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Doctor Who Literature

Doctor Who Literature

By Jason Miller
Doctor Who is not just one of the world's longest-running science fiction TV shows, but it's also generated a prolific amount of tie-in books, often with strong literary merit. Join Jason from the Trap One Podcast on a solo journey through the Target novelizations, in publication order.
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Episode 32 - The Ark in Space (with Stacey Smith?)
Jason is joined this week by three-time Doctor Who Literature guest Stacey Smith?, to break down Ian Marter's first novelization, "The Ark in Space". Stacey, who continues to be prolific, recently edited the Outside In volume on Twin Peaks, and, of course, Stacey being Stacey, has several other books in the work. All at once. Other passionate and controversial opinions are exchanged. Jason then does his close reading of Ian Marter's text of the Ark in Space book. What does Marter do differently from Terrance Books? How do the scenes in the book stack up to those on television? And how much are we looking forward to Marter's next book after this one? You can check out the full Doctor Who Literature archives here.
June 26, 2022
Episode 31 - The Claws of Axos (with Jan Fennick)
It's April 1977, and "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" has just finished its controversial run on TV, but in the books, we are back in the height of the Pertwee era, reading the novelization of 1971's "The Claws of Axos". My conversation this week is with Jan Fennick, a New York-based Doctor Who fan and writer, and a long-time friend of Jason's. We cover lots of ground -- Long Island geography, stories about U.S. Who fandom in the '80s and '90s, and, of course, "Star Trek" and "Twin Peaks". Jason then brings us home with a glowing discussion of the magic that Terrance Dicks works on the "Axos" novelization -- perhaps not the greatest episode but certainly one of the more fun and involved books. That makes two books in a row where Terrance is really enjoying himself. You can find Jan's writing in many places, but especially recommended is Red, White and Who, the book on the history of American "Who" fandom, and the forthcoming Outside In Walks With Fire, in which Jan (but not Jason this time) helps analyze the entirety of "Twin Peaks". We will be back next week with another episode, but in the meantime, don't forget to check out our full archive here.
June 19, 2022
Episode 30 - The Dalek Invasion of Earth (with John Peel)
The March 1977 Target release was the novelization of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", by Terrance Dicks. This contains perhaps the greatest opening sentence of the entire Target run and shows what Terrance Dicks can do with one of Doctor Who's most iconic hours. Jason breaks down the text in the first half of the program and uncovers some surprising changes that Terrance made to the original story. Jason is then joined by John Peel, who's written several Dalek novels himself, and we have a wide-ranging conversation through the entirety of Doctor Who history, from "The Daleks" in late 1963, to "Eve of the Daleks" on New Year's Day 2022... and beyond. That starts at about 30:00. This is the last novelization of a Willian Hartnell episode to be published in the 1970s. It'll be a long wait for the next one, so get your fill now!
June 12, 2022
Episode 29 - The Seeds of Doom (Philip Hinchcliffe; Shannon Dohar)
Doctor Who Literature is delighted and overjoyed to bring you Jason's interview with Philip Hinchcliffe, the man who produced "The Seeds of Doom" for television and who then wrote the novelization. This half-hour was one of the high points of Jason's decades as a fan and we couldn't be happier to share it with you. Our guest conversation this week is with Shannon Dohar (@SDohar), a Doctor Who fan in New York City, whose voice you can also hear on the musical podcasts Deeper Cuts and So Much to Sing About. What was it like reading the novelizations and New Adventures in the US before the New Series hit it big here? What are our thoughts on the Chris Chibnall era? How much does Philip Hinchcliffe and his era's stories mean to us today? Spoiler alert: Quite a bit. And how does Shannon fare on a game of "Twenty Questions"? Lastly, Jason reviews the "Seeds of Doom" novelizations and talks about the different needs of a six-week TV serial versus a 120-page adaptation. Special thanks to David Barsky for the production of this episode.
