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During the 70s and 80s, in the days before video took off, the way to catch up on previous Doctor Who stories was by reading the novelisations from Target Books, which retold (and frequently expanded on) the stories on TV.

Notable authors included Terrance Dicks (who wrote more Doctor Who novelisations than anyone else), Malcolm Hulke, Philip Hinchcliffe, Ian Marter, and David Whitaker, all of whom had worked on the TV series in various capacities.

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Target Books was established in 1973, publishing TV novelisations and other books for children. The Doctor Who line was its most successful, and in later years the two became synonymous: "Target Books" meant Doctor Who novelisations and vice versa.

Because Target's target audience was children, the novelisations used simplified language and were stuck with a maximum page count of around 150 pages, even for epics like the 10-part "The War Games". A special concession was made for "The Daleks' Master Plan", 13 episodes including the prologue, which was published in two volumes, although this was very late in the series where the books were being marketed to the adult fan-collector market as much as to the original child audience. The quality of the writing varies considerably, from thin Beige Prose to relatively sophisticated works that took time to fill out characters' personalities and backstories; Malcolm Hulke's novelisations, for instance, were notable examples of the latter type.

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The first three Doctor Who novelisations, Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure With the Daleks (based on "The Daleks" and reprinted as Doctor Who and the Daleks), Doctor Who and the Crusaders (based on "The Crusade"), and Doctor Who and the Zarbi (based on "The Web Planet") were originally published by Frederick Muller in the 1960s, before Target Books reprinted them and bought the rights to new novelisations. The Target series began with Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion, written by Terrance Dicks and based on "Spearhead from Space".

Almost every story from the classic series got a novelisation during Target's lifetime. The four exceptions were the two Dalek stories by Eric Saward, "Resurrection of the Daleks" and "Revelation of the Daleks", due to conflict between Saward and the Daleks' agent about the division of royalties; and Douglas Adams' two stories, "The Pirate Planet" and "City of Death", because Adams wanted the novelisations to be done by someone who could do justice to the material (namely, himself) but having hit the big time with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy he was too busy, or too expensive, or both.

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Circa 1979, ten of the novelisations were brought to America by Pinnacle Books. The reprints had a foreword by Harlan Ellison, some edits to make them US-friendly (jelly babies changed to jelly beans, etc.) and covers that never actually showed the Doctor or the TARDIS.

As the '80's wore on, Target began to branch out. It did abridged versions of the "Robot" and "The Brain of Morbius" novelisations for younger children under the Junior Doctor Who sub-series. It adapted the audio drama Doctor Who and the Pescatons into The Pescatons, as well as another audio story, Slipback. It novelised K-9 and Company under the Companions of Doctor Who sub-series, which had previously included the original novels Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma by Tony Attwood and Harry Sullivan's War, written by Ian Marter, the Target author who had played Harry on Doctor Who. Three novelisations of the original, cancelled Season 23 stories The Nightmare Fair, The Ultimate Evil and Mission to Magnus appeared under another sub-series.

In 1990, Target's parent company, W H Allen, became Virgin Publishing. They brought out the remaining unadapted novelisations under the Target imprint, and started a new line of original Doctor Who novels, the Doctor Who New Adventures. The last original Target novelisations, none of which carried the Target logo on the cover, were audio drama The Paradise Of Death and TV stories "The Power of the Daleks" and "The Evil of the Daleks". The final book under the Target imprint was a reprint of "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" in 1994.

In 1995, the radio drama The Ghosts of N-Space was novelised as one of the Doctor Who Missing Adventures. In 1996, BBC Books released a novelisation of the TV movie with Paul McGann, and in 2004 the animated webcast "Scream of the Shalka" was novelised by Paul Cornell, effectively part of the Past Doctor Adventures range.

In 2007 the BBC began releasing audiobooks of the novelisations, read by a cast member; several stories had entirely new adaptations written, often due to dissatisfaction with the original on the author's part. Also that year, Telos Publishing published The Target Book, a guide to the history of Target and its Doctor Who novelisations.

In 2011, the BBC reissued six of the novelisations in new editions with introductions by writers including Neil Gaiman, Stephen Baxter, and Russell T. Davies. In 2012, they reissued six more. In 2013, when the BBC reissued a spin-off novel for each Doctor as part of the 50th anniversary, the first six were Past Doctor Adventures released in the late 1990s and 2000s, but the Seventh Doctor's was the 1990 novelisation of "Remembrance of the Daleks". In 2016, they reissued ten more novelisations, three of which were hardback facsimiles of the original Frederick Muller novelisations.

In 2012, BBC Books published the first new novelisation in years: Gareth Roberts' novelisation of Douglas Adams' "Shada" (a story cancelled in mid-production by a strike at the BBC). Unlike previous novelisations, it was aimed at a general audience, and clocked in at approximately 400 pages. James Goss's novelisation of "City of Death" followed in 2015, with his novelisation of "The Pirate Planet" officially completing the set of Adams-related novelisations in 2017 (with copies available the last week of 2016). Goss's novelisation of Adams' unmade film proposal "Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen" (best known as the basis for Life, the Universe and Everything) was released in 2018, with an adaptation of Tom Baker and Ian Marter's unproduced screenplay "Doctor Who Meets Scratchman" to follow in 2019.

BBC Books released the first novelisations of stories from the revival series in 2018, resurrecting the Target logo for the covers: "Rose", novelised by Russell T. Davies, "The Christmas Invasion", novelised by Jenny Colgan, "The Day of the Doctor", novelised by Steven Moffat, and "Twice Upon a Time", novelised by Paul Cornell. "City of Death" was released in an abridged version alongside them, with the same cover design.


These novels provide examples of:

