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Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons (novelisation)

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Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons
Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons
Based on: Terror of the Autons
Doctor: Third Doctor
Companion(s): Jo
Featuring: The Brig, Mike Yates, Benton
Main enemy:
Main setting: Earth, circa 1970s
Key crew
Publisher: Target Books, W.H. Allen
Writer: Terrance Dicks
Read by: Geoffrey Beevers
Cover by: Peter Brookes
Release details
Release number: 63 (given to later editions)
Release date: 15 May 1975 (paperback), February 1981 (hardcover)
Format: Hardcover and paperback editions; 12 Chapters, 128 Pages
ISBN 0-426-11500-7
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Target novelisations
Inferno The Mind of Evil

Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons was a novelisation of the 1971 television serial Terror of the Autons.

Publisher's summary Edit

1979 edition Edit

The evil Master leered at the Doctor, and triumphantly pointed out of the cabin window. The many-tentacled Nestene monster – spearhead of the second Auton invasion of the Earth – crouched beside the radio tower!

Part crab, part spider, part octopus, its single huge eye blazed with alien intelligence and deadly hatred...

Can the Doctor outwit his rival Time lord, the Master, and save the Earth from the Nestene horror?

Chapter Titles Edit

  1. The Terror Begins
  2. Sabotage at the Space Probe
  3. The Master Takes Over
  4. Death at the Plastics Factory
  5. The Killer Doll
  6. In the Hands of the Autons
  7. The Battle of the Forest
  8. The Killer Doll Attacks
  9. The Deadly Daffodils
  10. Prisoners of the Master
  11. The Final Assault
  12. The End of Round One

Deviations from televised story Edit

  • More background is given to Luigi Rossini and his circus.
  • Rossini's real name is given in the novelisation as Lew Ross, instead of Lew Russell.
  • The strongman Tony is on the run from the police.
  • The name of Rossini's circus is changed to Circus Rossini. On-screen, it was called International Circus.
  • A scene cut from the script is retained in the book. It sees the Master use the term “polynestene” to describe the material that the killer chair is made of.
  • The scene with the Master donning a disguise mask to escape UNIT is dropped from the novelisation.
  • At the climax of the story the Brigadier threatens to shoot the Master if he does not co-operate with The Doctor. The novelisation skips the Doctor's final remark about meeting the Master again, leaving him to tinker with the Master's dematerialisation circuit.
  • The Nestenes and Autons are led by a High Command.
  • The Doctor recongises the messenger as a member of the High Council. It is also stated that the messenger was present at the Doctor's trial.
  • The Doctor says the Xanthoids use volatalisers in their mining operations.
  • The Doctor dismantles the volataliser with his sonic screwdriver.
  • It uniquely names the Nestene planet as Polymos for the first time in Doctor Who history
  • The Brigadier comes with the Doctor and Jo to see Mrs Farrel.
  • The Doctor and the Brigadier find the Master's lab at the factory. The Doctor opens the lab door with his sonic screwdriver.
  • When the Doctor and the Brigadier are attacked by the Auton in the safe, the Brigadier throws a grenade in the safe, which destroys the Auton.
  • The Doctor's identifies George Philips' weapon as a Sontaran fragmentation grenade. When Terror of the Autons aired, it was prior to the Sontarans' first on-screen appearance (in The Time Warrior). The grenade also destroys some nearby trees.
  • The novelisation states the Auton leader's features are more "finished" then the others.
  • The Doctor reflects that if the Time Lords ever catch the Master they will reverse his timeline so he never existed.
  • The Brigadier and Jo accompany Yates and the Director when they find the Doctor in the control cabin.
  • Jo brings the bomb in the ammunition box in herself, rather than it being found in Phillips' car. The Doctor identifies it as a Saturnian Solar Bomb.
  • A recovering Jo enters the Doctor's lab while a UNIT technician is repairing the lab's broken window.
  • It is the Brigadier and Yates, rather than Yates and Benton, who enter the laboratory as Jo is about to set off the bomb.
  • Mrs Farrel is given the first name of Mary.
  • Goodge is given the first name of Albert.
  • Phillips' car is found at the circus. Phillips is dressed as a clown, with it being explained the Master kidnapped him to maintain his TARDIS and forces him to work as a clown the rest of the time.
  • Rossini convinces the circus people to attack the Doctor and Jo by telling them they were trying to steal the takings.
  • The Doctor recognises the Master's TARDIS because it is in better condition than the other circus vehicles. The Master drives it along on the coach tour.
  • The Doctor tries to open the Master's TARDIS with his sonic screwdriver.
  • Several circus men take part in the Doctor's capture at the circus. On-screen, only Tony, the strongman, is present.
  • While at the circus, the Doctor tries to untie his bonds using a technique he learned from Harry Houdini.
  • McDermott is said to have founded Farrel Plastics with Rex Farrel's father.
  • The Doctor rides a roundabout while at the circus.
  • Sergeant Benton and several other UNIT troops are present during the battle with the Auton policemen. On-screen, only the Brigaider, Yates and another soldier are present.
  • During the battle with the Auton policemen, one of them is blown apart by a UNIT soldier. On-screen, both Autons survive.
  • Benton is present at the briefing in the laboratory.
  • Yates says his aunt has some of the plastic daffodils.
  • More detail is given into the distribution of the daffodils.
  • The Master and Rex do not inform John Farrel of McDermott's death, instead saying he is away on business; Rex has been hypnotised to forget the incident.
  • The battle between UNIT and the Autons takes place in a field near the research centre. On-screen, the battle takes place on the research centre grounds.
  • The Mastre disguises himself as a Auton to get to the research centre.
  • The character of Brownrose is omitted, with his part effectively going to the Brigadier.
  • The Master killing a technician while taking control of the radio telescope is removed.
  • The Nestene's arrival is signalled by the appearance of a creature similar to the one the Doctor destroyed at the climax of "Spearhead from Space". This was filmed but the effect was deemed unconvincing.
  • The Brigadier suggests mass producing the machine the Doctor used to destroy the Autons before but the Doctor points out it has to be used at close range and the Autons may have evolved a defence.

Writing and publishing notes Edit

  • The Master and Jo Grant are introduced, as is the case in the original story. However an earlier Target books release, PROSE: Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon, also introduced the characters "for the first time".

Additional cover images Edit

British publication history Edit

First publication:

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


60p (UK)
1979 Target Books with a new cover by Alun Hood priced 60p (UK)

Editions published outside Britain Edit

to be added

 Audiobook Edit

This Target Book was released complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Geoffrey Beevers, who played the Master in various stories (though not Terror of the Autons).

The audio set of four CDs was released in July 2010 priced £13.99 (UK)

External links Edit

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