June 05, 2022
Episode 28 - Carnival of Monsters (with Pete Lambert)
It's January 1977 and the start of another year of Target books. It's the third straight Terrance Dicks book, and the third Third Doctor book out of the past four. For a slim book, just 119 pages of text, Terrance manages to make a lot of changes from the TV serial. My guest this week is a returning guest, Pete Lambert (@Prof_Quiteamess). We discuss the linguistics of Polari, the evolution of Jo Grant, and whether or not Drashigs are meant to scurry, or to slither. In the second half of the program, Jason does a deep dive into the book's text compared to the TV episodes, and finds the changes good. What's the Third Doctor's favorite alcoholic beverage? What extra detail does Terrance add when describing the Doctor's nose? And, if it's 1926, what does that mean for the UNIT dating controversy? And don't miss Jason's recent moderation of a Trap One episode on the Galaxy 4 DVD animation. Don't forget to tune in next week for a non-Terrance Dicks, 4th Doctor novelization, in what may prove to be the biggest episode of Doctor Who literature to date!
May 29, 2022
Episode 27 - Pyramids of Mars (Sadie Miller; Mark from Trap One)
Delighted to have Sadie Miller on as my first guest this week to discuss her Big Finish audios, her Doctor Who legacy, and this week's episode, Pyramids of Mars. Joining me on the second half of the program is my good friend Mark from the Trap One Podcast as we discuss the TV story's December 1976 novelization, Doctor Who and the Pyramids of Mars. What's changed in the book from the TV episodes? How's Jason's grasp of Egyptian geography? How much did it cost Sutekh to ship the Osirian rocket parts from Valley of the Kings to Mick Jagger's estate, using 1911 freight charges? And will Mark be able to break the all-time "20 Questions" show record? Jason then reviews the Pyramids novelization, and surveys his favorite shows about TV lawyer and judges. It's Doctor Who Literature's biggest episode yet! You can also catch Jason on the most recent episode of the Doctor Who Target Book Club Podcast. So much fun to record with Tony and Dalton and discussing another epic Terrance Dicks novelization of a Tom Baker classic.
May 22, 2022
Episode 26 - Planet of the Daleks (with Conrad Westmaas)
Delighted to welcome to the show this week, for the first time, Conrad Westmaas. We discuss the ethics of adding illustrations to your own Target book copies, the unexpected career intersection between John Abineri and WInona Ryder, and what it's like to hear Paul McGann namecheck your own character on TV. Is Planet of the Daleks a good story? Conrad also braves a game of "Guess That Cliffhanger!", with surprising results (spoiler: sadly, no cliffhangers involving John Abineri appear this week). In the second half of the program, Jason discusses the surprisingly extensive differences between the TV story and the slim novelization. Jason discussed the casting of Ncuti Ghatwa on this past week's episode of the Trap One Podcast. Please check that out as well!
May 15, 2022
Episode 25 - The Space War (with Daniel Knight)
BREAKING NEWS! Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor Who!! ... but this episode was recorded and edited before the announcement, so join me on Trap One later in the week for a deeper analysis. Welcome to the 25th episode of Doctor Who Literature -- this week is the 49th anniversary of Target's first Doctor Who book releases, and now we're reading their 25th published novelization, "Doctor Who and the Space War", published in September 1976. My guest this week is Daniel Knight, and we discuss the history of TV production in the US, Star Trek, what makes the definitive Malcolm Hulke novelization, and what other Doctor Who podcasts might also be tackling "Frontier in Space" this week. Daniel joins us for a game of "Guess That Cliffhanger". Can anything in the world stop him now? In the second half, Jason does a close reading of the text. Is this an improvement on the TV story, or perhaps a slight diminution? The episode features a brief musical cue from The Beastie Boys for Mothers' Day. No copyright infringement is intended.
