Doctor Who

Novelisations: Fourth Doctor: Season 16

Novelisations: Fourth Doctor
Archive Status / DVD Releases

The six stories from Season 16 were first released on DVD in the United States in 2002, both individually and as a complete Key to Time box set. The subsequent Key to Time box set released in the UK in September 2007 included the limited extras from the US release as well as a whole host of new features, including a second commentary on three of the stories. However, unlike the earlier release, the episodes were fully remastered. The set was initially limited to just 15,000 copies, but finally gained a proper release in November 2009. The remastered versions of the six stories were released in the United States in March 2009, both individually and as a new Key to Time box set. All releases are subtitled.

For Doctor Who's sixteenth season, the decision was taken to have a linking theme running throughout the six stories. The Key to Time season, as it became known, saw the Doctor and his new companion, Romana, sent on a quest to collect and assemble the six segments of the Key to Time which would, somehow, enable the White Guardian to restore balance to the universe and help scupper the plans of the Black Guardian into the bargain. Of the six stories, all but the second, The Pirate Planet by Douglas Adams, would eventually be novelised.


Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation

by
Ian Marter
Cover image: Doctor Who, Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation, Target Books (1979)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Target Books
Publication Date December 1979
Original Price 75p
ISBN 0426200926
Cover Artist John Geary
Book Number (No.52)

A novelisation of the 1978 television story The Ribos Operation, featuring the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 Mark II.

Later Target reprints would be numbered No.52 in the Doctor Who Library.

Back Cover Blurb
Reluctantly cancelling his well-earned holiday, the Doctor sets off in the TARDIS to trace and re-assemble the six segments of the Key to Time on which the stability of the entire Universe depends.

Assisted by the argumentative Romanadvoratrelundar and K9, he lands on the planet Ribos in search of the first segment and finds himself entangled in the machinations of two sinister strangers, Garron and the Graff Vynda Ka.

Who are they? Is Garron simply a shady confidence-trickster dealing in interplanetary real estate? Is the Graff Vynda Ka just a power-crazed exile bent on revenge? Or are they both really agents of the Black Guardian, intent upon seizing the precious Key in order to throw the Universe into eternal chaos?

Risking his life within the monster-infested catacombs of Ribos, the Doctor has to use all his wit and ingenuity to find out...
Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation
UK | Hardback | WH Allen | December 1979 | 3.75 | 0491024290
Released simultaneously with the paperback edition from Target Books.
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation
UK | 5 × CD | AudioGO | March 2011 | 13.25 | 978-1408409978
Unabridged reading of the novelisation, narrated by John Leeson.
John Leeson reads this exciting novelisation of a classic Doctor Who adventure

Reluctantly cancelling his well-earned holiday, the Doctor sets off in the TARDIS to trace and re-assemble the six segments of the Key to Time on which the stability of the entire Universe depends.

Assisted by the argumentative Romanadvoratrelundar and K9, he lands on the planet Ribos in search of the first segment and finds himself entangled in the machinations of two sinister strangers, Garron and the Graff Vynda Ka. Who are they? Is Garron simply a shady confidence-trickster dealing in interplanetary real estate? Is the Graff Vynda Ka just a power-crazed exile bent on revenge? Or are they both really agents of the Black Guardian, intent upon seizing the precious Key in order to throw the Universe into eternal chaos?

Risking his life within the monster-infested catacombs of Ribos, the Doctor has to use all his wit and ingenuity to find out...

John Leeson, who provided the voice of K9 in the original 1978 TV serial, reads Ian Marter's complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1979.
Television Story
The Ribos Operation
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

02/09/78 Part One Robert Holmes
09/09/78 Part Two Robert Holmes
16/09/78 Part Three Robert Holmes
23/09/78 Part Four Robert Holmes
Notes
  • The Ribos Operation was the first story of Season 16 of Doctor Who, better known as the Key to Time season. The six linked stories saw the Doctor, Romana and K-9 sent on a quest by the White Guardian to collect the six segments of the Key to Time.

