Doctor Who

Novelisations: Fifth Doctor: Season 20

Novelisations: Fifth Doctor
Archive Status / DVD Releases

All six stories from Season 20, plus The Five Doctors, have been released on DVD in the UK and the United States. Mawdryn Undead, Terminus and Enlightenment were released as the Black Guardian Trilogy. Snakedance was included in the Mara Tales box set, with The King's Demons being included in the Kamelion Tales box set. The four stories from the latter two sets were released individually in the United States. The Five Doctor has been released several times on DVD, most recently as a 25th Anniversary Edition which included the original television edit for the first time. All releases are subtitled.
Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity

by
Terrance Dicks
Cover image: Doctor Who, Arc of Infinity, WH Allen (1983)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher WH Allen
Publication Date July 1983
Original Price 6.50
ISBN 0491030614
Cover Artist N/A

A novelisation of the 1983 television story Arc of Infinity, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan.

Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity
UK | Paperback | Target Books | October 1983 | 1.35 | 0426194323 | (No. 80)
From 1983, the Doctor Who novelisations from Target were numbered, with the first 73 releases being organised into alphabetical order. Books 74 to 78 and 80 did not initially have the numbers on the spines, however, although later reprints did.
When the Doctor returns to Gallifrey, he learns that his bio data extract has been stolen from the Time Lords' master computer known as the Matrix.

The bio data extract is a detailed description of the Doctor's molecular structure — and this information, in the wrong hands, could be exploited with disastrous effect.

The Gallifreyan High Council believe that anti-matter will be infiltrated into the universe as a result of the theft. In order to render the information useless, they decide the Doctor must die...
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity
UK | Paperback | Target Books | March 1992 | 2.99 | 0426194323 | No. 80
A new paperback edition of the novelisation, with new cover artwork from Alister Pearson, which was later one of two pieces reproduced in David J Howe's large-format book Timeframe: An Illustrated History (Doctor Who Books, 1993) to represent Season 20 of the television series.
Television Story
Arc of Infinity
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

03/01/83 Part One Johnny Byrne
05/01/83 Part Two Johnny Byrne
11/01/83 Part Three Johnny Byrne
12/01/83 Part Four Johnny Byrne
Regular Characters
Fifth Doctor / Nyssa / Tegan Jovanka

Familiar Faces / Returning Characters
President Borusa / Omega / Castellan
Notes
  • Arc of Infinity was Johnny Byrne's second story for Doctor Who, after Season 18's The Keeper of Traken.
  • Arc of Infinity kicked off Season 20 of Doctor Who, and as such included a nod to the past in the form of Omega, the temporal engineer who had nearly destroyed Gallifrey and the Doctor in the series' tenth anniversary tale The Three Doctors, in 1972/3.

    Another nod to the past was the inclusion of Borusa, now President of the High Council, and in yet regeneration. The character had first appeared in the 1976 tale The Deadly Assassin, before re-eappering when the Sontarans invaded Gallifrey in The Invasion of Time. His final appearance would be in the 20th anniversary special, The Five Doctors...

    The story also re-introduced Tegan, who had been left behind on Earth at the end of Time-Flight, the final story of the previous season.
Doctor Who: Snakedance

by
Terrance Dicks
Cover image: Doctor Who, Snakedance, WH Allen (1984)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher WH Allen
Publication Date January 1984
Original Price 5.95
ISBN 0491031513
Cover Artist Andrew Skilleter

A novelisation of the 1983 television story Snakedance, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan.

Andrew Skilleter's cover art was reproduced in the large-format book Blacklight: The Art of Andrew Skilleter (Doctor Who Books, 1995).

Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: Snakedance
UK | Paperback | Target Books | April 1984 | 1.35 | 0426194578 | No. 83

The TARDIS arrives on the planet Manussa — much to the Doctor's surprise, because Tegan has mysteriously set the co-ordinates.