May 08, 2022
Episode 24 - The Web of Fear (with Bill Evenson)
When Bill Evenson is in the house, anything can happen on the podcast. Today we discuss The Web of Fear, the TV episodes (four of the six of which were famously rediscovered and released in 2013), and the 1976 Terrance Dicks novelization. But we also discuss Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, Mel Brooks, alcohol, the LAX Marriott and Doctor Who convention dealers' rooms, and... more alcohol. Also, one of us can't tell the difference between Rod Steiger and Roy Staiger, but both of us agree that baseball is no substitute for Doctor Who. Bill is a prodigious talent. You can hear him on just about every episode of Reality Bomb, read him (with co-author, and friend of the program, Stacey Smith?) in Look At The Size of That Thing (never mind the cover art), and hear even more of him as co-host of the Frankenstein Minute podcast. I previously interviewed Bill (and Stacey Smith?) on an episode of Trap One in 2021. This episode features musical excerpts from the incredible vocal talents of Patti LuPone from the US TV series "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", and from the film soundtrack of Fiddler on the Roof. The new documentary Fiddler's Journey to the Big Screen is still playing in Manhattan as this episode releases, and will be touring North America throughout spring 2022. I have no involvement with the film or filmmakers, and its relation to "The Web of Fear" is of course strictly tangential. At best.
May 01, 2022
Episode 23 - Genesis of the Daleks (with Simon Hart)
This is the first episode of Doctor Who Literature recorded and aired after the April 2022 premiere of "Legend of the Sea Devils". Hear Jason's review at the top of this episode -- and, for a more balanced view, Jason recently joined a Trap One panel discussing the same episode. This week, we have our first three-time guest, Mr. Si Hart. We break down, just how good is Genesis of the Daleks? How do you rank the four actors who portrayed Davros on TV? Who does the better dramatic reading from the novelization (hint, it's Si)? And, just how many copies of this novelization is too many to own (hint, that's a very large number)? Si also joins us for a game of "Guess That Cliffhanger". The results will leave you in suspense. The episode concludes with Jason's review of the "Genesis of the Daleks" novelization. Featured throughout are selections from D'Oyly Carte productions of Gilbert & Sullivan's, HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance.
April 24, 2022
Episode 22 - Revenge of the Cybermen (with David Barsky)
May 1976 saw the release of "Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen". It's the third novelization of a Tom Baker episode -- all by Terrance Dicks so far -- and the third novelization of a Cybermen episode -- but this is the first one by Terrance and the first one NOT written by Gerry Davis. David Barsky joins us in the first half to talk about how he got into television, where his career has taken him, and where Doctor Who fits in. We both give contrarian takes on "Revenge of the Cybermen" the TV story, and have a lot of fun sharing our opinions on Christopher Robbie's controversial Cyberleader. We then discuss passages from the book, and marvel over how much it strays, at times, from the TV version. We're also debuting a new game here on Doctor Who Literature. How does Barsky fare on the premiere edition of "Guess That Cliffhanger"? We'll leave you in suspense until you listen... In the second half, Jason tackles the text of the novelization, and tries to figure out where this fits among Terrance's previous adaptations. And be sure to join us next week for another guest, another novelization, and another thrilling game.
April 17, 2022
Episode 21 - The Ice Warriors (with Frazer Gregory)
It's March 1976, and, it's not the first Target novelization to feature The Ice Warriors, but it is the novelization of their very first TV adventure. It's Brian Hayles' second, and, sadly, final, Target novelization. After a discussion of the news this week in New York City-based Doctor Who fandom, Jason welcomes back to the show Frazer Gregory, to discuss the Ice Warriors novelization. The two of us exchange dramatic readings of favorite passages, discuss how well Hayles captured the 2nd Doctor in print, along with all the other supporting characters and monsters. We come at this book from different perspectives, having discovered it at very different times in our lives. And Frazer makes a run at becoming the King of 20 Questions on Doctor Who Literature... can he do it? Jason concludes with his review of the Ice Warriors novelization. And we'll see you next week!
April 10, 2022
Episode 20 - The Dinosaur Invasion (with Lewis Baston)
This week Jason is joined by Lewis Baston, author of a forthcoming Obverse Books' Black Archive book on the Doctor Who serial "The Sun Makers", to talk about Malcolm Hulke's February 1976 novelization of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs"... but, fear not, we get plenty of talk in about "The Sun Makers", too. Later on, Jason breaks down all the ways, plot-wise and dialogue-wise, and tone-wise, how the novelization differs so greatly from the TV serial. Along the way, we also discuss Von Daniken, play a game of 20 Questions, and give a look at the new trailer for Doctor Who: "Legend of the Sea Devils".
