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Doctor Who and the Ark in Space (novelisation)

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Doctor Who and the Ark in Space
Ark in Space novel
Based on: The Ark in Space
Doctor: Fourth Doctor
Companion(s): Sarah, Harry
Main enemy: Wirrn
Main setting: Space Station Nerva, the far future
Key crew
Publisher: Target Books, W.H. Allen
Writer: Ian Marter
Read by: Jon Culshaw
Cover by: Chris Achilleos
Release details
Release number: 4 (given to later editions)
Release date: 10 May 1977
Format: Paperback Book; 9 Chapters, 140 Pages
ISBN 0-426-11631-3
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Target novelisations
Doctor Who and the Giant Robot Doctor Who and the Sontaran Experiment

Doctor Who and the Ark in Space was a novelisation based on the 1975 television serial The Ark in Space.

Publisher's summary Edit

1977 edition Edit

At a time in the far-off future, Earth has become uninhabitable. A selection of humanity is placed, deep-frozen, in a fully automated space station, to await the day of their return to Earth...

Thousands of years later, DOCTOR WHO arrives. He finds things going suspiciously wrong, and the station under attack from the giant WIRRN, deadly creatures who, in their lust for power, now threaten the future of the whole human race...

2012 BBC Edition Edit

"Homo Sapiens... what an indomitable species... it is only a few million years since it crawled up out of the sea and learned to walk... a puny defenseless biped... it has survived flood, plague, famine, war... and now here it is out among the stars... awaiting a new life."

The survivors of a devastated future Earth lie in suspended animation on a great satellite. When Earth is safe again, they will awaken. But when the Doctor, Sarah and Harry arrive on Terra Nova, they find the systems have failed and the humans never awoke.

The Wirrn Queen has infiltrated the satellite, and laid her eggs inside one of the sleepers. As the first of the humans wake, they face an attack by the emerging Wirrn.

But not everyone is what they seem, and the only way the Doctod can discover the truth is by joining with the dead mind of the Wirrn Queen. The price of failure is the Doctor's death, and the end of humanity.

This novel is based on a Doctor Who story which was originally broadcast from 25 January to 15 February 1975.

Featuring the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker, and his companions Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan.

Chapter titles Edit

  • Prologue: The Intruder
  1. The Second Invasion
  2. Sarah Vanishes
  3. Sabotage!
  4. A Fatal Wound
  5. The Wirrrn
  6. Time Running out
  7. A Tight Squeeze
  8. A New Beginning

Deviations from televised story Edit

  • Space Station Nerva is named Terra Nova. The space station has blue whales and elephants in storage.
  • Wirrn larvae are used as a threat.
  • The Wirrn try to eat the ventilation shaft Sarah is crawling through.
  • The Doctor, Harry and Sarah return to Earth in the TARDIS, rather than using the Time Ring.

Writing and publishing notes Edit

  • Ian Marter suggested writing this novelisation after having been closely involved with the story. Marter portrayed Harry Sullivan in The Ark in Space and after leaving the series went on to write several Target Books novelisations. His authorship of this book makes him the only actor in Doctor Who history to write a novel adapting a serial in which he played a major role (a feat he would repeat a year later with Doctor Who and the Sontaran Experiment). This was Marter's first novelisation for Target; he would continue contributing to the range for the rest of his life.
  • Marter originally planned to write the novel in first person from Harry Sullivan's point of view, but this idea was abandoned.
  • This was Chris Achilleos's last cover for the Target range.
  • The inside page includes the comment: "THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCTOR WHO. The cover illustration of this book portrays the fourth DOCTOR WHO"

Additional cover images Edit

British publication history Edit

First publication:

  • Hardback
W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback


1991, with new cover by Alister Pearson

External links Edit

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