outlasted the original run of Doctor Who itself, with ended with Season 26 in 1989. The Target line continued in the "short paperback" form until the release of Doctor Who - The Pescatons in 1991 -- an adaptation of an audio play, as virtually all televised stories had been adapted. Between 1990 and 1994 Target also republished many of its older novelisation releases with new cover art; a subsidiary, Star Books, also published omnibus paperback editions combining two books at a time.

After 1991, several additional releases were published in longer-format paperbacks by the owner of Target, Virgin Publishing, beginning with the adaptations of The Evil of the Daleks and The Power of the Daleks, the last two remaining Terry Nation scripts. The 1994 release The Paradise of Death, based upon a radio play, was the 156th and last release in the Target series.

By the time it had ended, almost every Doctor Who story ever aired on television (save for five; see below), along with several audio dramas, had appeared under the Target imprint. Within a few years of the final release, the Target Books line had fallen out of print, with many of the books, particularly the more scarce hardback editions, becoming collectors items. Virgin continued to publish a few more novelisation, but under its New Adventures and Missing Adventures lines, and none based upon televised episodes of the original series.

When Doctor Who returned to television in 2005 it was announced that no novelisations would be published, in part due to the expectation that the episodes would be easily available on DVD in due course. Nonetheless, Penguin Character Books would revive the novelisation format by releasing adaptations of episodes from the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures; appropriately, the first of these books was written by Terrance Dicks. One novelisation, adapting The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith, would feature the Doctor, appearing in a TV novelisation for the first time since the novelisation of the 1996 TV movie.

The "lost" novelisations

Target Books was unable to come to agreement with Douglas Adams or Eric Saward on the adaptation of several serials. As a result the Adams-written (or co-written) The Pirate Planet, City of Death and the unbroadcast Shada, and Saward's two Dalek stories, Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks, were never adapted for Target (the Saward stories were at one point announced as future releases, but were cancelled). Years later a New Zealand-based Doctor Who fan club published fan-written novellas adapted these storylines.

In addition, Terrance Dicks intended to novelise his stage play, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure for Target, but the project was cancelled.

Audiobook adaptations

In the early 1980s, several audio book adaptations of Target novels were released, read by Tom Baker. In 2007 BBC Audio began a new series of complete and unabridged releases of the Target novelisations giving new life to these old (and out of print) favourites. (see Target Books (BBC Audio releases)). In most cases the books are read by actors who had appeared in the original stories.

Special distribution

In July 2008, backstock of 27 Target novelisations (and a few Target-published spin-off works) were distributed at random with copies of Doctor Who Magazine #397. These were not reprints but original copies, some dating back more than 25 years.

List of Doctor Who-Related Target Titles



NOTES: The following tables are based upon Target's numbering of the book releases and the dates of first paperback publication. Up until 1988 most books were also published in a hardcover edition that, in many cases, predated the publication of the paperback by many months.
The numbering of the novelisations was introduced in 1983, with the first seventy-three books retroactively renumbered in alphabetical order (although not every book had a numbered edition). The books from #74 onwards are predominantly numbered in the order of publication, with a few notable exceptions.
No. Title Author Doctor TV Serial


016 Doctor Who and the Daleks (first pub. 1964) David Whitaker 1st The Daleks
073 Doctor Who and the Zarbi (first pub. 1965) Bill Strutton 1st The Web Planet
012 Doctor Who and the Crusaders (first pub. 1965) David Whitaker 1st The Crusade


006 Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion Terrance Dicks 3rd Spearhead from Space
009 Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters Malcolm Hulke 3rd Doctor Who and the Silurians
023 Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon Malcolm Hulke 3rd Colony in Space
018 Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks Terrance Dicks 3rd Day of the Daleks
015 Doctor Who and the Dæmons Barry Letts 3rd The Dæmons
054 Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils Malcolm Hulke 3rd The Sea Devils
001 Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen Terrance Dicks 2nd The Abominable Snowmen


013 Doctor Who and the Curse of Peladon Brian Hayles 3rd The Curse of Peladon
014 Doctor Who and the Cybermen Gerry Davis 2nd The Moonbase
028 Doctor Who and the Giant Robot Terrance Dicks 4th Robot
063 Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons Terrance Dicks 3rd Terror of the Autons
029 Doctor Who and the Green Death Malcolm Hulke 3rd The Green Death
048 Doctor Who and the Planet of the Spiders Terrance Dicks 3rd Planet of the Spiders
064 The Three Doctors Terrance Dicks 3rd The Three Doctors


040 Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster Terrance Dicks 4th Terror of the Zygons
022 Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion Malcolm Hulke 3rd Invasion of the Dinosaurs
062 Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet Gerry Davis 1st The Tenth Planet
033 Doctor Who and the Ice Warriors Brian Hayles 2nd The Ice Warriors
051 The Revenge of the Cybermen Terrance Dicks 4th Revenge of the Cybermen
027 Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks Terrance Dicks 4th Genesis of the Daleks
072 Doctor Who and the Web of Fear Terrance Dicks 2nd The Web of Fear
057 Doctor Who and the Space War Malcolm Hulke 3rd Frontier in Space
046 Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks Terrance Dicks 3rd Planet of the Daleks
050 Doctor Who and the Pyramids of Mars Terrance Dicks 4th Pyramids of Mars


008 Doctor Who and the Carnival of Monsters Terrance Dicks 3rd Carnival of Monsters
055 Doctor Who and the Seeds of Doom Philip Hinchcliffe 4th The Seeds of Doom
017 Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth Terrance Dicks 1st The Dalek Invasion of Earth
010 Doctor Who and the Claws of Axos Terrance Dicks 3rd The Claws of Axos
004 Doctor Who and the Ark in Space Ian Marter 4th The Ark in Space
007 Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius Terrance Dicks 4th The Brain of Morbius
047 The Planet of Evil Terrance Dicks 4th Planet of Evil
044 Doctor Who and the Mutants Terrance Dicks 3rd The Mutants
019 Doctor Who and the Deadly Assassin Terrance Dicks 4th The Deadly Assassin
061 Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng-Chiang Terrance Dicks 4th The Talons of Weng-Chiang
042 Doctor Who and the Masque of Mandragora Philip Hinchcliffe 4th The Masque of Mandragora


025 Doctor Who and the Face of Evil Terrance Dicks 4th The Face of Evil
032 Doctor Who and the Horror of Fang Rock Terrance Dicks 4th Horror of Fang Rock
066 Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen Gerry Davis 2nd The Tomb of the Cybermen
065 Doctor Who and the Time Warrior Terrance Dicks
(Prologue by Robert Holmes)
3rd The Time Warrior
020 Death to the Daleks Terrance Dicks 3rd Death to the Daleks
002 Doctor Who and the Android Invasion Terrance Dicks 4th The Android Invasion
056 Doctor Who and the Sontaran Experiment Ian Marter 4th The Sontaran Experiment


030 Doctor Who and the Hand of Fear Terrance Dicks 4th The Hand of Fear
036 Doctor Who and the Invisible Enemy Terrance Dicks 4th The Invisible Enemy
053 Doctor Who and the Robots of Death Terrance Dicks 4th The Robots of Death
034 Doctor Who and the Image of the Fendahl Terrance Dicks 4th Image of the Fendahl
070 Doctor Who and the War Games Malcolm Hulke 2nd The War Games
021 Doctor Who and the Destiny of the Daleks Terrance Dicks 4th Destiny of the Daleks
052 Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation Ian Marter 4th The Ribos Operation


067 Doctor Who and the Underworld Terrance Dicks 4th Underworld
035 Doctor Who and the Invasion of Time Terrance Dicks 4th The Invasion of Time
059 Doctor Who and the Stones of Blood Terrance Dicks 4th The Stones of Blood
003 Doctor Who and the Androids of Tara Terrance Dicks 4th The Androids of Tara
049 Doctor Who and the Power of Kroll Terrance Dicks 4th The Power of Kroll
005 Doctor Who and the Armageddon Factor Terrance Dicks 4th The Armageddon Factor
038 Doctor Who and the Keys of Marinus Philip Hinchcliffe 1st The Keys of Marinus
045 Doctor Who and the Nightmare of Eden Terrance Dicks 4th Nightmare of Eden
031 Doctor Who and the Horns of Nimon Terrance Dicks 4th The Horns of Nimon
043 Doctor Who and the Monster of Peladon Terrance Dicks 3rd The Monster of Peladon


011 Doctor Who and the Creature from the Pit David Fisher 4th The Creature from the Pit
024 Doctor Who and the Enemy of the World Ian Marter 2nd The Enemy of the World
068 Doctor Who and An Unearthly Child Terrance Dicks 1st An Unearthly Child


058 Doctor Who and the State of Decay Terrance Dicks 4th State of Decay
071 Doctor Who and Warriors' Gate John Lydecker 4th Warriors' Gate
037 Doctor Who and the Keeper of Traken Terrance Dicks 4th The Keeper of Traken
039 Doctor Who and the Leisure Hive David Fisher 4th The Leisure Hive
069 Doctor Who and the Visitation Eric Saward 5th The Visitation
026 Full Circle Andrew Smith 4th Full Circle
041 Logopolis Christopher H. Bidmead 4th Logopolis
060 Doctor Who and the Sunmakers Terrance Dicks 4th The Sun Makers


074 Time-Flight Peter Grimwade 5th Time-Flight
075 Meglos Terrance Dicks 4th Meglos
076 Castrovalva Christopher H. Bidmead 5th Castrovalva
077 Four to Doomsday Terrance Dicks 5th Four to Doomsday
078 Earthshock Ian Marter 5th Earthshock
079 Terminus John Lydecker 5th Terminus
080 Arc of Infinity Terrance Dicks 5th Arc of Infinity
081 The Five Doctors Terrance Dicks 5th The Five Doctors


082 Mawdryn Undead Peter Grimwade 5th Mawdryn Undead
084 Kinda Terrance Dicks 5th Kinda
083 Snakedance Terrance Dicks 5th Snakedance
085 Enlightenment Barbara Clegg 5th Enlightenment
086 The Dominators Ian Marter 2nd The Dominators
087 Warriors of the Deep Terrance Dicks 5th Warriors of the Deep
088 The Aztecs John Lucarotti 1st The Aztecs
089 Inferno Terrance Dicks 3rd Inferno
090 The Highlanders Gerry Davis 2nd The Highlanders
091 Frontios Christopher H. Bidmead 5th Frontios


093 Planet of Fire Peter Grimwade 5th Planet of Fire
092 The Caves of Androzani Terrance Dicks 5th The Caves of Androzani
094 Marco Polo John Lucarotti 1st Marco Polo
095 The Awakening Eric Pringle 5th The Awakening
096 The Mind of Evil Terrance Dicks 3rd The Mind of Evil
097 The Myth Makers Donald Cotton 1st The Myth Makers
098 The Invasion Ian Marter 2nd The Invasion
099 The Krotons Terrance Dicks 2nd The Krotons
100 The Two Doctors Robert Holmes 6th The Two Doctors


101 The Gunfighters Donald Cotton 1st The Gunfighters
102 The Time Monster Terrance Dicks 3rd The Time Monster
103 The Twin Dilemma Eric Saward 6th The Twin Dilemma
104 Galaxy 4 William Emms 1st Galaxy 4
105 Timelash Glen McCoy 6th Timelash
107 The Mark of the Rani Pip and Jane Baker 6th The Mark of the Rani
108 The King's Demons Terence Dudley 5th The King's Demons
* Slipback Eric Saward 6th Slipback (radio play)
109 The Savages Ian Stuart Black 1st The Savages
110 Fury from the Deep Victor Pemberton 2nd Fury from the Deep
111 The Celestial Toymaker Gerry Davis &
Alison Bingeman
1st The Celestial Toymaker
112 The Seeds of Death Terrance Dicks 2nd The Seeds of Death


113 Black Orchid Terence Dudley 5th Black Orchid
114 The Ark Paul Erickson 1st The Ark
115 The Mind Robber Peter Ling 2nd The Mind Robber
116 The Faceless Ones Terrance Dicks 2nd The Faceless Ones
117 The Space Museum Glyn Jones 1st The Space Museum
118 The Sensorites Nigel Robinson 1st The Sensorites
119 The Reign of Terror Ian Marter 1st The Reign of Terror
120 The Romans Donald Cotton 1st The Romans
121 The Ambassadors of Death Terrance Dicks 3rd The Ambassadors of Death
122 The Massacre John Lucarotti 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
123 The Macra Terror Ian Stuart Black 2nd The Macra Terror
* K-9 and Company Terence Dudley none K-9 and Company: "A Girl's Best Friend"


124 The Rescue Ian Marter 1st The Rescue
125 Terror of the Vervoids Pip and Jane Baker 6th Terror of the Vervoids
126 The Time Meddler Nigel Robinson 1st The Time Meddler
127 The Mysterious Planet Terrance Dicks 6th The Mysterious Planet
128 Time and the Rani Pip and Jane Baker 7th Time and the Rani
106 Vengeance on Varos Philip Martin 6th Vengeance on Varos
129 The Underwater Menace Nigel Robinson 2nd The Underwater Menace
130 The Wheel in Space Terrance Dicks 2nd The Wheel in Space
131 The Ultimate Foe Pip and Jane Baker 6th The Ultimate Foe
132 The Edge of Destruction Nigel Robinson 1st The Edge of Destruction
133 The Smugglers Terrance Dicks 1st The Smugglers
134 Paradise Towers Stephen Wyatt 7th Paradise Towers


135 Delta and the Bannermen Malcolm Kohll 7th Delta and the Bannermen
136 The War Machines Ian Stuart Black 1st The War Machines
137 Dragonfire Ian Briggs 7th Dragonfire
138 Attack of the Cybermen Eric Saward 6th Attack of the Cybermen
139 Mindwarp Philip Martin 6th Mindwarp
140 The Chase John Peel 1st The Chase
141 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 1: Mission to the Unknown John Peel 1st Mission to the Unknown
The Daleks' Master Plan
142 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 2: The Mutation of Time John Peel 1st The Daleks' Master Plan 7-12
143 Silver Nemesis Kevin Clarke 7th Silver Nemesis
144 The Greatest Show in the Galaxy Stephen Wyatt 7th The Greatest Show in the Galaxy


145 Planet of Giants Terrance Dicks 1st Planet of Giants
146 The Happiness Patrol Graeme Curry 7th The Happiness Patrol
147 The Space Pirates Terrance Dicks 2nd The Space Pirates
148 Remembrance of the Daleks Ben Aaronovitch 7th Remembrance of the Daleks
149 Ghost Light Marc Platt 7th Ghost Light
150 Survival Rona Munro 7th Survival
151 The Curse of Fenric Ian Briggs 7th The Curse of Fenric


152 Battlefield Marc Platt 7th Battlefield
153 The Pescatons Victor Pemberton 4th Doctor Who and the Pescatons (audio drama)


154 The Power of the Daleks John Peel 2nd The Power of the Daleks
155 The Evil of the Daleks John Peel 2nd The Evil of the Daleks


156 The Paradise of Death Barry Letts 3rd The Paradise of Death (radio play)

The Missing Episodes

From 1989 through 1990, as The Missing Episodes, Target published a short series which adapted scripts which have aired during Season 23, before the hiatus put on Doctor Who by Michael Grade. A few scripts which the production team intended to have aired during this version of the season remained un-novelised.

For a discussion of the missing episodes of Doctor Who (i.e. aired episodes which do not exist in the BBC Film and Videotape Library), see separate article.

The Companions of Doctor Who Series

Although intended to showcase original fiction (see below), the Companions sub-series also included a novelisation.

Junior Doctor Who

In the early 1980s, Target published two adaptations by Dicks of earlier novelisations, written for younger readers.

Original fiction

Target's Doctor Who fiction consisted exclusively of novelisations, with two exceptions.

The Companions of Doctor Who Series


Target Books also published numerous reference and behind-the-scenes books based upon Doctor Who, as well as activity and general knowledge books featuring the Doctor.

General reference

Second edition only.
Enlarged and revised edition of Volume 2 of the orginal Programme Guide.
Enlarged and revised edition of Volume 1 of the original Programme Guide.

Doctor Who Discovery Series

A non-fiction series of illustrated educational books narrated by the Fourth Doctor.

  • The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book
  • Doctor Who Discovers: Early Man
  • Doctor Who Discovers: Prehistoric Animals
  • Doctor Who Discovers: Space Travel
  • Doctor Who Discovers: The Conquerors
  • Doctor Who Discovers: Strange and Mysterious Creatures

Activity / Puzzle Books

(See also Doctor Who Quiz Books)


Further information

Non-Target novelisations

The following books adapted official and unofficial Doctor Who and Doctor Who-related productions, but were not published under the Target Books banner:

Virgin New Adventures

  • Shakedown (adapted independent film production Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans with new material involving the Doctor)

Virgin Missing Adventures

BBC Books

Penguin Character Books

The Sarah Jane Adventures

Novella-length adaptations of episodes of the spin-off series.

Related entries

Other reference sources

External Links

  • On Target A comprehensive guide to the Target novelisations. Site created and maintained by Tim Neal.
  • Dr Who Gallery This gallery only site shows all TV novelisations (Armada, Dragon, Target, Virgin and BBC) in order of publication date.


Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on

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


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