April 03, 2022
Bonus Episode - Escape to Danger (with Robin Bland)
Happy April 1st to all our listeners. This week, our read-through of the Peter Cushing novelizations, by Observe Books, reaches "Escape to Danger", a short-story anthology adapting all six episodes from Cushing's wildly successful second radio series as Dr. Who. What happens when Robert Holmes turns his hand to the Cushing Universe characters? You won't want to miss Jason's breakdown of the first two short stories in this collection. You can find "Escape to Danger" (edited by Robin Bland) from the good people at Observe Books. The Cushing novelizations are no joke!
April 01, 2022
Episode 19 - The Tenth Planet (with Ross from Gallifrey's Most Wanted)
It's February 1976, and "Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet". The first Hartnell-episode novelization published in ten years, a novelization of the first Cyberman TV adventure... and William Hartnell's last full story. Ross from "Gallifrey's Most Wanted" rejoins Jason to talk about how this book compares to childhood memories. We also take a grand tour through all of Doctor Who -- TV, books, Big Finish, and even some non-Doctor Who-related content. Ross really knows his stuff and it's always a thrill discussing the entirety of Doctor Who with him. In the second half of the show, Jason (plagued by some really bad microphones and audio quality -- please bear with me!) works through the text of the novelization. What does Gerry Davis do with the by-now ten-year-old TV scripts? How do the Antarctic landscape, the Cybermen costume and voices, and the generation of the First Doctor into the Second, work in the book, compared to how we would have seen them on TV?
March 27, 2022
Episode 18 - The Loch Ness Monster (with Simon Hart)
It's January 1976, and season 2 of Doctor Who Literature begins with a look at Terrance Dicks' second novelization of a Tom Baker episode: Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster, a quick-to-print adaptation of the Season 13 series premiere, "Terror of the Zygons". Jason is joined at the top of the hour by Simon Hart (@SiHart) as we discuss how Terrance's novelization differs in many key ways from the TV broadcast. What do Doctor Who monsters sound like when we're reading these books as kids, before having seen the TV story in question? Did Si remember to charge his laptop before the recording started? And can Jason stump Si in a game of "20 Questions"? In the second half of the program, Jason takes his signature close look at Terrance Dicks' writing style. Is this book a mere transcript of the TV episodes, devoid of extra insights or observational humor? Far, far from it. This hour features a musical snippet from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
March 20, 2022
Bonus Episode - Lynda Baron tribute (with Joe Ford) and Collecting the Targets (with Dale Santos)
We take a break between Seasons 1 and 2 of the program -- as we're in between the 1975 and 1976 books -- and reflect on the passing of Lynda Baron, one of the great "Doctor Who" guest performers (1966, 1983, 2011). What are the best verses of "The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon"? What happens when the Target novelization of "Enlightenment" is missing a key scene? And, worst of all, what happens when Jason lets Joe solo-host the show for a minute? I mean, what could possibly go wrong... We also premiere an interview with Dale Santos, a prolific collector of Target novelizations and original cover art, who explores with us the roots of his collection. How many different cover variants of Target books are there? What happened to the original cover paintings? Regular programming resumes with "Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster" next week, but this bonus content is not to be missed.
March 13, 2022
Episode 17 - The Three Doctors (with Mark from Trap One)
It's the last novelization of 1975, and the end of the first season of Doctor Who Literature. In a slight format change, Jason goes deep into the memory banks to explain a curious notation that he wrote on the inside cover of the book back in 1985. We're joined then by Jason's good friend Mark from the Trap One Podcast to discuss what the novelization of "The Three Doctors" means to us. Plus many other stories of having met now-deceased Doctor Who greats at conventions over the years, and how has the language of fandom changed over the years, and what makes a multi-Doctor story tick, and, does "Twice Upon a Time" count as a multi-Doctor story? And, after the interview with Mark, Jason goes deep to discuss what changes Terrance made between screen and script. Is this book better or worse than Jason remembered it from his last read-through? What is the significance of the words "purple" and "flute"? And where, oh, where is the First Doctor?