  • A True Story in My Universe: According to "The Day of the Doctor" (building off a reference Steven Moffat couldn't get into the TV story), the Peter Cushing "Dr. Who" movies exist in the Whoniverse, and are based on the Doctor's adventures.
  • Actor Allusion: The novelisation of "The Tomb of the Cybermen" has the Doctor compare Victoria to Alice Liddell. Deborah Watling had previously played Alice in Denis Potter's TV play of the same name. The novelisation even goes to the length of making Victoria blonde so she resembles the Tenniel illustrations of Alice.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • The novelisation of "The Tomb of the Cybermen" makes Victoria blonde.
    • In "The Daleks' Master Plan", Karlton was bald. In the novelisation, he has grey hair.
    • The novelisation of "Inferno" describes Liz as having red hair.
    • In the novelisation of "Death to the Daleks", Jill is stated to be blonde. On screen, she has red hair.
    • In the novelisation of "The Curse of Fenric", Jean is described as blonde. On screen, she has dark hair.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • In the novelisation of "Shada", Skagra is described as extremely, androgynously beautiful, especially his 'full, sensual lips'. A side character expresses amazement that even though Skagra has a facial scar, it's a sexy one instead of a disfiguring one.
    • Also in the novelisation of "Shada", Discussed Trope In-Universe when Romana sees the Outlaws, ancient murderers, tyrants and terrorists of Gallifreyan history she used to have nightmares about as a child, based on a children's picture book she used to have called "Our Planet Story". She sees that the real Lady Scintilla is very different to the drawing of her in the book, which portrayed her as a tall, imperious Ice Queen, remarking that she's actually short and 'dumpy' — but she still possesses razor-sharp, blood red Femme Fatalons.
    • In the novelisation of "The Web of Fear", Emil is described as tall and white-haired; in the television version he is short, balding and dark-haired.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the TV version of "Shada", Salyavin is a reformed villain; in the novelisation, he was never actually a villain at all, but just misunderstood.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • In Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion, Whitaker is portrayed as much more selfish and arrogant, and as having a far more hostile relationship with Butler, than on television, with his main priority being proving his theories work.
    • In the novelisation of "The Twin Dilemma", Hugo Lang is a less sympathetic character than on screen, dreaming of becoming a celebrity by rescuing the twins without any real personal risk, considering abandoning the Doctor and Peri on Jaconda and staying behind because he thinks Slarn will pay him highly to be his bodyguard.
  • Adaptational Job Change:
    • In the novelisation of "Death to the Daleks", Railton is said to be a scientist rather than a marine captain, although he is still specified as being senior to Galloway.
    • In the novelisation of "Survival", Paterson is a police sergeant as opposed to being a Territorial Army sergeant as originally intended.
    • In the novelisation of "Rose", Wilson's position at Hernik's is Senior Caretaker instead of Chief Electrical Officer.
  • Adaptational Sexuality:
  • Adaptational Ugliness: The book adaptation of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" gives Butler (played by an unblemished Martin Jarvis on TV) a disfiguring facial scar for the purpose of a scene which called for the Doctor to observe him setting a bomb — the audience had to know the character was Butler, but the Doctor hadn't met him yet and didn't know who he was. Giving him a scar gave him something striking that the Doctor could describe him by.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • Doctor Who and the Space War removes the "Frontier in Space" twist Cliffhanger ending of the Doctor getting shot, but both Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks and "Planet of the Daleks" start with the Doctor near-fatally wounded.
    • Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion omits nearly all the material of the Doctor on the run from the authorities, meaning there is no explanation for why Finch turns up at UNIT headquarters believing the Doctor to have been captured and returned there. (On television, the Doctor sends a fake radio message to that effect.)
    • The adaptation of "The Robots of Death" has an utter howler when a character shows up to watch the Doctor being tortured, who was last encountered having been strangled to death.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Susan Foreman becomes Susan English in "Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks"
    • In the novelisation of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", Carl Tyler is renamed Jim Tyler, while Jack Craddock is renamed Bill Craddock.
    • David Campbell is called David Cameron at the start of "Doctor Who and the Crusaders", predating the birth of the British prime minister of the same name.
    • In the novelisation of "The Gunfighters", Kate Fisher is renamed Kate Elder.
    • Several novelisations present Telos as the Cybermen homeworld, and Mondas as a later colony, instead of the other way around. (The TV series eventually decided to go with the Cybermen originating independently on multiple worlds, including Mondas and Telos, in "The Doctor Falls".)
    • When Terrance Dicks novelised "The Abominable Snowmen", he made slight changes to the names of characters - Padmasambhava became Padmasambvha, Songsten became Songtsen, Thonmi became Thomni and so on - apparently on the advice of Barry Letts who, as a follower of Buddhism, considered what Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln had done was unnecessary and risked offence (the names were real historical figures).
    • In the novelisation of "The Enemy of the World", two of the gunmen in the hovercraft are renamed; Anton is named Tony and Curly is named Tibor.
    • In the novelisation of "The Web of Fear", Julius Silverstein is renamed "Emil Julius" in order to remove the offensive Jewish stereotype.
    • In the novelisation of "The Invasion", International Electromatics is renamed International Electromatix. The logo is also changed from a representation of the letters to a lightning bolt insignia and the company has a private commune. Planet 14 is referred to as Planet Sigma Gamma 14. The missile base is renamed from Henlow Downs to Henlow Flats. Major Branwell becomes Squadron Leader Bradwell and Sergeant Peters becomes a flight lieutenant. (These are RAF ranks rather than the army ones given on screen.)
    • In Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion, John Ransome is renamed Harry Ransome.
    • In Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, Dr. Quinn's first name is changed from Charles to Matthew, while Major Baker is renamed Major Barker and Masters' first name is changed from Edward to Frederick. The name of the hospital is changed from Wenley Hospital to St Mary's Cottage Hospital.
    • In the novelisation of "The Ambassadors of Death", reporter John Wakefield is renamed Michael Wakefield, possibly in tribute to the actor who played him in the televised story, Michael Wisher.
    • In the novelisation of "Terror of the Autons", Rossini's real name is given in the novelisation as Lew Ross, instead of Lew Russell. The name of his circus is changed from International Circus to Circus Rossini.
    • In the novelisation of "The Daemons", Jim is renamed Josh Wilkins and Tom Girton is renamed Tom Wilkins.
    • In the novelisation of "Day of the Daleks", Auderly House is named Austerly House, to avoid confusion with the real life Auderly House. Monia is renamed Moni.
    • "Planet of the Spiders" included references to Dr. Sullivan, but in the book this becomes Dr. Sweetman. Also, Land is renamed Lands.
    • In the novelisation of "Pyramids of Mars", the Osirans are renamed Osirians.
    • In the novelisation of "Image of the Fendahl", David Mitchell's first name is changed to Harry.
    • In the novelisation of "The Ribos Operation", Cyrrhenis Minima is renamed Cyrrhenis Minimis.
    • In the novelisation of "Black Orchid", Charles Cranleigh becomes Charles Percival Beauchamp, Tenth Marquess of Cranleigh, with his brother George Beauchamp having been the ninth marquess.
    • In the novelisation of "Dragonfire", Anderson is renamed Eisenstein.
    • In the novelisation of "The Curse of Fenric", Prozorov is renamed Trofimov.
  • Adapted Out:
    • In Doctor Who and the Zarbi, Hrhoonda is replaced by Challis.
    • Steven's stuffed panda mascot, HiFi, does not appear in the novelisation of "The Chase", but confusingly features in the following book, "The Time Meddler".
    • Professor Webster is omitted from the novelisation of "The Daleks' Master Plan".
    • Charles de Teligny is omitted from the novelisation of "The Massacre".
    • The sonic screwdriver doesn't appear in the novelisation of "Fury from the Deep", ironically the story it deubted in.
    • Jimmy, one of the reporters from "Spearhead from Space" is absent from the novelisation.
    • Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters omits Sergeant Hart, Private Wright, Private Upton and Corporal Nutting.
    • Browrose is omitted from the "Terror of the Autons" novelisation, with most of his role going to the Brigadier.
    • The Whomobile does not appear at all in Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion; the Doctor instead uses a borrowed army motorbike, which was to have been his mode of transport in the original scripts for the televised version.
    • Phillips is omitted from Doctor Who and the Giant Robot.
  • Age Lift:
    • Keith Perry is described as being in his mid-twenties in the novelisation of "The Evil of the Daleks", but onscreen he looks older.
    • The middle-aged policeman in "The Invasion" is described as young in the novelisation.
    • In Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, Meredith is descirbed as a good-looking young man, while in the televised serial he is older.
    • In the novelisation of "The Curse of Fenric", Wainwright is described as "young", rather than middle-aged.
  • Alice Allusion:
    • The novelisation of "The Tomb of the Cybermen" makes Victoria blonde, to resemble the Tenniel version of Alice.
    • In the novelisation of "The Mind Robber", the Master of the Land dresses Zoe as Alice, so that the narrative sends her tumbling down a deep hole.
  • All There in the Manual: Some stories, particularly "Warriors' Gate" and about half of the Seventh Doctor's later adventures, are much easier to follow in the novelisations than they were on screen. One particularly notorious example is the novelisation to "Dragonfire", which in the TV version had a scene wherein the Doctor hangs off a cliff by his umbrella for what appears to be absolutely no reason whatsoever; the novel explains that the Doctor is using it to try and reach a ledge lower down, but slips and loses his footing.
