Doctor Who Target novelisations of the TV series used to be a regular event for fans of the show from 1969 to 1989 where nearly every story got a book adaptation, including all the lost episodes whose tapes the BBC erased. They were written either by the stories' original writers or regular series story editor and scriptwriter Terence Dicks, and a lot of kids learned to read from them. The BBC brought the Target novels back in 2012 with a combination of older stories and new stories, with former showrunners Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat adapting their own scripts into novels. This week, the BBC announced 5 new Target novelisations to be published on July 14th, 2022. This includes two stories in the "Key to Time" season-long arc from 1978 featuring the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and the First Romana (Mary Tamm).
The 5 new Doctor Who Target novels are as follows:
The Stones of Blood by David Fisher – An ancient stone circle becomes a battleground as the Fourth Doctor must outwit the deadliest alien criminal this side of hyperspace.
The Androids of Tara by David Fisher – The Fourth Doctor and Romana's search for the fourth segment of the all-powerful Key to Time leads them to the planet Tara.
The Fires of Pompeii by James Moran – It is AD 79, and the Tenth Doctor and Donna arrive in Pompeii on the eve of the town's destruction. Mount Vesuvius is ready to erupt and bury its surroundings in molten lava, just as history dictates. Or is it?
The Eaters of Light by Rona Munro – The Twelfth Doctor takes Bill and Nardole back to 2nd century Scotland to learn the fate of the 'lost' Ninth Legion of the Imperial Roman Army. 5,000 soldiers vanished without explanation – how?
The Zygon Invasion by Peter Harness – It took three Doctors to broker a fragile peace between Zygons and Humans. Now the Twelfth Doctor must face the fallout alone. With his allies compromised and his companion believed dead, can he stop the world from plunging into war?
These latest additions to the Doctor Who Target collection, all by the original writers of the TV episodes, will help Target fans complete their classic and modern-era collections. Moran said, "I've been watching Doctor Who and reading the Target books for as long as I can remember. The books were an essential part of my childhood, examining the amazing cover art, and "seeing" stories that aired before I was born. I loved learning new words from them, like "capacious", and am beyond thrilled to become part of this publishing legend!" Munro, one of the few writers who contributed episodes to both the original show and the new series, said, "It's wonderful to have another chance to revisit the ideas of my last Doctor Who story, Eaters of Light, they are ideas that have been with me for a very long time and Doctor Who, as always, proved to be the largest and most exciting world in which to realise them."
Harness added, "Like many, many others, I learnt to read and to love books by reading Target novelisations. The Saturday afternoon journey to Garland's bookshop in Bridlington to see if any new Doctor Who stories had materialised on their shelves. Scouring markets and second-hand shops in hope of finding an old copy of Doctor Who and the Sea Devils. Desperately pestering my poor cousin until he finally lent me his copy of Doctor Who and The Doomsday Weapon. Making my Grandad read me The Enemy of the World when he would've much preferred to fall asleep with the newspaper. There is a sense of magic and excitement about Target books which has stayed with me my whole life. And I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to be writing my own Target book of one of my own Doctor Who stories."
BBC Books will publish all five Target novels on 14th July 2022. You can pre-order them here:
The Stones of Blood by David Fisher
The Androids of Tara by David Fisher
The Fires of Pompeii by James Moran
The Eaters of Light by Rona Munro
The Zygon Invasion by Peter Harness