March 06, 2022
Episode 16 - Planet of the Spiders (with Graeme Burk)
We open by paying tribute to two big names from the Doctor Who family who we lost this past week, an actor from the 1970s and a writer from the 1960s. In the first part of the program, Jason -- having run out of blog posts to adapt, had to write half of this week's script from scratch -- takes us on a journey through Terrance Dicks' word-pictures, editorial additions and omissions, and lyrical evocation of the senses, in his novelization of "Planet of the Spiders", which is set half on a planet of the spiders, and half on a planet of the Buddhists. In the second part of the program, Jason is joined by Graeme Burk from "Reality Bomb" to discuss the book, the origins of our Target collections, Graeme's memorable weekend with Terrance Dicks in the year 2000, whether or not the Eighth Doctor Adventures books stand the test of time... and Graeme joins me in a new segment, a game of Twenty Questions, before announcing his latest book. Please listen to the special Terrance Dicks episode of Reality Bomb. You can also find some of Graeme's acclaimed Doctor Who non-fiction here. This week's episode features the vocal talents of Dooley Wilson.
February 27, 2022
Episode 15 - The Green Death (with Hannah Long)
Welcome to a special recorded-at-Gallifrey-One-in-Los-Angeles edition of Doctor Who Literature. While Jason the Brooklyn boy is somewhat out of his element in this big big city, he's joined long-distance by a fellow Brooklynite to discuss Malcolm Hulke's glorious August 1975 paean to the common man and laborer. The first half of the book features Jason's breakdown of the text of the book, adapted from a three-part blog post originally published in February 2017. The second half sees Hannah Long, a freelance writer and commentator, discuss "Doctor Who and the Green Death" from a different perspective to Jason's own, but they do find a lot of common ground to like about the book. You can find Hannah's writings about Doctor Who here and please look her up on Twitter as well. This episode features musical selections from the legendary Woody Guthrie and the incomparable Mandy Patinkin.
February 20, 2022
Episode 14 - Terror of the Autons (with Eric Gjovaag)
It's May 1975, and Terrance Dicks' second book in three months. Will his increased writers' output affect his style, descriptive powers, wit, pizzazz? ... obviously not. This book is tremendous and actually an improvement over the TV serial in several spots. In the first half of the episode, Jason breaks down why this novelization is such an upgrade from TV, and why the mere act of opening the book brings a lump to his throat. In the second half, Jason is joined by a very old internet friend from the rec.arts.drwho days, Eric Gjovaag. Eric tells some wild stories about the old days of American Doctor Who fandom in the 1980s and '90s, and these are not to be missed. You can find Erc's own Wizard of Oz book and other Oz writings, as well as his long-running Oz homepage, and his Doctor Who fan club's page.
February 13, 2022
Episode 13 - The Giant Robot (with Stacey Smith?)
It's Episode Lucky-Number-Thirteen. Doctor Who and the Giant Robot is one of our favorite novelizations from childhood, a slim volume -- the shortest Target book to date -- but it's held an outsized influence over Jason's life, since he first read it over 35 years ago. What about this little book is so magical? Why should it still be widely read today? In the first half of the episode, Jason takes you on journey through the book's text. Terrance Dicks uses fewer words here, in the March 1975 release, than in his earlier books, but pulls no punches, and works his usual craft in adapting the teleplays while never missing a wicked character aside or sharp internal thought. In the second half, we're rejoined by Stacey Smith?, a prolific Doctor Who non-fiction writer and editor, making her second appearance on Doctor Who Literature. How did Stacey come to get this book co-signed by the wrong Doctor? Is this book more memorable than its parent TV story? How do the book's politics play out in this tumultuous world of 2022? This episode features Simon & Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter" (not featuring Miss Winters... or Arnold Jellicoe).
