TARDIS Index File

The Five Doctors (novelisation)

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The Five Doctors
The Five Doctors hardcover
Based on: The Five Doctors
Doctor: Fifth Doctor
Companion(s): Tegan, Turlough
Main enemy:
Main setting:
Key crew
Publisher: Target Books, W.H. Allen
Writer: Terrance Dicks
Cover by: Andrew Skilleter
Release details
Release number: 81
Release date: 24 November 1983
Format: Hardcover and paperback editions; 12 Chapters, 128 Pages
ISBN 0-491-03052-5 (Hardcover edition)
ISBN 0-426-19510-8 (Paperback edition)
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Target novelisations
The King's Demons Warriors of the Deep

The Five Doctors was a novelisation based on the 1983 television serial The Five Doctors.

This was the first Peter Davison-era novelisation cover to use artwork rather than a photograph, and was the only release of its kind during the Davison era to depict the Fifth Doctor in an illustration rather than a photo.

Publisher's summary Edit

1983 edition Edit

A twentieth anniversary special featuring the Doctor in all five of his regenerations.

Why are all five Doctors being removed from their separate time-streams? Who is the enemy they will have to unite against? What will become of the Doctors when the battle is over?

We have travelled a long way with Doctor Who. The Five Doctors gives us a chance to turn the clock back and meet some old friends — and some old enemies.

Chapter titles Edit

  1. The Game Begins
  2. Pawns in the Game
  3. Death Zone
  4. Unexpected Meeting
  5. Two Doctors
  6. Above, Between, Below!
  7. The Doctor Disappears
  8. Condemned
  9. The Dark Tower
  10. Deadly Companions
  11. Rassilon's Secret
  12. The Game of Rassilon

Deviations from televised story Edit

  • Dicks adds a segment accounting for Susan Foreman's abduction by the timescoop, set in the era after The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
  • The First Doctor is stated to be nearing his first regeneration.
  • Susan's line of "Grandfather" is returned to its script version, "Doctor". During shooting of the original episode, Carole Ann Ford had refused to say the line, as in her era she would never have called him "Doctor". An explanation is given that Susan was thinking of how others called him "Doctor" except for her.
  • After the Cyber patrol is destroyed by the Raston Warrior Robot, one Cyberman escapes, wounded, but able to chase the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith before the two escape into the Dark Tower. This marks the only time the Third Doctor encounters the Cybermen on screen (excluding the stage play The Ultimate Adventure and Dimensions in Time, which are not considered valid sources on this wiki) though he did meet them in AUDIO: The Blue Tooth.
    • This scene was, in fact, scripted and filmed, and was restored to the special edition DVD release.
  • The Master's alliance with the Cybermen is explored some more, with an extra scene where the Cybermen discuss the Master back at their hideout. The Cybermen and the Master also observe the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane escaping into the Dark Tower, the Master remarking on the Doctor's use of resources.
    • The scene with the Master was scripted and filmed, and was restored to the special edition DVD release.
  • The Third Doctor's comeback to the Second Doctor's insult (where he calls him a "scarecrow") is removed.
  • Sarah Jane is upset over the Fourth Doctor's absence.

Writing and publishing notes Edit

  • Written by Terrance Dicks to tie in with the Anniversary TV broadcast, this was the quickest novelisation Terrance wrote.
  • After several unsuccessful attempts to release titles simultaneous with broadcast, there was general disapproval that the book was available in some areas as much as two weeks before transmission. According to a featurette on the 25th anniversary DVD, it is believed that the release before broadcast was an error.
  • The usual cover price of £1.35 (UK) was raised significantly for this title's release, to a special price of £1.50 (UK), before being lowered again for subsequent releases.
  • This was the first title to be seen through by Nigel Robinson, the new range editor, who took over from Christine Donohoe who had already commisioned a number of titles that Nigel inherited.
  • Foil cover with a lower corner flash reading `A TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL FIRST EDITION'.
  • The inside front of the book included a single page advert for Fantastic Doctor Who Poster Offer! (Featuring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and a host of target novelisations)

Additional cover images Edit

British publication history Edit

First publication:

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

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