Next year will see the release of the first new official Doctor Who Target-style novelisations since the end of the original Target range over twenty years ago.
Four of the new novelisations – listed on the Australian website of publisher Penguin Books under their ‘Target Collection’ – will be adaptations of four landmark episodes of the show airing since its return to screens in 2005.
Former showrunner Russell T Davies will be novelising his original script for Rose, the episode that relaunched Doctor Who in 2005, whilst his script for The Christmas Invasion – the show’s first Christmas special – will be adapted by Jenny T. Colgan. Outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat, meanwhile, will be novelising both his script for 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor and the upcoming Christmas special Twice Upon a Time.
The original Target novelisations of classic Doctor Who serials were published between 1973 and 1994, and in the absence of home recordings were often the only way in which fans could re-experience some of their favourite stories.
The synopses for the four ‘New Who’ novelisations are as follows:
Rose by Russell T Davies
“Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!”
In a lair somewhere beneath central London, a malevolent alien intelligence is plotting the end of humanity. Shop window dummies that can move – and kill – are taking up key positions, ready to strike.
Rose Tyler, an ordinary Londoner, is working her shift in a department store, unaware that this is the most important day of her life. She’s about to meet the only man who understands the true nature of the threat facing Earth, a stranger who will open her eyes to all the wonder and terror of the universe – a traveller in time and space known as the Doctor.
The Christmas Invasion by Jenny T Colgan
Earth is under attack by power-hungry aliens. This is no time for the Doctor to be out of action.
When a British space probe is intercepted by a sinister alien vessel on the eve of Christmas, it marks the beginning of an audacious invasion of the Earth by the Sycorax – horrifying marauders from beyond the stars. Within hours, a third of humanity stands on the brink of death with not a single shot fired.
Our planet needs a champion – but the Doctor is not fit for service. He’s just regenerated, delirious in a new body and a dressing gown. Forced into his battered shoes is his friend, Rose Tyler, a girl from a London council estate. Will she save the world from this nightmare before Christmas – or see it destroyed?
The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat
When the entire universe is at stake, three different Doctors will unite to save it.
The Tenth Doctor is hunting shape-shifting Zygons in Elizabethan England. The Eleventh is investigating a rift in space-time in the present day. And one other – the man they used to be but never speak of – is fighting the Daleks in the darkest days of the Time War. Driven by demons and despair, this battle-scarred Doctor is set to take a devastating decision that will threaten the survival of the entire universe… a decision that not even a Time Lord can take alone.
On this day, the Doctor’s different incarnations will come together to save the Earth… to save the universe… and to save his soul.
Twice Upon a Time by Steven Moffat
The Twelfth Doctor’s dramatic final adventure, novelised by showrunner Steven Moffat
A fifth new novelisation will be an abridged version of James Goss‘ 2015 adaptation of the 1979 Fourth Doctor serial City of Death, originally written by Douglas Adams and David Fisher. The story was one of the few not to be novelised by Target during its original run of Doctor Who publications.
City of Death by James Goss
The key to Earth’s destruction lies buried in its past.
Visiting Paris in 1979, the Doctor and Romana’s hopes for a holiday are soon shattered by armed thugs, a suave and dangerous Count, a plot to steal the Mona Lisa and a world-threatening experiment with time.
Teaming up with a British detective, the Time Lords discover that a ruthless alien plot hatched in Earth’s pre-history has reached its final stage. If Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth, cannot be stopped then the human race is history, along with all life on Earth…