February 06, 2022
Episode 12 - The Cybermen (with Pete Lambert)
Doctor Who Literature turns to Jason's first novelization, Doctor Who and the Cybermen, which Jason first read -- all in one day -- on Super Bowl Sunday 1985. Thirty-seven years later and the book's prose, vocabulary, and descriptive powers, are still unmatched. In the first half of the episode, Jason breaks down what makes Gerry Davis' writing style so good, and fortunately there are many more Davis novelizations to come. In the second half, we're joined by Pete Lambert, a good friend from the Trap One Podcast. We talk about how influential this book was to us as young readers, what other classic book series we moved away from once the Doctor entered our lives, and how the Target books would stack up against today's YA fiction. What is the significance of the word "radiophonic" to the text? Who exactly in the story as a "fetish", and what's it about? And why are there Welsh shepherds on the moon? A truly fun and relaxed conversation, and we can't wait to have Pete back on again soon.
January 30, 2022
Episode 11 - The Curse of Peladon (with Ross from Gallifrey's Most Wanted)
We're up to the 1975 Target Doctor Who novelization releases. Up first, the first novelization (of two) by Brian Hayles, featuring the first novelization (of four) to feature the Ice Warriors. Stand by... for news. A lot happened in the Doctor Who universe this week. We learned the identity of the next five Target novelizations: three New Series adventures, and new takes on two Classic Series tales. We learned which Classic Series season is getting the Blu-ray treatment, via another canon-worthy Pete McTighe-scripted trailer, and with a tantalizing set of new Chris Chapman documentaries, Matthew Sweet interviews, and all the other usual Behind the Sofa-type goodness. And, lastly, happy birthday to Doctor Who's reigning elder statesman. Once we get to the book, the first half of the episode is Jason and his trademark breakdown Brian Hayles' prose style and narrative choices. In the last half of the episode, I'm delighted to be joined by Ross from Gallifrey's Most Wanted, who provides a different take on Hayles' prose style. We thoroughly explore the politics of this story, and what those politics look like today, both in the UK, where the Peladon adventures were written, and here in the States, where similar issues continue to drive the political narrative. This is a can't-miss conversation.
January 23, 2022
Episode 10 - The Abominable Snowmen (with Jonathan Blum)
Welcome to the double digits for the Doctor Who Literature podcast (excluding bonus episodes), and it's the last Target novelization of 1974, Terrance Dicks' third book, and the first novelization of a Patrick Troughton/2nd Doctor adventure. The Abominable Snowmen has been in the news this week, or, at least, on the rumor mill, with stories that the forthcoming animation of the TV serial, co-funded by BBC America, will be the last such project... at least, co-funded by BBC America. In the first half of the episode, we break down Terrance's book, and talk about how he works his magic in print, elevating or often improving on the visuals we saw on TV. In the second half, we're joined by prolific Doctor Who novelist Jonathan Blum, who reveals a soft spot for Terrance Dicks. We discuss how Terrance actually adapted, rather than merely transcribed, the TV serial, and what objectionable bits he removed along the way. We take a tough look at the TV production, and examine why we enjoyed the book regardless. Musical cues taken from the 1961 rendition of "Blue Moon" by The Marcels.
January 16, 2022
Episode 9 - The Sea-Devils (with Frazer Gregory)
It's October 1974, and Malcolm Hulke's third novelization of the year. He'll never have another year this prolific, but what a trilogy of books he's left us. Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils is the shortest of the bunch, but don't let the length fool you; there's some terrific material here in terms of character insights and observational humor. Even if there aren't too many actual Sea-Devils. In the first half of the episode, I break down Hulke's writing style in the book, and catalogue the many changes from screen to book. In the second half, I'm joined by one of my favorite podcast guests, Frazer Gregory, who shares his memories of this novelization, and does some of the best dramatic readings from the book that you'll find, outside of the Target novelization audiobook range. This may be the end of Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils, but the Sea Devils will return.
January 09, 2022
Episode 8 - The Daemons (with Simon Hart)
This week we're up to October 1974 and the first book of Target's last double-release month. The first of those two books is the novelization of "The Daemons", the Season 8 finale, and is written by the episode's producer and co-writer, Barry Letts. It's one of the longest novelizations Target will ever put out, and in the first half of this episode, we'll take a deep dive into just what Barry is able to do with all that extra space. For the second half of the episode, we're joined by Simon Hart (@Si_Hart), a very prolific and very funny podcaster, who talks about how he first encountered this novelization, and how well it holds up today. This week's outro music features two different versions of "Heart" from the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees", including selections from the 1958 movie adaptation and a 1969 episode of the Ed Sullivan Show.