But Tegan, once again a member of the TARDIS crew, is not her own boss. An unsuspecting medium for the sinister Mara, she enables the evil exile to return to his home planet.

On Manussa the ten-yearly celebration of the Mara's banishment is about to take place. Only the Doctor realises that this could in fact mark the spectacular revival of a reign of terror — but no one will heed his warning.
Television Story
Snakedance
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

18/01/83 Part One Christopher Bailey
19/01/83 Part Two Christopher Bailey
25/01/83 Part Three Christopher Bailey
26/01/83 Part Four Christopher Bailey
Regular Characters
Fifth Doctor / Nyssa / Tegan Jovanka

Familiar Faces / Returning Characters
The Mara
Notes
  • Snakedance was the second and final story to be written for the series by Christopher Bailey, and was a sequel to the previous season's Kinda, which had introduced the Mara.
  • Snakedance marked the end for the unpopular photographic covers on the Fifth Doctor novelisations.
Doctor Who: Mawdryn Undead

by
Peter Grimwade
Cover image: Doctor Who, Mawdryn Undead, WH Allen (1983)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher WH Allen
Publication Date August 1983
Original Price 5.50
ISBN 0491030916
Cover Artist N/A

A novelisation of the 1983 television story Mawdryn Undead, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough.

Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: Mawdryn Undead
UK | Paperback | Target Books | January 1984 | 1.35 | 0426193938 | No. 82

The Doctor's time-travelling machine is trapped in the flight-path of an alien spacecraft in orbit around the Earth. To avoid the fatal impact of a head-on collision the TARDIS resorts to the only escape possible and materialises on board the on-coming liner.

This solves the immediate problem, but a new difficulty arises — the TARDIS cannot get off the ship until a radio signal transmitting from Earth has been disconnected.

The Doctor sets off in a Transmat Capsule, having programmed the TARDIS to enable Tegan and Nyssa to follow him once he has dealt with the interference.

Naturally enough, things don't go quite as planned...
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: Mawdryn Undead
UK | Paperback | Target Books | March 1992 | 2.99 | 0426193938 | No. 82
A new paperback edition of the novelisation, with new cover artwork from Alister Pearson.
Television Story
Mawdryn Undead
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

01/02/83 Part One Peter Grimwade
02/02/83 Part Two Peter Grimwade
08/02/83 Part Three Peter Grimwade
09/02/83 Part Four Peter Grimwade
Regular Characters
Fifth Doctor / Nyssa / Tegan Jovanka / Turlough

Familiar Faces / Returning Characters
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart / The Black Guardian
Notes
  • Mawdryn Undead was the second of three scripts written for the series by Peter Grimwade, and he went on to novelise all three himself.
  • Mawdryn Undead marked the first appearance in the series of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart since Terror of the Zygons in 1975, although by this point he had left UNIT and was, er, teaching maths in a boys school... The Brigadier wasn't the only character from the past to re-appear, however, as the story was effectively the first part of a trilogy in which the Black Guardian, from The Armageddon Factor in Season 16, tries to make good on his promise to destroy the Doctor. And the easiest way to do this is by enlisting the help of Turlough, a pupil at the school, but one whose knowledge is rather more advanced than is normal. The character would join the time travellers on their journeys at the end of the story.
Doctor Who: Terminus

by
John Lydecker
Cover image: Doctor Who, Terminus, WH Allen (1983)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher WH Allen
Publication Date June 1983
Original Price 5.50
ISBN 0491031319
Cover Artist N/A

A novelisation of the 1983 television story Terminus, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough.

Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: Terminus
UK | Paperback | Target Books | September 1983 | 1.50 | 0426093857 | No. 79
Terminus was the first novelisation from Target which would be numbered on the spine. The first 73 releases were organized into alphabetical order, with each subsequent book then added to the list. Books 74 to 78 and 80 did not initially have the numbers on the spines, however, although later reprints did.
When the TARDIS console is wilfully sabotaged, the Doctor's time machine becomes dimensionally unstable and begins to dissolve. The area immediately affected is the room where Nyssa is working by herself.