  • Always Someone Better: The novelisation of "The Pyramids of Mars" makes it clear that Sutekh is so powerful, that if he gets loose, not even the full power of the Time Lords will be able to stop him. It took the combined efforts of seven hundred and forty one of his fellow Phaester Osirians to imprison him the first time - Sutekh is that powerful.
  • Anachronism Stew: The novelisation of "The Time Warrior" includes a reference to Irongron's kitchen staff peeling potatoes, centuries before potatoes were introduced to Europe.
  • And I Must Scream: Kerensky's death in the novelisation of "City of Death". He's aged to death in the episode but in the novel the process is told from his point of view. He watches years go by as the room around him stays the same. He even writes the formula for a field interface stabilizer which could get him out, but he's powerless to use it. It's said that he's eventually killed by sheer boredom.
  • Appeal to Obscurity: In the novelisation of "The Silurians", a scientist uses this excuse to keep quiet about the Silurians, rather than go public and find his place in history obscured by journalists and politicians, by mentioning the controversy over who invented the radio (it wasn't Marconi).
  • Arc Words: In the novelisation of "Rose", Mickey's in a band with his flatmates, which they decide to call "Bad Wolf".
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The back cover of Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters boasts that the story contains "a 40 ft. high Tyrannosaurus rex, the biggest, most savage mammal which ever trod the earth!" No T. rex fossil ever found has been that big; the largest one is 40 feet long from nose to tail. And then there's that other bit — while most of us aren't experts on the subject, we could probably tell you that T. rex was not a mammal...
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Ascaris, the mute assassin in "The Romans", continues to appear in the second half of the story, accidentally killing the Centurion, being pursued into the arena by lions unwittingly unleashed by the Doctor during Ian and Delos' gladiatorial fight, and fleeing Rome during the Great Fire, with the epilogue stating he is currently working on Hadrian's Wall and could be blamed for the fire. The novelisation also makes him a legionary first class and Locusta's son.
    • The novelisation of "The Myth Makers" elevates Cyclops, Odysseus's servant, to narrator and a much more omnipresent character. Not only does he survive, but he's blinded by the blow that killed him in the TV show, and goes on to become the blind poet Homer.
    • Haines is given some lines in the novelisation of "The Tenth Planet". In the televised episode, Haines is no more than a non-speaking extra.
    • Forester, Bruce's deputy, has more lines in the novelisation of "The Enemy of the World", as opposed to none in the televised story.
    • In Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, Travis, a minor technichan, gets a bigger part. She is key to stopping the facility's nuclear reactor from overloading; in the original TV story, the Doctor figures it out on his own.
    • The army photographer in Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion is given some lines. On-screen, he is a non-speaking extra.
  • The Atoner: The novelisation of "The Daleks' Master Plan" plays up this aspect for Sara and makes it a big part of her character. She is haunted by nightmares of her brother's final moments and continually beats herself up over the fact that she blindly believed Mavic Chen when he said that Bret was a traitor. While she does genuinely want to stop the Daleks and Mavic Chen from destroying the universe, a major secondary reason is that she doesn't want the death of Bret to be in vain.
  • Author Catch Phrase:
    • Terrance Dicks had many stock phrases that were repeatedly deployed in his novelisations; for instance, the Fifth Doctor was always "a young man with a pleasant open face", and that noise the TARDIS makes was invariably "a wheezing, groaning sound".
    • In Christopher Bidmead's novelisations, the TARDIS makes "a whirring, chuffing sound".
    • In two of Nigel Robinson's contributions to the series, he refers to Susan as looking "Oriental" or "Asiatic," which can be fairly jarring to readers several decades on.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: According to the novelisation of "Day of the Doctor", the flask Ohila gave the Eighth Doctor on Karn contained nothing more than some lemon juice. All the stuff the War Doctor did? All him, not some magic potion that made him that way.
  • Batman Gambit: According to the "Warriors' Gate" novelisation, Biroc set up the events of the entire story, simply by causing the TARDIS and the privateer to land at the gateway and then letting events take their natural course.
  • Beige Prose: Many of the less inspired novelisations.
  • Bloodier and Gorier:
    • In Doctor Who and the Crusaders, El Akir manages to inflict several strokes of his lash on Barbara before Ian rescues her.
    • Fariah's death in "The Enemy of the World" novelisation is considerably more graphic than the televised version.
    • The novelisation of "The Invasion" adds a scene where Packer strikes Jamie across the face upon recapturing him at IE, causing him to bleed.
    • In the novelisation of "Day of the Daleks", the Doctor's wrists are said to be bleeding after he cuts the ropes tying his hands together in Styles' wine cellar.
    • Lupton's fate in "Planet of the Spiders" is depicted more gruesomely in the novel.
    • In the novelisation of "Genesis of the Daleks", Davros explodes upon being exterminated.
    • Much of the violence and gore of "The Two Doctors" has been exacerbated in the novelisation, featuring grisly details of the duty officer's acidulous murder, the bullet-ridden corpses of massacred scientists, the sanguineous method in which Chessene reads the Dona Arana's mind, the Sontarans' merciless deaths, etc.
    • In the novelisation of "Rose", the Auton invasion is more gruesome, and includes decapitations, where the Autons form their hands into sharp blades.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Doctor Who and the Sunmakers, novelised by Terrance Dicks, depicts the rebellious citizens as immediately feeling guilty and regretful after they throw Hade off the roof (as opposed to joyous cheering in the original "The Sun Makers") because Dicks felt that an all-ages show shouldn't condone the casual murder of helpless prisoners, no matter how villainous.
    • Dicks' Doctor Who and the Web of Fear removes the anti-semitic undertones of the first episode, mainly by changing the name of the avaricious Silverstein to something less obviously Jewish.
  • Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage: Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon, the novelisation of "Colony in Space", adds extra details about life on Overindustrialised Future Earth; one of the mining ship's officers recalls how the faceless megacorporation he works for "takes care" of its employees, arranging their accommodation, education, and, if the Company considers it necessary, marriages. They do try to arrange compatible matches, but probably only because unhappy employees are bad for productivity, and the matching process involves a stack of employee profiles and a computer in the personnel department, as opposed to, say, people getting to meet people. In his case, he agreed to be married as a condition of his next promotion, and then heard no more about it until he returned from a voyage to find his new wife waiting for him in the kitchen.
  • The Cameo: Per the novelisation of "The Christmas Invasion", Arthur Dent really does exist somewhere out there, along with Ford Prefect; every time they've met so far, the Doctor beats Arthur at Scrabble while simultaneously reminiscing with Ford about their wild nights out together in college.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: With occasional exceptions ("The Three Doctors", "Death to the Daleks"), every novelisation until 1982 was titled Doctor Who and the X. Disappointingly, the novelisation of "Doctor Who and the Silurians", the only TV story with that kind of title, was Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, not Doctor Who and the Doctor Who and the Silurians. And, of course, the Doctor's name isn't actually "Doctor Who".
    • Oddly enough, it was the novelisations' constant references to the character as "the Doctor" that cemented the I Am Not Shazam viewpoint in fandom.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "Day of the Doctor", Clara notes something's off with Kate Steward, who has been replaced by a Zygon. She comes to the conclusion that Kate is hitting on her. For an added bonus, rather than being at all concerned by this, she recounts to the Doctors she was considering asking her to go out some time (for the record, Kate is married and has kids).
  • Composite Character:
    • In the novelisation of "The Silurians", the Silurian that is wounded and forced to the surface is also the younger Silurian who kills the leader, a distinction which is not made clear in the television story (where the two are played by different actors).
    • In the novelisation of "Planet of the Spiders", the characters of Hopkins and his customer are split, renamed and redistributed. It is the customer, Mr Pemberthy, who tries out the hovercraft, whereas the owner of the boat yard, Bob Armitage, is watching from the shore. However, it is still the hovercraft tester, Hopkins in the television story or Pemberthy in the novelisation, who gets blasted by Lupton. And it is the man mooring the boat, unnamed in the TV version or Armitage in the novelisation, who gets pushed into the water.
    • The novelisation of "The Invasion of Time" combines the characters of Jasko and Ablif into a single character. The character in the book is named, appropriately enough, "Jablif".
    • In the novelisation of "Mindwarp", the rebel Verne is divided into two characters, Ger and Sorn.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Any of the novelisations that tried to cram six or more episodes into less than 150 pages.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The novelisation of "City of Death" adds continuity nods including Romana noting that she prefers Count Scarlioni as a villain over Davros, and the Doctor using the fast return switch to return to Paris from Florence.
    • In Doctor Who and the Zarbi, there is a reference made to the events of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", concerning the Doctor and Ian's imprisonment on the Dalek saucer.