January 02, 2022
Episode 7 - Day of the Daleks (with Tony Whitt)
March 1974 saw two Target novelization releases; Episode 6 covered one of those, Malcolm Hulke's Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon. This week we jump back in time from the 30th century to the 22nd and take a long look at Terrance Dicks' Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks. A remarkable book, one of Terrance's longest, this expands greatly on the troubled TV production, adding a prologue and epilogue not seen on TV, and giving us Terrance with some of his most evocative prose ever. The first half of the episode features Jason's trademark deep dive into the book's prose. For the second half, we're joined this week by Tony Whitt of the Doctor Who Target Book Club podcast (@DWTARGETBC). Tony's excellent Target podcast previously covered this book -- and paid tribute to Terrance Dicks in general -- in 2019, and you can find that episode here:
December 26, 2021
Episode 6 - The Doomsday Weapon (with Mark from Trap One)
It's March 1974, and the third and fourth Target novelizations of Doctor Who episodes are released in the same month. Once again, the double release features one Malcolm Hulke book and one Terrance Dicks book. This week we're discussing the Hulke entry, the novelization of 1971's "Colony in Space". In the first half of the episode, we'll break down this long and remarkable book. In the second half, we're joined by Mark (@QuarkMcMalus) from the Trap One Podcast (@trapone_), for a wide-ranging discussion about the book, and a few related topics. Living on a hostile alien planet and being threatened by a capitalist world-state, has never been this entertaining or illuminating!
December 19, 2021
Episode 5 - The Cave Monsters (With Stacey Smith?)
For the first time, Jason is joined by a guest, prolific Doctor Who non-fiction writer, longtime fan, epidemiologist, and a former profile subject on Morgan Freeman's "Through The Wormhole", the inimitable Stacey Smith? (the questionmark is part of her name). In the first part of the episode, Jason goes in-depth on the text, prose, and themes of The Cave Monsters. Then, as Stacey joins in, together, we discuss and debate Malcolm Hulke's first novelization, "Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters". Stacey previous wrote about the parent TV story for the Black Archive series, which she and I previous discussed on Trap One, which you can listen to below. This week we also pay tribute to Chris Achilleos, one of the great Doctor Who illustrators, who painted the cover and drew the internal illustrations for The Cave Monsters. Chris Achilleos passed away on Wednesday, December 9, 2021.
December 12, 2021
Episode 4 - The Auton Invasion
After three episodes on the Frederick Muller books from the 1960s, it's now 1974, and the Target range -- which began with 1973 reprints of the Muller books -- begins properly with a twin January 1974 release of novelizations of "Spearhead From Space" and "Doctor Who and the Silurians". It's a very warm welcome to the Target line for Terrance Dicks -- they'll end up keeping him. Join us for a deep dive in Terrance's magnum opus, a 150-page book, one of his very best, if not THE best, books he wrote. What value does Terrance add to the TV scripts and direction? How does he describe the TARDIS materialization sound and the Third Doctor's face, in this, his first Doctor Who book? Join us, and find out ...
December 05, 2021
Bonus Episode - Corporals Aren't Colonels
Chapter 5 of Doctor Who: Flux, Survivors of the Flux, contained a voice cameo hearkening back to UNIT's glory days, as well as a surprising if somewhat illogical revelation about that voice's military track record. Join us for a bonus episode looking back to November 2003's Past Doctor Adventure novel, "Deadly Reunion", Doctor Who's 40th anniversary story, and something of an autobiography for its co-author, one Barry Letts.
December 04, 2021
Episode 3 - The Crusaders
The third and final Frederick Muller-published Doctor Who novelization -- and its second by David Whitaker -- came out in February 1966. The book remains in print today and still generates many fresh topics for discussion. