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Vengeance on Varos (novelisation)

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Vengeance on Varos
Vengeance on Varos novel
Based on: Vengeance on Varos
Doctor: Sixth Doctor
Companion(s): Peri
Main enemy: Sil
Main setting: Varos, the late 23rd century
Key crew
Publisher: Target Books, W.H. Allen
Writer: Philip Martin
Read by: Colin Baker
Cover by: David McAllister
Release details
Release number: 106
Release date: 16 June 1988
Format: Paperback Book; 16 Chapters, 137 Pages
ISBN 0-426-20291-0
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Target novelisations
Attack of the Cybermen The Mark of the Rani

Vengeance on Varos was a novelisation based on the 1985 television serial Vengeance on Varos.

Publisher's summary Edit

1988 edition Edit

The TARDIS has stalled in mid-flight, and it is only on the planet Varos that the Doctor can find his precious Zeiton-7 ore he needs to continue his travels through time and space.

Arriving on the planet, he saves the rebel Jondar from execution, and incurs the wrath of Sil, the sadistic representative of the Galatron Mining Corporation on Varos.

The hunt is on for the Doctor and his rebel friends. And as they are pursued through the corridors of the deadly Punishment Dome, the Doctor discovers that the people of Varos have some very disturbing ideas of entertainment ...

2016 editionEdit

Bax shifted his camera into a big close-up that brought the Doctor's waxen face so close that it filled the screen. Not a muscle twitched nor was a tremor of life evident. 'He's dead, sir.'

In need of Zeiton-7 to repair the TARDIS, the Doctor and Peri travel to the planet Varos. A former prison for the criminally insane, Varos is now ruled by the descendants of the guards. The population is kept in check and entertained by broadcasts of torture and execution from the Punishment Dome - where the TARDIS lands.

Soon the Doctor and Peri, together with rebel fugitives Jondar and Areta, find themselves trying to escape the Dome's traps and challenges - all on live television.

Can the Doctor and Peri escape the Punishment Dome, and help the Governor ensure the people of Varos get a fair deal for their Zeiton-7?


Featuring the Sixth Doctor as played by Colin Baker with his companion Peri

Chapter Titles Edit

  1. The Dome of Death
  2. The Vital Vote
  3. Execution
  4. Escape into Danger
  5. The Purple Zone
  6. Capture
  7. Death in the Desert
  8. Night and Silence
  9. Interrogation
  10. Quillam
  11. Condemned
  12. The Changelings
  13. Realm of Chaos
  14. The Final Vote
  15. Into the End Zone
  16. Goodbye to Varos

Deviations from televised story Edit

  • In the Punishment Dome and across the planet, there are lines of Monorails linked, across the planet.
  • Sil's bearers are Thoros Alphans. One of them is named Ber.
  • There is a scene including the Governor and his personal butler, Sevrin, in his home when the Chief Officer requests him to return to the Dome regarding Sil.
  • During the first meeting with the Governor and Sil, Sil rocks his water-tank so hard, he falls over. No such thing occurred in the televised story.
  • There are numerous mentions of Sil's superior, Lord Kiv - a character who would not appear until Mindwarp.
  • There are numerous speech malfunctions with Sil's speech translator.
  • The guards who fall in the acid bath are named Az and Oza.
  • Peri, the Governor and Maldak are forced to cross the harsh surface of Varos in environment suits to get the safety zone in the Punishment Zone.
  • In the televised story, the Chief Officer, Quillam and their militia stop and are struck by the poisoned vine trap set by the Doctor in his friends. In the novelisation, they drive on, oblivious to the vines and are hit - causing them to crash their vehicles.
  • The confrontation about Zeiton-7 does not appear in the vision control room. Sil is confronted by the protagonists aboard his star-ship.
  • Bax is described as wearing an orange uniform, rather than the blue one seen on screen.
  • The early scenes with Quillam, Areta and Rondel are omitted: Effectively, none of them appear until the Doctor meets them.
  • The Chief Officer orders Jondar's chains to be tightened after he has avoided the laser for too long.
  • The death of Az and Oza differs from on screen: Az attempts to push the Doctor into the acid bath and falls in when he steps aside, then drags Oza in as he tries to pull him out.
  • Peri is not present for the Doctor's supposed death in the desert simulation. Despite being separated from them when captured as on screen, she spends a night in a cell with Jondar and Areta and doesn't meet the Governor until the next morning.
  • Peri is strapped into the Governor's chair when interrogated by him and threatened with the cell desintegrator.
  • Arak accuses the morgue attendants' deaths of being faked.
  • It is revealed Jondar was arrested after sneaking into the officers' dome and witnessing the luxury they live in. (A similar scene was filmed and appears on the DVD.)
  • Quillam is described as walking with a limp, which is not the case on screen. He also replaces his mask soon after the Doctor removes it, whereas on screen he stays unmasked for the rest of the serial.
  • During the faked hanging of the Doctor and Jondar, Sil becomes so angry his voice translator explodes. No such event occurred on screen.
  • Sil's bearers are armed with CD phasers. The phasers later appear in the television story Mindwarp.
  • The "safe exit" is revealed to lead onto the poisonous surface of Varos.
  • The cannibals are explained as the relatives of those executed in the Punishment Dome, left to fend for themselves when they have nobody to support them.
  • It takes much longer for Peri and Areta's transmogrification to reverse, with them still being partially transformed when the Doctor and Jondar take them away.

Writing and publishing notes Edit

  • Although given the Target library reference number of 106, this title arrived some two years later between numbers 128 and 129.
  • Accepting the commission to novelise his own story, its proposed publication date of December 1985 was delayed for two years before finally being delivered and published in July 1987.
  • The cover artwork for this title had been ready some two years earlier for the proposed release date. This is why the older neon-tubing logo was used rather than the contemporary Seventh Doctor era logo.

Additional cover images Edit

British publication history Edit

First publication:

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

Audiobook Edit

In November 1997, BBC Audio released an abridged audiobook version of the novel, read by Colin Baker. It was later reissued on Tales from the TARDIS Volume 2.

External links Edit

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