If you’re a fan of the Doctor Who Target books, then you really should check out the fan-produced Based On The Popular BBC Television Serial, edited by Paul MC Smith, because it’s an invaluable reference work.
Now in its Fourth Edition, and is available for free – but the author has asked for donations towards its cost, and I do think he deserves some recompense for such hard work, because this is a brilliant guide to the Target books, covering every novelisation published to date.
For those of you wanting a history of the range, there’s The Target Book: A History of the Target Doctor Who Books, published by Telos, but Paul’s book is more of a reference guide, including details of all the latest print and audiobook releases of every book, with the Classic Era entirely novelised at long last.
Included are additional facts about the books and their covers, details of later editions and even new uses of the artwork, and even the print run figures for most books, although not, unfortunately, the modern Target titles, which I’m sure would make for fascinating comparison wit runs of 20,000 and on some editions in past decades.
The Third Edition was released three years ago, and Paul has completely revised it, including precise word counts for every book; exclusive chapters-per-episode charts showing how page counts varied for each serial; and additional context of the most recent episodes on TV when each book was published.
Every book adapted from the television episodes (plus a few from other broadcast media) is covered, from the Doctor’s first Exciting Adventure with the Daleks to the latest adaptations of 21st century episodes. Every edition is listed with original prices and cover details, back-cover story teasers and chapter titles, word and page counts, plus extensive notes relating to the books and their iconic artwork.
There’s a wealth of information, too, about the original paperbacks and hardbacks, their reprints and audiobook readings. Find out which story was novelised the soonest after broadcast; how long it took to adapt each Doctor’s era; which title has the most editions (26 to date!); where else cover artwork has appeared; and much more.
It really is an indispensable companion to the Target Books, and I’m sure many fans will find it really useful, especially those of you trying to track down copies of books you might be able to missing, or who simply want to know more about how a favourite book was created.
Based On The Popular BBC Television Serial is a fully linked and bookmarked PDF which is free to download for reading on your PC or tablet. As I said, it’s also well worth some small donation toward production costs, for all the effort that has gone into producing it. So, don’t be stingy!
• Based On The Popular BBC Television Serial is available as an interactive PDF only and can be downloaded here – do consider making a donation, by either PayPal and Kofi pages). 245 pages, colour; Compiled and edited by Paul MC Smith, published by Wonderful Books
With thanks to Paul Simpson for the heads up – read his review of the book here on SciFi Bulletin