    Unfortunately for readers of the Target books, the second story, The Pirate Planet, was written by Douglas Adams who subsequently went on to become a best-selling author and who wasn't particularly interested in novelising his three Doctor Who stories. Or in allowing anyone else to do the job, for that matter. The Target releases based on the Key to Time season therefore missed out The Pirate Planet entirely and carried on with the third story, novelised as Doctor Who and the Stones of Blood.
  • The Ribos Operation is the very first story to feature Romana and K-9 Mark II, as well as being the first occasion on which the White Guardian would appear. The character would re-appear in the final story of the Key to Time season, The Armageddon Factor, as well as in the Fifth Doctor story Enlightenment, which concluded the loosely-linked Black Guardian trilogy.
Doctor Who and the Stones of Blood

by
Terrance Dicks
Cover image: Doctor Who, Doctor Who and the Stones of Blood, Target Books (1980)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Target Books
Publication Date March 1980
Original Price 75p
ISBN 0426200993
Cover Artist Andrew Skilleter
Book Number (No.59)

A novelisation of the 1978 television story The Stones of Blood, featuring the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 Mark II.

Andrew Skilleter's cover art was one of two pieces reproduced in David J Howe's large-format book Timeframe: An Illustrated History (Doctor Who Books, 1993) to represent Season 16 of the television series.

Later Target reprints would be numbered No.59 in the Doctor Who Library.

Back Cover Blurb
Chanting, hooded figures gather inside a ring of ancient stones, using rituals of blood sacrifice to awaken the sleeping evil of the Ogri.

The Doctor and Romana go from the countryside of present day England to a deep-space cruiser trapped in hyperspace in their attempt to track down an alien criminal, and unravel the mystery of the Stones of Blood. Luckily they have the help of the faithful K9...
Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who and the Stones of Blood
UK | Hardback | WH Allen | March 1980 | 3.75 | 0491026803
Released simultaneously with the paperback edition from Target Books.
Television Story
The Stones of Blood
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

28/10/78 Part One David Fisher
04/11/78 Part Two David Fisher
11/11/78 Part Three David Fisher
18/11/78 Part Four David Fisher
Notes
  • The Stones of Blood was the third story in the Key to Time season, and the only one of the six that was to be set at least partially on Earth. It was the first of four stories to be written for the series by David Fisher (see also The Androids of Tara, The Creature from the Pit and The Leisure Hive) and he also wrote the basic storyline for what eventually became City of Death.
  • A completely new novelisation of The Stones of Blood, by original script writer David Fisher, was released exclusively as an audiobook in May 2011.
Doctor Who and the Stones of Blood

by
David Fisher
Cover image: Doctor Who, The Stones of Blood, AudioGO (2011)
Country UK
Format 4 × CD
Publisher AudioGO
Publication Date May 2011
Original Price 13.25
ISBN 978-1408467114
Cover Artist UNKNOWN

A new novelisation of the 1978 television story The Stones of Blood, featuring the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 Mark II. The audiobook is narrated by Susan Engel, who played Vivien Fay in the television production, with John Leeson voicing K-9.

Back Cover Blurb
Susan Engel reads this brand new novelisation of a classic Doctor Who serial featuring the fourth Doctor, Romana and K9.

The stone circle of Bodcombe Tor, in the South West of England, stands in tribute to a mysterious goddess. Long ago, six huge monoliths were arranged in a half circle, with an altar stone in the centre. Then one day, mysteriously, the six stones became nine. Stranger still, when blood was poured over them it was immediately absorbed...When the Doctor, Romana and K9 arrive on Bodcombe Moor, they meet the elderly Professor Rumford and her friend Vivien Fay. From them they learn the chequered history of the stones, and of the inhabitants of the nearby manor house - currently one Leonard de Vries, leader of a druidic sect. But all is not as it seems, and soon the Doctor and his companions are enmeshed in a deadly web of deceit. Powerful creatures rampage across the moor, and the nature of a long family line is called into question. Romana is trapped by a cunning enemy, and time is running out for the Doctor and K9...

With original sound design, this brand new novelisation is written specially for audio by David Fisher. It is read by Susan Engel, who played Vivien Fay in the 1978 BBC TV serial, with John Leeson as the voice of K9.
Television Story
The Stones of Blood
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

28/10/78 Part One David Fisher
04/11/78 Part Two David Fisher
11/11/78 Part Three David Fisher
18/11/78 Part Four David Fisher
Notes
  • In an unusual move, AudioGO decided to commission a brand-new novelisation of the story from David Fisher, the writer of the original television script, who had gone on record in the past to express his disappointment that he never got the chance to novelise the story himself.
Doctor Who and the Androids of Tara

by
Terrance Dicks
Cover image: Doctor Who, Doctor Who and the Androids of Tara, Target Books (1980)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Target Books
Publication Date April 1980
Original Price 75p
ISBN 0426211086
Cover Artist Andrew Skilleter
Book Number (No.3)

A novelisation of the 1978 television story The Androids of Tara, featuring the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 Mark II.

Andrew Skilleter's cover art was one of two pieces reproduced in David J Howe's large-format book Timeframe: An Illustrated History (Doctor Who Books, 1993) to represent Season 16 of the television series.

Later Target reprints would be numbered No.3 in the Doctor Who Library.

Back Cover Blurb
On a peaceful, rural planet, where the colourful pageantry of old Ruritania mingles with ultra-modern Android technology, the Doctor becomes a kingmaker in spite of himself.

In his search for another segment of the Key To Time, the Doctor matches wits and swords with th evil Count Grendel — aided of course by Romana and the invaluable K9.
Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who and the Androids of Tara
UK | Hardback | WH Allen | April 1980 | 3.95 | 049102651X
Released simultaneously with the paperback edition from Target Books.
Television Story
The Androids of Tara
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

25/11/78 Part One David Fisher
02/12/78 Part Two David Fisher
09/12/78 Part Three David Fisher
16/12/78 Part Four David Fisher
Notes
  • The Androids of Tara was the fourth story in the Key to Time season. It was the second of David Fisher's four complete scripts for the television series.
  • A completely new novelisation of The Androids of Tara, by original script writer David Fisher, was released exclusively as an audiobook in July 2012.
Doctor Who: The Androids of Tara

by
David Fisher
Cover image: Doctor Who, The Androids of Tara, AudioGO (2012)
Country UK
Format 4 × CD
Publisher AudioGO
Publication Date July 2012
Original Price 13.25
ISBN 978-1445886282
Cover Artist UNKNOWN

A new novelisation of the 1978 television story The Androids of Tara, featuring the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 Mark II. The audiobook is narrated by John Leeson, who voiced K-9.

Back Cover Blurb
In search of a segment of the Key of Time, the Doctor, Romana, and K9 arrive on the planet Tara, whose population has long mastered the art of android engineering. Romana is apprehended by the ambitious Count Grendel, who seeks to overthrow the king in waiting, and the Doctor is coerced into helping those loyal to the crown. With Reynart locked away in Grendel's dungeons, the Doctor must perfect an android that can be crowned in his place. Yet Reynart is not the only one of Grendel's prisoners to have a double: the captive Princess Strella is Romana's doppelganger. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues as Grendel seeks to destroy the Doctor in his race to the Taran throne.

With original sound design, this brand new novelisation is written specially for audio by David Fisher. It is read by John Leeson, who was the original Voice of K9 in the BBC TV series.
Television Story
The Androids of Tara
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

25/11/78 Part One David Fisher
02/12/78 Part Two David Fisher
09/12/78 Part Three David Fisher
16/12/78 Part Four David Fisher
Notes
  • Another completely new novelisation written exclusively for audio. As with the Stones of Blood audiobook in 2011, the Target Books novelisation of The Androids of Tara had originally been written by Terrance Dicks, with David Fisher subsequently expressing disappointment that he'd never been given the chance to novelise the story himself.
  • With the release of the Androids of Tara audiobook, David Fisher has now novelised all four of his produced scripts to Doctor Who.
Doctor Who and the Power of Kroll

by
Terrance Dicks
Cover image: Doctor Who, Doctor Who and the Power of Kroll, Target Books (1980)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Target Books
Publication Date May 1980
Original Price 85p
ISBN 0426201019
Cover Artist Andrew Skilleter
Book Number (No.49)

A novelisation of the 1978/9 television story The Power of Kroll, featuring the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 Mark II.