As the creeping instability closes in on her, the TARDIS locks onto the nearest passing spacecraft, and the process of collapse is halted — but there is no sign of Nyssa.

Hoping that she has escaped onto the strangely deserted host liner, the Doctor goes looking for her. Whether or not he finds her, getting back to the TARDIS will be no easy business...
Television Story
Terminus
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

15/02/83 Part One Stephen Gallagher
16/02/83 Part Two Stephen Gallagher
22/02/83 Part Three Stephen Gallagher
23/02/83 Part Four Stephen Gallagher
Regular Characters
Fifth Doctor / Nyssa / Tegan Jovanka / Turlough

Familiar Faces / Returning Characters
The Black Guardian
Notes
  • Terminus was the second and final story to be written for the television series by novelist Stephen Gallagher. His earlier story was Warriors' Gate for Season 18, and he was to novelise both stories for WH Allen/Target under the pen-name John Lydecker. His later work for television would include numerous episodes of BUGS; several episodes of the anthology series Chiller; adapting his novels Chimera and Oktober for ITV; creating and writing several episodes of Eleventh Hour; and scripting episodes of Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes and Rosemary and Thyme.
  • Terminus was the final story to feature Nyssa, as she left the TARDIS at the conclusion of the story in order to help find a cure for Lazar's Disease. The story also saw the continuation of the sub-plot involving the Black Guardian and Turlough's somewhat inept attempts to kill the Doctor and sabotage the TARDIS.
Doctor Who: Enlightenment

by
Barbara Clegg
Cover image: Doctor Who, Enlightenment, WH Allen (1984)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher WH Allen
Publication Date February 1984
Original Price 5.95
ISBN 0491031327
Cover Artist Andrew Skilleter

A novelisation of the 1983 television story Enlightenment, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough.

Andrew Skilleter's cover art was reproduced in the large-format book Blacklight: The Art of Andrew Skilleter (Doctor Who Books, 1995).

Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: Enlightenment
UK | Paperback | Target Books | May 1984 | 1.35 | 042619537X | No. 85

In response to a warning of great danger given by the White Guardian, the Doctor sets new co-ordinates and the TARDIS materialises on the heaving deck of an Edwardian racing yacht.

But the Doctor soon discovers that this is no ordinary yacht — and no ordinary race. Captain Striker is competing for an unusual prize — 'Enlightenment'.

The crew will be lucky to reach port safely — but with such a prize would they be lucky to win?
Television Story
Enlightenment
4 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

01/03/83 Part One Barbara Clegg
02/03/83 Part Two Barbara Clegg
08/03/83 Part Three Barbara Clegg
09/03/83 Part Four Barbara Clegg
Regular Characters
Fifth Doctor / Tegan Jovanka / Turlough

Familiar Faces / Returning Characters
The Black Guardian / The White Guardian
Notes
  • Enlightenment was the only story ever to be written for the series by Barbara Clegg, and brought to a conclusion the Black Guardian trilogy which had begun in Mawdryn Undead and continued with Terminus, Unsurprisingly, the White Guardian also put in an appearance towards the end.
Doctor Who: The King's Demons

by
Terence Dudley
Cover image: Doctor Who, The King's Demons, WH Allen (1986)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher WH Allen
Publication Date February 1986
Original Price 6.50
ISBN 0491036426
Cover Artist David McAllister

A novelisation of the 1983 television story The King's Demons, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough.

David McAllister'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 20 of the television series.

Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: The King's Demons
UK | Paperback | Target Books | July 1986 | 1.60 | 0426202279 | No. 108

It is 4 March, 1215, and the TARDIS materialises in England during a jousting match held in the presence of King John.

But it soon becomes apparent to the Doctor that something is very seriously wrong. Why does John express no fear or surprise at the time-travellers' sudden appearance, and indeed welcome them as the King's Demons? And what is the true identity of Sir Gilles, the King's Champion?

