Doctor Who Books

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Beyond the Television

Discovering Doctor Who Books

I first discovered the Doctor Who book range when I was in year five at school. Their library had them. I was absolutely fascinated because although I'd seen the Three Doctors and I knew about Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, I had no idea that there were two doctors before them with a whole series of adventures of their own. I learned about Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell via the Target book range, which ended up being better than television because I they weren't black and white episodes in print.

Interestingly, David Whittaker who novelised the first Daleks script included a very different meeting of the doctor and his companions and it wasn't until about a decade later that I found out that it was completely different.

Target Books

Over the years, I collected every single target book and most of the alternative covers too. I still have them all (in boxes now) and sometimes I still read them via eBooks or listen to them as audio books. They're great and it's not uncommon for Doctor Who fans to refer to Terrence Dicks, who wrote most of them as "Uncle Terrence".

Increasing the Range

When all of the books had been novelised, the licence was picked up by Virgin and they went on to write the "White books" for the seventh doctor which are, to date, the most adult doctor who books ever written. I have all of these and have read them but I'll admit that there are one or two of them that I really have no clue what they were about. Virgin also started a great missing adventures series and I have all of them too. In terms of the Virgin books, the very best of them is Lungbarrow by Marc Platt, though the Infinity Doctors is pretty good too.

Eventually the BBC realised that they were missing out on money and took the licence back from Virgin and started doing what Virgin had done with more censorship. Their range wasn't as good but it was still fairly good. I have most of their books but I started to run out of space, time and money so had to stop collecting. Since then, the BBC have stopped producing books but every now and then a set come out ... and I have many of these sets and have read them as books or eBooks or audio books.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of reading Doctor Who books.