Final Doctor Who TV novelisations on way at last, but covers disappoint

Two long-awaited adaptations of Eric Saward’s Doctor Who stories Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks are on their way at last from BBC Books, but the covers are, frankly, underwhelming.

Doctor Who - Resurrection of the DaleksDoctor Who - Revelation of the Daleks

The Fifth Doctor story Resurrection of the Daleks is scheduled for release in July and the Sixth Doctor tale, Revelation of the Daleks, for November.

The novelisations have been a long time coming, as were adaptations of Douglas AdamsDoctor Who stories. Virgin Books (the successor to Target) announced plans to publish novelisations of Resurrection and Revelation in the early 1990s, but this ultimately did not occur.

The New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club published an unofficial novelisation of the story in 1992, written by Jon Preddle, later republishing it online as a free eBook titled Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks.

Alistair Hughes cover art for the 2000 edition of the unofficial, fan-published Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks

Alistair Hughes cover art for the 2000 edition of the unofficial, fan-published Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks

In 1988, Paul Scoones and Jon decided to “fill the gaps” in the Target range of novelisations by writing and publishing adaptations of the un-novelised television stories. The first book in the series was a novelisation of Douglas Adams unfinished Shada by Paul Scoones from Jon Preddle’s transcript off a video recording. The pair were credited as co-authors on the first edition, published in March 1989. Later, the full rehearsal scripts for Shada were obtained, from which an entirely new novelisation was written by Paul Scoones and published in October 1991.

An official novelisation by James Goss was published in 2013.

The second NZDWFC book was The Pirate Planet by David Bishop (later the author of the Doctor Who novel Who Killed Kennedy for Virgin Books and editor of 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine). David’s book was first published in September 1990 and reprinted in a retyped format in January 1991. An official novelisation by James Goss was published in 2017.

July 1992 saw the publication of Revelation of the Daleks by Jon Preddle and City of Death by David Lawrence was published in November of the same year. An official novelisation of City of Death by James Goss was published in 2016.

Over seven years later, a fifth book, Resurrection of the Daleks, by Paul Scoones, was published in January 2000, completing the last of the ‘gaps’ in the Target novelisations.

While it’s great that Saward’s stories are finally coming to print as official novelisations, I do think the covers are a trifle disappointing. Perhaps some comic artists out there have better ideas?

It’s especially galling that these typography-led designs – the format for many recent adaptations- have held sway over the quality of art commissioned for a planned, ambitious Target Books re-issue that we gather now looks uncertain, featuring stunning art by artists such as David Roach.

What do readers think?

Lost in the vortex? Art by David Roach for a re-Issue of the Patrick Troughton Doctor Who story The Web of Fear

Lost in the vortex? Art by David Roach for a re-Issue of the Patrick Troughton Doctor Who story The Web of Fear



Categories: Books News, Cover Art, Doctor Who, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

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1 reply

  1. The type reminds me of what happens when some youngster gets given a printing set for Christmas. Ditto the spiky design around the Dalek – all with just a change of colours. Where was the representation of one of the early doctors? The covers have no life to them.

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