Later Target reprints would be numbered No.49 in the Doctor Who Library.

Back Cover Blurb
The huge, octopus-like Kroll lived deep in the swamps of the humid, steamy planet.

To the native swamp-warriors, Kroll was an angry, mythical god. To the money-grabbing alien technicians, Kroll was a threat to a profit-making scheme.

In their search for another segment of the Key to Time, the Doctor and Romana have to face the suspicion of the Lagoon dwellers, the stupidity of the technicians and, finally, the power of Kroll...
Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who and the Power of Kroll
UK | Hardback | WH Allen | May 1980 | 3.95 | 07491027214
Released simultaneously with the paperback edition from Target Books.
Television Story
The Power of Kroll
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

23/12/78 Part One Robert Holmes
30/12/78 Part Two Robert Holmes
06/01/79 Part Three Robert Holmes
13/01/79 Part Four Robert Holmes
Notes
  • The Power of Kroll was the fifth story in the Key to Time season.
Doctor Who and the Armageddon Factor

by
Terrance Dicks
Cover image: Doctor Who, Doctor Who and the Armageddon Factor, Target Books (1980)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Target Books
Publication Date June 1980
Original Price 85p
ISBN 0426201043
Cover Artist Bill Donohoe
Book Number (No.5)

A novelisation of the 1979 television story The Armageddon Factor, featuring the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 Mark II.

Later Target reprints would be numbered No.5 in the Doctor Who Library.

Back Cover Blurb
Some time ago, the White Guardian, one of the most powerful beings in the Cosmos, had set the Doctor an urgent task — to find and reassemble the six segments of the Key to Time.

The Doctor and Romana had successfully retrieved five of the segments and now they have reached the planet Atrios in the middle of an atomic war, to search for the last, most vital piece.

Sinister dangers await them in this final stage of their quest...
Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who and the Armageddon factor
UK | Hardback | WH Allen | June 1980 | 3.95 | 0491026609
Released simultaneously with the paperback edition from Target Books.
Television Story
The Armageddon Factor
6 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

20/01/79 Part One Bob Baker and Dave Martin
27/01/79 Part Two Bob Baker and Dave Martin
03/02/79 Part Three Bob Baker and Dave Martin
10/02/78 Part Four Bob Baker and Dave Martin
17/02/79 Part Five Bob Baker and Dave Martin
24/02/79 Part Six Bob Baker and Dave Martin
Notes
Cover image: Doctor Who, Enlightenment, Target Books (1984)

Cover image: Doctor Who, The Well-Mannered War, Doctor Who Books (1997)
  • The Armageddon Factor was the sixth and final story in the Key to Time season. It was the last story to feature Mary Tamm as Romana, with the opening story of the following season, Destiny of the Daleks, seeing the character regenerate into the form of Lalla Ward, who played the part of Princess Astra in The Armageddon Factor.
  • The character of Drax was from Gallifrey, like the Doctor and Romana, and would later turn up in Search for the Doctor, a Make Your Own Adventure With Doctor Who book written by Dave Martin and published in 1986.
  • The Black Guardian would later re-appear in the television series during the Fifth Doctor's era in the stories Mawdryn Undead, Terminus and Enlightenment. The last of that loosely-linked trilogy also saw the White Guardian re-appearing as the Black Guardian's plans were foiled once again.

    Away from the television series, the Black Guardian has made one other significant appearance in Gareth Roberts' 1997 novel The Well-Mannered War, a Fourth Doctor tale which was set between Shada and The Leisure Hive.