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Doctor Who and the War Games was a novelisation based on the 1969 television serial The War Games.

Publisher's summary Edit

1979 edition Edit

Mud, barbed wire, the smell of death... The year is 1917 and the TARDIS had materialised on the Western Front during the First World War.

Or had it? For very soon the Doctor found himself pursued by the soldiers of Ancient Rome; and then he and his companions were reliving the American Civil War of 1863. And was this really Earth, or just a mock-up created by the War Lords?

As Doctor Who solves the mystery, he has to admit he is faced with an evil of such magnitude that he cannot combat it on his own - he has to call for the help of his own people, the Time Lords.

So, for the first time, it is revealed who is Doctor Who - a maverick Time Lord who `borrowed' the TARDIS without permission. By appealing to the Time Lords he gives away his position in Time and Space. Thus comes about the Trial of Doctor Who...

1990 edition Edit

I think we have arrived in one of the most terrible times in the history of the Earth...

Mud. Barbed wire. The smell of death. The year is 1917 and the TARDIS has materialised on the Western Front during the First World War.

Or has it? Escaping from execution by firing squad, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe meet charioteers from Ancient Rome, Georgian Redcoats, and Confederates from the American Civil War.

Someone - someone as knowledgeable as the Doctor himself - has created a simalcrum of Earth, and has gathered soldiers from every era of the planet's bloody history. And someone is playing war games.

This adventure was first broadcast on television in 1969. It marked the end of Patrick Troughton's tenure of the role of the Doctor, and it revealed for the first time something of the Doctor's past and of his fellow Time Lords. This novelization, first published in 1979, is by Malcolm Hulke, one of the writers of the original television script.

Doctor Who - The War Games is available as a BBC Video and will be broadcast on BSB television during 1990.

Book chapters Edit

  • Prologue
  1. Sentence of Death
  2. Escape
  3. The Time Mist
  4. Back to the Chateau
  5. The War Room
  6. The Process
  7. The Security Chief
  8. Battle for the Chateau
  9. The Trap
  10. Fall of the War Chief
  11. The Trial of Doctor Who

Deviations from televised story Edit

  • The map of the war zones adds zones for the Korean War, the American War of Independence, the Punic Wars, the Mongol Invasion, the Spanish Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War and the Second Sino-Japanese War.
  • The novelisation reveals that SIDRAT is an acronym for Space and Inter-time Directional Robot All-purpose Transporter.
  • The War Chief needs green crystals to power the SIDRATs.
  • Given that Hulke had only 144 pages to cover ten episodes, much of the original story has been condensed.
  • The original theft of the TARDIS becomes an additional charge at the Doctor's trial. In the original, although the subject was discussed in episode 8, no mention was made at the trial itself of the Doctor having stolen the TARDIS. The inclusion of theft of the TARDIS as a charge at the Doctor's trial agrees with the versions of the trial as depicted at the start of Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion and in the original edition of The Making of Doctor Who.
  • The Doctor describes how the First World War was fought to Jamie.
  • Most of the scenes featuring Major Barrington are excised, whilst Lieutenant Crane has been entirely excised.
  • A group of British soldiers in the trench accuse the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe of espionage, rather than Barrington, after which they are summoned to HQ by a phonecall from Barrington.
  • With Crane excised, the women in the ambulance are not brought into the château, but instead wait inside the ambulance and talk to Zoe, and accuse her of being a socialist.
  • The Doctor threatens a military chauffeur in the 1917 zone with three months' imprisonment.
  • Two deserters in the 1917 zone from opposing armies, George Brown and Willi Muller, comment on events.
  • In the Roman time zone, charioteer Drusus Gracchus and his friend Brurus Sullas witness the disappearance of the ambulance, and plan for a sacrifice to Mars, the God of War.
  • An additional scene features an exchange between Smythe and an alien disguised as Count Vladimir Chainikof, a Russian officer from the Crimean War.
  • The Confederate Soldier in the American Civil War Zone is named Private Cornelius Lanier of the 2nd Virginia Battalion.
  • The Doctor explains to Zoe how the American Civil War started over the legality of slavery in the Southern states. It is mentioned that by Zoe's time, the United States no longer exist.
  • The Doctor and Zoe meet two female soldiers from the Spanish Civil War.
  • An additional scene features the Doctor telling a guard in the underground city that he is a German spy from the Franco-Prussian War.
  • Some scenes are excised, with the Doctor taking possession of the processing machine at an earlier point.
  • A line is added where the Doctor pleads to the Resistance men to not kill Smythe.
  • The War Lords state that survivors from the Games are selected and kept in storage for a future war of galactic conquest.
  • Backstory is added to the sentry in the Crimean War Zone, a Russian soldier named Petrov Ilavich.
  • A scene is added with Jeremy Carstairs asking the Doctor if the war ended in 1917 before he fades away. The Doctor says he cannot tell him, but concedes that both sides lose in war.
  • Jamie expresses a desire to return home, whereas he was resistant in the televised version.
  • Von Weich is brought with Jamie and Russell to the War Lord's base in their attempted attack. Von Weich is then accidentally shot and killed by a guard.
  • The Time Lords chase the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe to a paradise planet.
  • A stray samurai knight from ancient Japan appears.
  • When captured by the Time Lords the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe consider stealing another TARDIS.
  • The Time Lords are ruled by an invisible judge who finds the Doctor endearing and wished he could have stayed on Gallifrey to "liven the place up no end".
  • The Doctor is charged with two charges, one of which is "appropriation of a TARDIS without permission", whilst he is only given one charge in the televised story.

Writing and publishing notes Edit

  • This was the final novelisation written by Malcolm Hulke. It was not published until October 1979, three months after his death.
  • The soldier depicted on the cover of the original Target edition is often mistaken for the Brigadier, even though that character does not appear. This is likely due to the fact the original cover art for PROSE: Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion uses a similar image to depict the Brigadier.

Additional cover images Edit

to be added

British publication history Edit

First publication:

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


1990 Virgin Publishing with a new cover by Alistair Pearson priced £2.99 (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 David Troughton, Patrick Troughton's son.

The audio set of four CDs was released in February 2011 priced £13.99 (UK)

External links Edit

to be added

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