    • The newly-regenerated Second Doctor finds Cameca's brooch in the trunk.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The US Pinnacle covers featured more impressive versions of the sometimes feeble monsters in the actual stories (Target Books made sure not to do this). Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks depicts a very badass UNIT spaceship, which never appeared in the show or anywhere else!
    • The early Target covers sometimes featured elements taken from another story; for example, the picture of the First Doctor on Target's first Doctor Who and the Daleks cover was taken from "The Celestial Toymaker", while the Cyberman picture on the first Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen cover was that of an "Invasion" Cyberman, not a "Tomb" Cyberman.
  • Darker and Edgier: The novelisation of "The Enemy of the World" was infamous for containing swear words and bloody violence.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Luigi Ferrigo is killed by Saladin's soldiers while trying to flee the palace in Doctor Who and the Crusaders.
    • Bors and Garge are eaten by the Screamers in "The Daleks' Master Plan". Also, Beaus is shot and killed by Mavic Chen at the final meeting.
    • Simone Duval in "The Massacre".
    • Lolem in "The Underwater Menace" (he probably dies off-screen in the TV story but the novelisation makes sure).
    • In the novelisation of "The Invasion", Tobias Vaughn convinces Rutlidge to shoot himself.
    • Roberts in Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters.
    • Ahmed and the other workers in "Pyramids of Mars". In the TV series, they're assumed to survive after the action moves to England, but the novelisation states that they were killed off-screen by cultist henchmen.
    • In the novelisation of "Dragonfire", all of Glitz's crew attack his party and are killed by the Creature rather than just Pudovkin; one is identified as a woman named Winterbottom.
    • Zbrigniev in "Battlefield".
    • Vershinin and Bates in "The Curse of Fenric".
    • Harvey, Len and Derek in "Survival".
    • In "Rose", Mickey's mother committed suicide when he was five, and Rose's asshole ex-boyfriend Jimmy Stone (who's never seen in the TV series) dies in the Auton attack.
    • Atkins, the guard at the Black Archive in "The Day of the Doctor", is killed by Zygon-Kate in the novelisation.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • In the novelisation of "The Romans", several characters have their parts reduced: Sevcheria disappears after recapturing Ian and Delos in Rome, Locusta's death is omitted, Delos departs after the gladiatorial fight and Tavius only meets the Doctor briefly, with his status as a Christian and conspirator against Nero only established in the epilogue.
    • Neska in "Planet of the Spiders" has her role greatly reduced, not being seen after she is stunned by the guard.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The novelisation of "The Mysterious Planet" sets the Time Lords' space station in one (following the original script).
  • Disco Dan: In the novelisation of "Shada", Chris is a mild example. His long hair and flared trousers are just starting to be very out of fashion in 1978, and he feels alienated by how all the young undergrads are dressed in tight jeans and short hair. He also gives preferential treatment to a student wearing a Jethro Tull t-shirt because he feels like he looks more normal. Skagra unintentionally comes off as this because his ceremonial alien overlord gear looks to humans like a ridiculous disco costume, leading passers-by to mock him in the street. He considers this to be awe.
  • Divided for Publication: "The Daleks' Master Plan" was split into two books. "The Trial of a Time Lord" was split into four books, but it had been originally produced as four separate TV stories and comes across more as a season with an unusually strong Story Arc than as a single story.
  • Doesn't Like Being Touched: Harrison Chase in the novelisation of "The Seeds of Doom".
  • Due to the Dead: Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon adds a scene where the Doctor organises a funeral for the Leesons.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Those novelisations that were published some years after the TV story was broadcast sometimes added in references to later stories.
    • The novelisation of "The Chase" specifies that the Daleks' time machine is powered by taranium, a detail not established on screen until "The Daleks' Master Plan", the following Dalek story. Also, Steven lists the conflict fought against the Draconian Empire and the Third Dalek War as factors which put an end to Earth's expansionist phase; the Draconians were not introduced on TV until "Frontier in Space" during the Third Doctor's era.
    • The novelisation of "The Time Meddler" has a notorious line where the Doctor refers to the Monk as a Gallifreyan, leading fans who relied on the novelisations to believe that the Doctor's home planet had been named eight years earlier than it was on TV.
    • In the novelisation of "The Daleks' Master Plan", the purpose of the molecular dissemination experiment, worked on by the scientists Rhynaml and Froyn, is intended to improve the T-Mat system, a concept not introduced on television until "The Seeds of Death".
    • The novelisation of "The Power of the Daleks" mentions UNIT and Sarah Jane in the prologue, and describes the space colony on Vulcan as being part of the Interplanetary Mining Corporation, the evil company in the later story "Colony In Space".
    • The novelisation of "The Evil of the Daleks" reveals that the Dalek Emperor was the Dalek that shot Davros.
    • In the novelisation of "The Web of Fear", Col. Lethbridge-Stewart says that he plans to set up an organisation to deal with things such as these. He muses that he might send the government a memo...
    • The novelisation of "The Mind Robber" makes reference to the Master, to clear up the oddity of that story also having an unrelated villain called the Master (or the Master of the Land). (This contradicts TV continuity, though, in that, when the Master first appeared onscreen, he had only recently adopted that name.)
    • The omniscient narrator of "The Seeds of Death" refers to the Doctor as a Time Lord. This wouldn't be revealed in the series for another two stories.
    • In the novelisation of "The War Games", backstory is added to the sentry in the Crimean War Zone, a Russian soldier named Petrov Ilavich. The Confederate Soldier in the American Civil War Zone is named Private Cornelius Lanier of the 2nd Virginia Battalion.
    • In the novelisation of "Terror of the Autons", the bomb that the hypnotised Professor Philips uses to try to kill the Doctor and Jo was retconned into a Sontaran hand grenade.
    • In the novelisation of "The Mind of Evil", the Brigadier is mentioned as dreaming of his time as a subaltern with Doris, who was not mentioned on screen until "Planet of the Spiders".
    • In the novelisation of "The Time Monster", the device with which the Master pulls soldiers and weapons out of the past to attack UNIT is compared to the Time Scoop from "The Five Doctors".
    • In the novelisation of "City of Death", it is mentioned that the Jagaroth came to Earth tracking a Racnoss energy signal, and that the Doctor and Romana have previously visited the Medusa Cascade.
    • The novelisation of "Shada" nods to The TV Movie (temporal orbit), "The Shakespeare Code" (Carrionites), "The Stolen Earth" (time locks), "The End of Time" (Visionaries), and "The Doctor's Wife" (the Corsair), etc.
    • The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver in the novelisation of 1967's "The Faceless Ones"; on TV, the sonic wasn't introduced until "Fury from the Deep", a year later. The novelisation of the following story, "The Evil of the Daleks", also mentions the sonic screwdriver, this time with an excuse as to why the Doctor doesn't use it.
    • In the novelisation of "Vengeance on Varos", there are numerous mentions of Sil's superior, Lord Kiv - a character who would not appear until "Mindwarp".
    • In the "Rose" novelisation, Clive shows Rose evidence of the Doctor's recorded presence throughout history, expanding it to include footage of Eleven, Twelve (in "deep cover", to boot) and Thirteen, along with a few imagined future incarnations. Later on, as the Autons attack London, the book cuts to Donna and Wilf to explain how she missed it.
    • "The Day of the Doctor" novelisation ends with Chapter 13, told from the perspective of a female Doctor; given how the book plays with chapter numbers, it's probably Thirteen. It also has a cameo for Twelve, but slightly different from the televised one.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Quite a lot of this. The three novels originally published in the 1960s weren't subject to the familiar Target rules; in particular, they're all well over 150 pages. While Doctor Who and the Zarbi is pitched at about the same reading level as Target aimed for, David Whitaker's two are aimed at adult readers, with developed characters, polished prose, and, it has to be said, a certain amount of child-unfriendly violence. The first one takes the form of a first person account by Ian Chesterton. Additionally, they sometimes refer to the Doctor (in description, not dialogue) as "Doctor Who". (The very first Doctor Who novelisation does not, though.)
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • In the novelisation of "Remembrance of the Daleks", the Daleks, Omnicidal Maniacs one and all, really aren't comfortable with the Special Weapons Dalek, because they think that, by Dalek standards, it's a dangerous insane killer.
    • In the novelisation of "Day of the Doctor", the Zygon imitating Kate Steward is disgusted by UNIT's policy of mind-wiping the Black Archive guard each day. Doesn't stop it killing him, mind.
  • Everybody Lives: Unlike in the original story, Gareth Roberts' "Shada" rewrites the ending of the story to achieve this.
  • Exact Words: In the novelisation of "The Space Museum", the door to the armory is linked to a Lie Detector and only opens when someone can truthfully answer to a series of questions about their identity, authorization, and purpose. Unlike in the TV version, no reprogramming is required to bypass it, only the realisation that it's programmed to assess the truthfulness of the answers but not their meaning — Vicki tells it exactly who they are, that they have no authorisation to remove weapons from the armory, and that they're taking the weapons for the purpose of "Revolution!", and the machine promptly lets her in.
  • Famous, Famous, Fictional: In the novelisation of "Time and the Rani", Za Panato and Ari Centos are listed as two of the scientists kidnapped by the Rani in addition to the familiar Earth names.
  • Fangirl: In the novelisation of "Shada", the Ship is fascinated by the Doctor and starts seeking out and watching old holographic video footage of his adventures, which are strongly implied to just be Doctor Who episodes. She becomes a serious fan, and eventually forces Skagra to watch them all with her in the hope that he'll learn some good moral lessons from the stories. (The script has elements of this, but the novel really plays them up.)