Very soon the Doctor finds himself involved in a fiendish plan to alter the course of world history by one of his oldest and deadliest enemies.
Television Story
The King's Demons
2 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

15/03/83 Part One Terence Dudley
16/03/83 Part Two Terence Dudley
Regular Characters
Fifth Doctor / Tegan Jovanka / Turlough

Familiar Faces / Returning Characters
The Master / Kamelion
Notes
  • The King's Demons was the last of three stories to be written for the television series by Terence Dudley, and was the only tale in Season 20 to feature the Master. On this particular occasion he was disguised as King John's Champion, Sir Gilles Estram, and had managed to find himself in possesion of a shape-changing android named Kamelion, who would find himself aboard the Doctor's TARDIS at the conclusion of the story. The mechanical prop was difficult to use effectively, however, and wasn't to re-appear again until Planet of Fire in Season 21, although an unused scene featuring the character was filmed for The Awakening.
Doctor Who: The Five Doctors

by
Terrance Dicks
Cover image: Doctor Who, The Five Doctors, WH Allen (1983)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Target Books
Publication Date November 1983
Original Price 1.50
ISBN 0426195108
Cover Artist Andrew Skilleter
Book Number (No.81)

A novelisation of the 20th anniversary television special The Five Doctors, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough.

Andrew Skilleter's cover art was reproduced in the large-format book Blacklight: The Art of Andrew Skilleter (Doctor Who Books, 1995).

Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: The Five Doctors
UK | Hardback | WH Allen | November 1983 | 5.95 | 0491030525
Released simultaneously with the paperback edition from Target Books.
A twentieth anniversary special featuring the Doctor in all five of his regenerations.

Why are all five Doctors being removed from their separate time-streams? Who is the enemy they will have to unite against? What will become of the Doctors when the battle is over?

We have travelled a long way with Doctor Who. The Five Doctors gives us a chance to turn the clock back and meet some old friends — and some old enemies.
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: The Five Doctors
UK | Paperback | Target Books | February 1991 | 2.50 | 0426195108 | No. 81
A new edition of the novelisation, utilising Alister Pearson's cover art from the unedited BBC Video release of the story, which had been issued in July the previous year.
Television Story
The Five Doctors
1 × 90 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

25/11/83 The Five DoctorsTerrance Dicks
Regular Characters
Fifth Doctor / Tegan Jovanka / Turlough

Familiar Faces / Returning Characters
First Doctor / Second Doctor / Third Doctor / Fourth Doctor / Susan Foreman / Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart / Sarah Jane Smith / Romana II / The Master / The Cybermen / The Daleks / The Yeti / President Borusa / Castellan / Jamie McCrimmon / Zoe Heriot / Liz Shaw / Captain Mike Yates / K9 Mark III
Notes
  • As should be obvious from the details above, The Five Doctors was a one-off special produced to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Doctor Who. As well as featuring all five Doctors, it also brought back numerous old companions and enemies, and tried its best to provide a coherent story into the bargain!
  • The Five Doctors was the final story to be written for the television series by Terrance Dicks, the former script editor on the show between 1968 and 1974, and prolific noveliser of Doctor Who stories for WH Allen/Target.
  • The novelisation of The Five Doctors was unusual in a number of respects.

    Firstly, it was released simultaneously in hardback and paperback, rather than having the paperback edition follow on some months after the hardback as was usual with the Doctor Who novelisations at the time.

    Secondly, the paperback version was considered important enough to have a silver foil cover as well as a "First Edition" flash across the bottom right-hand corner.

    And finally, the novelisation was actually available to buy before the story aired on television in the UK — something which wasn't at all to the liking of series producer John Nathan-Turner. The only other novelisation of a Doctor Who television story to be available in advance of broadcast was the one based on the 1996 Doctor Who television movie, which arguably went one better as there was a script book released as well!