  • Floating Head Syndrome: The novelisations often had the Doctor's floating head, especially on covers by Chris Achilleos, who traditionally did the heads in monochrome and the rest of the picture in colour. See some examples here.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • "The Crusaders" opens with the Doctor and his companions having a conversation about the mutability of history while playing 'Martian chess'. The outcome of the chess game foreshadows the political maneuvrings later in the story.
    • The novelisation of "Logopolis" gives an early clue as to who the Watcher is. When the Doctor sends Adric and Nyssa away from Logopolis, he entrusts them to the Watcher. Aboard the TARDIS, the Watcher silently summons Adric alone and apparently has a dialogue with him. Afterward, Adric claims that although he remembers the Watcher's instructions, he can't quite remember what the Watcher's voice sounded like except that it sounded familiar.
    • In the novelisation of "The Day of the Doctor", Kate frequently calls Osgood "Petronella", predating the name being revealed in "The Zygon Inversion".
  • Fourth Wall: Played with in the novelisation of "The Mind Robber", the adventure in which the Doctor and his companions visit the Land of Fiction. The novelisation is set entirely within the Land: it begins with the scene where the Doctor wakes up there (filling in earlier events through flashback), and ends when the Doctor and his companions leave.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The narrative of "The Day of the Doctor" says there's a Chapter 9 despite it being absent if you look through the book. Apparently, it involves an encounter with the Silence, famous for their Laser-Guided Amnesia abilities... and from the marks at the end, it appears you've read and forgotten Chapter 9 a lot of times...
  • Framing Device:
    • Each of Donald Cotton's three Hartnell-historical novelisations: "The Myth Makers" has Homer deciding to tell, just this once, the story of what really happened at the Siege of Troy; "The Gunfighters" has Doc Holliday on his deathbed telling a journalist the story of what really happened at the OK Corral; and "The Romans" is presented as a collection of contemporary documents telling the story of what really happened in the lead-up to the Great Fire of Rome.
    • Steven Moffat's "The Day of the Doctor" novelisation is presented as a collection of documents (mostly) written by the Doctor(s) called The Doctor Papers.
  • Freudian Excuse: Spoofed in the novelisation of "Shada". Skagra talks about his planet to Romana, explaining how a rogue Time Lord conquered his planet, brainwashed the populace and, when he eventually left for Gallifrey again, the people were unable to handle their own emotions after centuries of repression and tore each other apart in an unspeakable war that almost destroyed the entire planet. Romana is horrified and expresses pity for his people, until Skagra informs her that it happened thousands of years before he was born and that they were not his people. He then shows her the planet from his point in history, a rich, laid-back, beachy Pleasure Planet with a primary import of ice cream. Romana is slightly less able to sympathise with this, no matter how much he insists that his people's shallowness and consumerism was unbearable to someone as brilliant and clever as him.
  • Functional Genre Savvy: In the novelisation of "Shada", the Doctor appears to project this into people around him, as a kind of force-of-personality-transmitted Theory of Narrative Causality, railroading his accomplices into the role of The Watson regardless of how they might feel about it.
    • Clare gets a whole scene where she realises that she is like this and, as a result, is incapable of reacting sensibly towards the huge Rummage Sale Reject eccentric who claims to be an alien looking through her stuff — instead describing that she feels an inexplicable love and generosity towards him as if he was a nostalgic fixture of her childhood, and a strong desire for him to take her with him. She knows she should be intimidated and trying to get rid of him, but instead feels that she has no choice but to find him charming, ask helpful questions and do whatever he asks her to.
    • The book's version of Chris is somewhat less like this, as he's mainly concerned with the long-term scientific implications of everything that happens to him, but he also has his moments — as he hangs around the Doctor, despite becoming braver and more curious, he also sinks further into being a Non-Action Guy, commenting in his internal monologue that helping out the Doctor just makes you feel all "girly", sweetly curious and dependent on him for protection.
  • Gender Flip:
    • In the novelisation of "The Rescue", the natives who surprise Bennett are a male and a female (they both appeared to be male on screen). They are killed by the crew of the rescue ship.
    • In Doctor Who and the Zarbi, the Menoptera Vrestin and the Optera Nemini were changed from female to male.
    • In Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, Travis is now a female technician.
    • In Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster, the Prime Minister is referred to as being male, rather than female.
    • In the novelisation of "Destiny of the Daleks", the genders of Veldan and Jall are reversed with Veldan being female and Jall male. The two prisoners exterminated by the Daleks to force the Doctor's hand are both male (on screen, one is female). The Movellan Guard deactivated by the Doctor and Tyssan is male rather than female.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Malcom Hulke's novelisation of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" fairly obviously made the Anti-Villain Henchman to that story's main Anti-Villain into a gay man, which the original serial had (for fairly obvious reasons) not even implied. Pretty daring for a mid-1970s book intended for children. This reinforced an Aesop present in the original story but emphasized in the novelisation that the villains consisted of emotional cripples who wanted to Ret Gone away the present world because they just didn't fit in with the current one. (Again, gay people found it harder to gain acceptance in those days.)
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: In "Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion" (based on "Invasion of the Dinosaurs"), the Anti-Villain Butler has a distinctive scar on his face (which he didn't have in the TV version; it was added because he shows up in several different scenes before being named, and Malcolm Hulke needed a way to signal to the reader that it was the same character each time). The trope is played with: Butler is a Well-Intentioned Extremist, and when Sarah Jane remarks on his Evil Scar he reveals that he got it as a firefighter while saving a little girl's life.
  • Grand Finale: The novelisation of "The Evil of the Daleks" can have this feel. It was the final TV story to be novelised under Target and makes references to earlier Dalek stories. The way it is presented can make it seem like this is the finale to the Daleks.
  • Hate Dumb: Skagra's hatred for the Doctor is played like this in the novelisation of "Shada", as a form of Fandom Nod. He spends a good deal of time watching archive footage of the Fourth Doctor's adventures, and criticises them in the same manner of a fan criticising the writing and acting of Doctor Who serials. His hatred for the Doctor builds, to the point where he eventually has a vision of his future and is horrified and confused to discover that it is apparently "the Doctor, forever". We find out why this is when his eventual Cool and Unusual Punishment is to be imprisoned inside a room with an in-universe Doctor Who fangirl who wants him to watch every single record of his adventures, with her Squeeing about it the whole time, in order (starting with a description of the first shot of the first episode of the Doctor Who TV show, just so we get the message). This reduces him to howls of Angrish.
  • Hotter and Sexier:
    • The novelisation of "Shada" plays the Doctor's relationship with Skagra's Ship with copious Does This Remind You of Anything?, making it resemble an affair between an open-minded stranger and a sexually-repressed housewife sneaking around behind the back of her Jerk Ass husband. For instance, when he teaches her how to open a time Vortex, this is played as if he's giving her her first orgasm.
    • The book's version of Clare's first visit to Professor Chronotis's study. In the filmed version she's neatly buttoned up with her hair in a prim bun, in the book she's dishevelled in a way that automatically makes Willkins assume she's sneaking out of a male student's digs, or possibly a male don's study (but not Chronotis's. He's such a nice old man.)
    • In the novelisation of "The Gunfighters", the Doctor accidentally walks in on Holliday in bed with his receptionist, in reality Kate. In the televised version, she is merely sitting in his lap.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In "The Day of the Doctor" novelisation, the War Doctor's internal reaction when he realises who these two 'boys' he's just met are is that he finally understands why people carry hip flasks.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: In the novelisation of "Shada", Skagra's ship apparently really likes time travel.
  • Internal Homage: According to cover artist Anthony Dry in Doctor Who Magazine, anachronistic elements on the covers of the revival series novelisations (like a Tenth Doctor from the wrong era on the cover of "The Christmas Invasion") are a deliberate homage to the early Targets' habit of featuring anachronistic elements on their covers.
  • Iron Lady: The novelisation of "The Seeds of Death" gives a little of Gia Kelly's backstory:
    Even now, in the twenty-first century, the equality of women was still more theoretical than practical. It remained as true as ever that, to attain the highest rank, a woman had to be not simply as good as, but measurably better than, her male colleagues.
    Miss Kelly was as capable as she was ambitious. Her early promotion had been obtained by the stern repression of any softer, more human qualities that might get in the way of her efficiency. The opinion amongst T-Mat technicians was that Gia Kelly was a cold-hearted witch, and you'd better not slip up while she was around.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the "Twice Upon a Time" novelisation, the Twelfth Doctor notes the similarities between his and the First Doctor's situations - both of them having just come off an adventure with the Cybermen, on the verge of regeneration - and says to the TARDIS "Having fun with the parallels, dear?".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The novelisation of "Shada" makes multiple references to how 1970s Doctor Who was originally broadcast in serial format on Saturday evenings, to the point that it's a Running Gag:
    • For goodness' sakes, thought the Doctor, why weren't all these tourists, roadies and nuns at home watching television on a Saturday evening like normal people.
    • He... permitted himself just a tinge of inward pleasure at the thought of scrambled eggs on toast and the BBC's Saturday serial in a few hours...
    • The Doctor's shoulders slumped. 'And I usually like Saturdays,' he said.
  • Lighter and Softer: The novelisations by Terrance Dicks often softened more mean-spirited elements of the plots to fit what Dicks considered to be the show's moral code. An obvious example is in his version of "The Sunmakers", where, after murdering the oppressive government official who is driving them to suicide, the rebels feel like they have done something awful and express shame that it was necessary. In the original story, after they kill him, a huge cheer goes up and the people immediately start partying.
  • Long Title: The first-ever Doctor Who novelisation was titled Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks (with Doctor Who in big letters). This was shortened to Doctor Who and the Daleks on subsequent editions.
  • Lost Common Knowledge: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is not known to anyone in Zoe's city, according to "The Mind Robber" novelisation.
  • Magnetic Hero: Lampshaded in the novelisation of "Shada", where Clare, who is unusually clever, notices the magnetic effect that the Doctor has on her mind (depicted as being borderline Emotion Control) and finds it a bit creepy, not to mention a bit sexist as she finds herself acting like a Neutral Female as a result. Her attempts to defy her desire to love and trust the Doctor and do everything he says drive her to start solving the mystery herself, leading to her accidentally launching the TARDIS of a retired Time Lord.
  • Market-Based Title: According to The Target Book, several of the early Target novelisations had their titles changed from the original TV stories to make them more dynamic and eye-catching:
    • "The Moonbase" became Doctor Who and the Cybermen.
    • "Spearhead from Space" became Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion.
    • "Doctor Who and the Silurians" became Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters.
    • "Colony in Space" became Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon.
    • "Frontier in Space" became Doctor Who and the Space War.
    • "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" became Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion.
    • "Robot" became Doctor Who and the Giant Robot.
    • "Terror of the Zygons" became Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster .
    • Though The Target Book doesn't say, it's likely this is also why "The Web Planet" became Doctor Who and the Zarbi and "The Crusade" became Doctor Who and the Crusaders under Frederick Muller.
  • Mucking in the Mud: In "The Curse of Fenric", Ace has a harder time helping Kathleen and Audrey to escape from the haemovores than in the televised episode, because the Land Rover they're trying to escape in is stuck in mud and won't move until they put sacks under the wheels.
  • My Nayme Is: The novelisation of "Shada" makes a Call-Forward out of the fact that Clare is spelt without an "i".
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the novelisation of "City of Death", Romana describes Kerensky's computer as a "clever prime", in reference to a series of adverts for Prime Computer produced in 1980 featuring the Doctor and Romana.
    • Throughout "Shada", The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey is described as "a small red book, about five inches by seven". The paperback edition of the novelisation is a red book. It's five inches wide and seven (and a half, admittedly) inches tall. (This is also an allusion to a basically identical cover art/book MacGuffin gag being used in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • In the novelisation of "An Unearthly Child", the father of Za is named Gor.
    • In the novelisation of "Planet of Giants", Forester's first name is Mark.
    • In Doctor Who and the Zarbi, the larvae guns are called Venom Grubs.
    • In the novelisation of "The Space Museum", the Morok commander is named as Ogrek and the Morok that Ian captures is named Pluton.
    • In the novelisation of "The Daleks' Master Plan", the police officers are named Welland, Blessed, Ellis and Windsor after the actors from Z Cars. This is an in-joke to the fact that the story was supposed to have a crossover with that series. Also, the interviewer is named Jim Grant.
    • The unnamed human initially on trial and subsequently minimised in "The Ark" is called Niash. He's later re-enhanced at the story's conclusion where he is greeted by the Doctor, Steven and Dodo, alongside other restored Guardians and Monoids eager to start their new lives together on Refusis II.
    • In the novelisation of "The Gunfighters", Ike Clanton survives the gunfight, being taken prisoner by Steven and Kate as he is about to shoot the Doctor.
    • In the novelisation of "The War Machines", the second War Machine is named as Valk. It is not armed prior to going rogue, meaning the Doctor has to fit it with an automatic rifle after reprogramming it.
    • In the novelisation of "The Tenth Planet", Barclay is given the first name Tom and Wigner is given the first name Robert.
    • According to the novelisation of "The Highlanders", the inn is named The Sea Eagle and the sergeant is named Klegg.
    • The novelisation of "The Underwater Menace" gives Professor Zaroff's first name as Hermann.
    • In the novelisation of "The Moonbase", the Cyberleader's name is mentioned as Tarn.
    • In the novelisation of "The Tomb of the Cybermen", the Earth expedition ship is named the Orbiter.
    • The novelisation of "The Abominable Snowmen" expands on Edward Travers' unsuccessful life, and his old rival is named as Professor Walters.
    • In the novelisation of "The Ice Warriors", the Brittanicus Base computer is named ECCO.
    • The novelisation of "The Enemy of the World" gives full names to several characters who were given only one name in the TV version. Fedorin is given the first name of Nicholas, Benik is given the first name of Theodore, and Fariah is given the first name of Neguib. Colin has the last name of Redmayne and Mary has the last name of Smith.
    • First names not present in the televised version of "Fury from the Deep" are included in the novelisation: Frank Harris, Mick Carney, Pieter van Lutyens, David Price and Ronald Perkins.
    • In the novelisation of "The Invasion", the Russian shuttle base is named Nykortny, an in-joke referring to Nicholas Courtney.
    • In the novelisation of "The Seeds of Death", Osgood is given the first name Harry.
    • The novelisation of "The War Games" gives the full name of the SIDRATs as "Sidereal Interdimensional Robot All-purpose Transporters". The unnamed aliens of the original serial are called the War Lords.
    • In Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion, the doll Ransome invented is called the Walkie Talkie, and Ransome demonstrates it to Hibbert. Captain Munro is given the first name of Jimmy.
    • The novelisation of "The Silurians" gives the names Okdel, Morka and K'to to the characters who appear in the cast list as Old Silurian, Young Silurian and Silurian Scientist. Miss Dawson is given the first name of Phyllis.
    • The novelisation of "Inferno" gives Professor Stahlman's first name as Eric.
    • In the novelisation of "Terror of the Autons", Mrs Farrel is given the first name of Mary, and Goodge is given the first name of Albert.
    • In the novelisation of "The Mind of Evil", The Governor's full name is given as Victor Camford (the television version merely calls him "Victor") and the two warders in the condemned cell are called Johnson and Samuels.
    • In Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon, the novelisation of "Colony in Space", the IMC robot is named Charlie.
    • The novelisation of "The Daemons" gives some characters first or last names: Bert is given the last name Walker, Thorpe is given the first name Ron and Winstanley's full name is given as Montmorency Vere de Vere Winstanley.
    • In the novelisation of "Day of the Daleks", three guerrillas named Mark, Joab and Zando take part in the attack on Dalek Control to rescue the Doctor. On-screen, only Mark is mentioned.
    • In the novelisation of "The Sea Devils", several characters are given first names: Thomas Robbins, Robert Walker, Robin Ridgeway and Tony Mitchell. Several of the SS Pevensey Castle's crew are given names or nicknames: the radio operator is nicknamed Sharps, the First Officer is named Mason, and several other crew members are nicknamed: the Jamaican, the Scouse and Jock.
    • In the novelisation of "The Mutants", Varan's son is given a name, Vorn.
    • In the novelisation of "The Three Doctors", Mrs. Ollis has the first name of Mary.
    • In the novelisation of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs", the two soldiers who are present when the Doctor and Sarah are arrested are named Smith and Wilkins.
    • In the novelisation of "Planet of the Spiders", a soldier is named as Corporal Hodges.
    • The novelisation of "Robot" gives Professor Kettlewell the first name Jeremiah, expanding on the televised version giving his first initial as J.
    • In the novelisation of "Terror of the Zygons", Monro's first name is Jock and the UNIT Corporal is named Palmer.
    • In the novelisation of "Pyramids of Mars", Collins is given the first name Josiah.
    • The Mutt in "The Brain of Morbius" is given the name Kriz, and his species - which had been a mistake - is not mentioned.
    • According to the novelisation of "The Hand of Fear", Professor Watson's first name is Owen and Abbott's first name is Tom.
    • In the novelisation of "The Invasion of Time", the bodyguard Kelner assigns to the Doctor is named as Varn.
    • In the novelisation of "The Ribos Operation", the tracer device is called the Locatormutor Core. Romana graduated from the Academy with a Triple Alpha while the Doctor graduated with Double Gamma on the second attempt (the televised version doesn't name the grades they got).
    • The moon where "The Power of Kroll" takes place is never named on-screen. In his novelisation of the story, Terrance Dicks named the moon Delta III.
    • In the novelisation of "Destiny of the Daleks", the dead Kantrian is named as Del Garrant.
    • In the novelisation of "City of Death", Countess Scarlioni is given the first name Heidi. The sketcher from the café is named Bourget. The tour guide is named Madame Henriette. The art appreciators are named Harrison and Elena. The Jagaroth ship is named the Sephiroth.
    • In the novelisation of "Nightmare of Eden", the thing that attacks Romana out of the Eden projection is specified as a Somno-Moth, an insect that takes a small amount of people's blood.
    • In the novelisation of "The Horns of Nimon", the Pilot is named Sekkoth, whilst the Co-pilot is named Sardor.
    • The novelisation of "Shada" gives a name to the man Skagra murders to steal his knowledge of 1970s Earth - David Taylor. It also expands on his character and gives him a small role in the ending.
    • The novelisation of "Meglos" gives the "abducted earthling" the name George Morris.
    • In the novelisation of "Logopolis", the policeman using the telephone in the police box in the opening scene of the story is named as P.C. Donald Segrave.
    • The novelisation of "Kinda" identifies Todd as "Doctor Todd". The two unnamed members of the expedition who went missing before Roberts are referred to as Stone and Carter.
    • In the novelisation of "The Visitation", the Squire is named Sir John.
    • The novelisation of "Black Orchid" gives George's first name as Raymond.
    • In the novelisation of "Snakedance", the Fortune Teller's name is given as Madame Zara.
    • In the novelisation of "Frontios", two of the colonists are called Kernighan and Ritchie. They are named for Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, well known in the computer world for writing the definitive guide to the C programming language.
    • In the novelisation of "The Twin Dilemma", the acid in the vials is referred to as Mosten acid, which doesn't burn or corrode, but ages whatever is immersed in it by a unique process of dehydration. Professor Sylvest is given the first name "Archie" and his wife named as Nimo. Azmael's full alias is given as Bernard Edgeworth. The Chamberlain is named as Slarn.
    • In the novelisation of "Attack of the Cybermen", the silvery metal used to make Cybermen bodies is called arnickleton and the silvery metal used to make Cybermen bodies is called arnickleton.
    • In the novelisation of "Vengeance on Vars", the guards who fall in the acid bath are named Az and Oza. Sil's bearers are Thoros Alphans. One of them is named Ber.
    • In the novelisation of "Mindwarp", the third Mentor is named Marne.
    • In the novelisation of "Paradise Towers", the Blue Kang Leader is given the name Drinking Fountain.
    • In the novelisation of "Remembrance of the Daleks", the vicar is named Reverend Parkinson.
    • In "Battlefield" Ace befriends a Chinese girl named Shou Yuing, but the serial doesn't make clear if 'Shou Yuing' is her full name, or a double familiar name like 'Sarah Jane'. In the novelisation it's stated to be the latter; her full name is Li Shou Yuing. The novelisation also names the knights who arrive with Mordred as Sir Comus and Sir Madlamor. Mordred's initial companions are named as Sir Comus and Sir Madlamor.
    • The novelisation of "The Christmas Invasion" gives Major Blake's first name as Thomas.
    • The novelisation of "The Day of the Doctor" covering "Night of the Doctor" reveals that Cass' last name is Fermazzi. The Tenth Doctor's horse is identified by the name Alison despite the horse being male.
  • Not So Stoic: In the novelisation of "Shada", we are repeatedly reminded that Skagra allows himself only two smiles a day and lives only on logic. The Doctor teases him about this, joking that he'll end up getting a 'mad gleam in the eye' and start saying things like "The universe belongs to me!", since that's what everyone else he deals with does, but Skagra remains impenetrable, if a little bit more attracted to Romana than he'll even admit to himself. Until his plan suddenly implodes in a way none of them saw coming, after which Chris observes Skagra crying uncontrollably in the arms of his sworn enemy the Doctor, who has bundled him up in his coat like he's trying to console a small child. Even though he gets his plan back on the rails after this, the mask has well and truly slipped, and he goes straight into the 'mad gleam' mode that the Doctor told him would happen.
  • Pardon My Klingon:
    • In the novelisation of "Shada", the Doctor at one point uses an Old High Gallifreyan swear word which is left in the text as symbol form. It is described in the footnote as untranslatable and descriptive of something far more obscene than any of the readers can apparently imagine, although it's first used in the form "___ you" and the first of the symbols looks quite a lot like a linked male-and-female symbol.
    • Parodied in the novelisation of "Shada" when Romana is shocked to discover a note from a criminal depicting the rudest Gallifreyan symbol, "the V of Rassilon". We do eventually get to see the note, and it's just a passable illustration of a hand doing the V-Sign (set in some interlocking shapes that imitate post-Re Tool depictions of Gallifreyan writing).
  • Pastiche:
    • Gareth Roberts' novelisation of "Shada" (originally by Douglas Adams) is written as a pastiche of Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a Mythology Gag.
    • In an attempt to salvage the novelisation of the notoriously bad TV story "The Twin Dilemma", Eric Saward wrote the book as a pastiche of Douglas Adams, complete with irrelevant comic digressions. It still wasn't very popular.
  • Pie in the Face: In the novelisation of "The Daleks' Master Plan", the Doctor is the originator of this timeless gag. Having started a pie fight, he is, of course, the one person to escape unscathed.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Some of the books broaden the stories and provide insights into the characters' thoughts and evoke wonderful moods not necessarily shown in the televised stories. The novelisations for "The Crusade", "The Silurians" and "The Daemons" are particularly good examples.
    • The nature of the novelisations in general required some level of Pragmatic Adaptation; they were, almost uniformly, about 100 pages long — which, considering the length of the stories they were adapting ranged from two-to-six (or in some cases ten or twelve) episodes long, meant that they would often either have to compress or add things in order to meet the page requirements.
    • The novelisation of Development Hell story "Shada" is something of an extreme example, incorporating information from what footage was completed, the known script, some Word of God, Tom Baker's copy of the script into which he had handwritten a bunch of extra jokes and stage directions for himself, two pages of notepaper with an entirely unknown scene handwritten by Douglas Adams, the Big Finish audio adaptation (which starred the Eighth Doctor) and even some borrowings from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, in which a lot of ideas for "Shada" were reused - and that's before the copious changes Gareth Roberts made to update the story to feel more like a modern Doctor Who story, expand on the characters, add Call Forwards and fanservice, and fix plotholes. Gareth Roberts wrote in the afterword about how he thought the weaknesses of "Shada" were not down to any weakness of Douglas Adams himself, but a result of the tight deadline the story was written in originally, evidenced by how well-done the groundwork was even where he had to fix things. For instance, the original has a part where Chris figures out The Reveal that Professor Chronotis is secretly the dangerous Time Lord criminal Salyavin, placed just as the Doctor has worked out that the villain needs Salyavin's unique Exposition Beam Psychic Power for the plot to work, and just as the villain thinks Salyavin is lost forever. It seems obvious that Chris is going to announce this to the Doctor and the villain, with the best intentions, at the worst possible time - but Chronotis instead just announces his secret identity to everyone for no reason. Roberts changes this so that Chris blows it (bursting in on an added funny scene where the villain is in the throes of a Villainous Breakdown over his plan's failure and the Doctor is giving his enemy a cuddle and reassurance), saying that this is certainly what Adams wanted to happen anyway, but probably was forced to keep an earlier draft of the scene due to time pressures. Roberts also gives Skagra a proper backstory, which was omitted from the show for time reasons, and deals more with the fallout of Eccentric Mentor Chronotis actually being a legendary Outlaw in disguise.invoked
    • "The Pirate Planet" gives "Shada" a run for its money, with James Goss having access to the televised version, a rehearsal script, the very long, very different first draft, the treatments for the story, Adams' notes on the story... and the treatment for a whole other story, 'The Perfect Planet', some of which Adams ended up incorporating into "The Pirate Planet".
  • Promoted to Love Interest:
    • Doctor Who and the Crusaders gives Ian and Barbara a romantic relationship that is much more overt than the heavy hints in the TV stories.
    • In the novelisation of "Shada", the Doctor gets some fun sexual tension with a sentient spaceship. In the original her role is simply to be confused by him with a Logic Bomb, but in the book the experience (along with him also teaching her how to time travel in a way suggestively related to him teaching her how to orgasm) makes her curious about the world and eventually fall for the Doctor, who for his part is respectful but not very reciprocal of her feelings — though it's worth pointing out that when he attempts to guilt Skagra about trying to destroy the Ship, his retort (that 'a machine consciousness is worthless') is the This Means War! moment.
    • The novelisation of "Remembrance of the Daleks" adds a wartime romance to the backstories of Group Captain Gilmore and Professor Jensen, which is renewed over the course of the book.
    • The novelisation of "The Christmas Invasion" adds a romantic attraction between Daniel Llewellyn and Sally Jacobs.
    • In the novelisation of "The Day of the Doctor", Osgood and McGillop have romantic feelings for one another.
  • Random Smoking Scene: Ian lights a cigarette while trying to help Barbara after a car crash in Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks. He never smoked on the show, let alone in the story the book is an Adaptation Expansion of.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In the novelisation of "An Unearthly Child", the Old Mother is said to be the mother of Za. In the televised story, she was not specified to be related to any other character in particular.
  • Rewrite: The novelisation of "Day of the Doctor" changes the sequence of the Doctors changing Gallifrey. Rather than them running around in their respective TARDISes, they run around on Gallifrey saving folk. Additionally, rather than the number of Doctors being thirteen, it's implied to be a lot more. Also, one chapter mentions Kate Steward was with her father when he died (with an additional note from the Curator mentioning he was hiding under the Brig's bed).
  • Running Gag: Continuing the TV series' gag about the Doctor wanting to be ginger, Eight privately wonders if the Sisterhood could make him ginger in "The Day of the Doctor", Nine's examination of his face in "Rose" has him wondering why he's never ginger, and Twelve reflects in "Twice Upon a Time" that given his luck his next self's probably not going to be ginger.
  • Scrapbook Story: "The Romans" is presented as a collection of contemporary documents that were gathered up and suppressed to avoid embarrassing certain powerful people depicted therein.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: In the novelisation of "The Happiness Patrol", the human who became the Kandyman is named as Seivad.
  • See the Invisible: The novelisation of "The Daleks' Master Plan" adds a scene where the Doctor and his companions render one of the invisible monsters on Mira visible by throwing it in a swamp.
  • Sequel Hook: The novelisation of "Rose" has Clive's widow Caroline vowing to find the Doctor and have her revenge, blaming the Doctor's Doom Magnet nature for her husband's death.
  • Series Continuity Error: The novelisations weren't really intended to be read end-to-end as a series, and attempting to do so will turn up some interesting continuity anomalies.
    • The earliest, and one of the most famous, is that Ian and Barbara meet the Doctor for the first time two novels in a row: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child is the novelisation of the first TV story, and includes the scene of their first meeting; Doctor Who and the Daleks, the novelisation of the second TV story, was the first novelisation actually published, and was consequently rewritten to be Ian and Barbara's first adventure, with a new first-meeting scene at the beginning.
    • The second most famous example was that Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon, based on the TV story "Colony in Space", has the Doctor and Jo meeting each other for the first time at the beginning, reusing not their actual first meeting from "Terror of the Autons" but the scene later in that story in which the Master hypnotises her and sends her into UNIT HQ with a bomb.
    • The novelisation of "The Faceless Ones" has the Doctor use the sonic screwdriver in a scene where he didn't in the TV version. In the novelisation of the following story, "The Evil of the Daleks" — which follows on immediately, without the Doctor having been back inside the TARDIS in the interim — the Doctor notes that he hasn't got his sonic screwdriver because he left it in the TARDIS.
    • The novelisation of "The Dominators" faithfully retains the serial's cliffhanger ending, in which the TARDIS is threatened by an erupting volcano on the planet Dulkis. The novelisation of "The Mind Robber", which immediately follows, relocates the volcano to Earth. In turn, "The Mind Robber" novelisation ends with four people on board the TARDIS; by the start of "The Invasion" novelisation, which again should follow without a break, there are only three.
    • Doctor Who and the Space War, the novelisation of "Frontier in Space", removes the cliffhanger ending of the Doctor being shot... but he's still injured at the start of Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks.
    • The "Twice Upon a Time" novelisation uses the First Doctor's televised regeneration, as did the TV story, rather than the extended version used in the novelisation of "The Power of the Daleks", or the alternate one used in the novelisation of "The Tenth Planet", where Ben and Polly find the Second Doctor in the TARDIS's sleeping compressor.
  • Setting Update:
    • The television version of "The Tenth Planet" was set in 1986, twenty years after the story aired. The novelisation, published in 1976, moved it so it would remain in the fairly distant future, setting it in 2000.
    • The television version of "The Enemy of the World" was set in 2018, fifty years after the story aired. The novelisation, written in 1980, moved it so it would remain fifty years in the future, setting it in 2030.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the novelisation of "The Daleks' Master Plan", two policemen (who were unnamed in the TV episode) are named Welland and Blessed, after Colin Welland and BRIAN BLESSED, two of the stars of Z Cars.
    • The novelisation of "The Ark" ends with the Doctor attempting to teach Dodo to drop her colloquialisms with a quote from My Fair Lady as the TARDIS flies on through the universe.
    • The novelisation of "City of Death" mentions that the Doctor once showed Romana an episode of Blue Peter.
    • The novelisation of "Shada" includes numerous shout-outs to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Chronotis states that he replaced The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey with "an Earth classic... something about thumbing a lift, and there were towels in it...". Skagra observes that the human economy seems to be based on moving small pieces of green paper around and that everyone is very excited about digital watches. Chronotis says "Time! Don't talk to me about time!", a paraphrase of Marvin's famous line. Additionally, the whole book is written in a pretty obvious pastiche of Adams' writing style.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • The bandit Kuiju in "Marco Polo".
    • In the novelisation of "The Space Museum", the Morok that Ian captures saves Dako and Gyar's lives by telling his superiors they are dead; in return, the Xerons spare him when they storm the headquarters and he accompanies them when they kill Lobos and Ogrek.
    • Cyclops in the novelisation of "The Myth Makers".
    • Medok in "The Macra Terror" survives the Macra attacking him in the mine and makes it to safety in time to see the TARDIS taking off.
    • Von Weich in "The War Games".
    • Captain Hawkins in Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters.
    • There are no casualties in the battle between UNIT and Collinson's men in "The Ambassadors of Death" novelisation.
    • Orum in "Carnival of Monsters" (his death is blink-and-you'll-miss-it-being-hinted-at in the TV version but he definitely survives in the novelisation).
    • Eric in "The Time Warrior".
    • Magrik in "Revenge of the Cybermen".
    • Every single dead character in "Shada".
    • Latoni in "Black Orchid" who appears to die in the televised version, survives the novelisation: George carries him out of the blaze unconscious and he is carried to safety by Muir and the others.
    • In "The King's Demons", Sir Geoffory is killed by the assassin employed by the Master dying back in the castle. In the novelisation, Sir Geoffory is mortally wounded and his injuries are treated to by the Doctor, allowing him to part company with Ranulf and Isabella on good terms.
    • Timanov in "Planet of Fire".
  • Spoiler Title: The novelisation of "Terror of the Zygons" was originally published under the title Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster, giving away the story's major twist for anyone who hadn't seen it yet.
  • Spot the Imposter: In the novelisation of "The Massacre" (which John Lucarotti based on his original scripts and contains scenes not in the televised version), Simon Duvall manages to get The Doctor and The Abbot in the same room, but can't tell which is the real Abbot. The Doctor manages to persuade him to guess wrong, with fatal consequences for the Abbot.
  • Time Skip: When "The Daleks' Master Plan" was adapted, it was turned into two books due to its length, and a six-month gap was placed between them to allow for possible future stories featuring Sara Kingdom.
  • Torture Porn: The novelisation of "The Sontaran Experiment" has a lot of Padding, due to the novel having to be around the usual length despite the televised story being much shorter than usual. What it is mostly padded with is lots and lots of torture scenes that are irrelevant to the plot.
  • Tyop on the Cover: The novelisation of "Delta and the Bannermen" has a typo on the spine, where there is only one Bannerman. (This is nothing to the typo that occurs within, at a point where one of the characters is supposed to be peering over a shelf.)
  • Unreliable Illustrator: The 1960s and 1970s novelisations were published with illustrations, which, although they didn't contradict the text, had clearly been made by somebody who'd never seen the television versions. (In some cases, not only were the details of the scene different, so were the faces of the characters.) This wasn't all bad, though. Some of the monsters are much more convincing in illustrated form than they were on the TV.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: The novelisation of the multi-Doctor story "The Day of the Doctor" begins with Chapter 8 (adapting the prequel minisode that featured the Eighth Doctor), then Chapter 11 (featuring the Eleventh Doctor), then Chapter 1 (featuring the unnumbered War Doctor), Chapter 10 (featuring the Tenth Doctor), and Chapter 12 (where the War, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors first meet), followed by Chapters 2 through 7, and finally Chapter 13 (an epilogue featuring the Thirteenth Doctor). There is no Chapter 9, reflecting the Ninth Doctor's absence from the story.
  • Warts and All: According to "The Day of the Doctor" novelisation, Osgood hero-worships the Doctor, but after she learned how the Doctor (thought he'd) ended the Time War, she accepted he couldn't always be a hero, and decided that meant a few more heroes would be needed.
  • Watch the Paint Job: In "Battlefield", it's mentioned that Shou Yuing's 2CV had been repainted only the previous week. As in the TV serial, it gets damaged beyond repair when Morgaine's troops ambush it.
  • Weirdness Censor: There is a Running Gag in the novelisation of "Shada" that everybody, including the Doctor, instantly dismisses any negative or suspicious thought they have about Chronotis by deciding that he is just a "nice old man". This is strongly implied to be the result of a low-key use of his powers.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the novelisation of "The Sea Devils", the Master tells the Doctor off for murdering the Sea Devils and then claiming the moral high ground.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: In "The Green Death", the name of the evil chemical company was changed from the original Global Chemicals to Panorama Chemicals, due to legal threats from a real Global Chemicals.
  • Written Sound Effect: In the novelisation of "The Mind Robber", the Karkus's more violent actions are accompanied by words like "BAM" and "ZAP" appearing in midair.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon, Malcolm Hulke's novelisation of "Colony in Space", it's mentioned in passing that a young woman had dyed her hair "dull blue, as was the fashion that month".

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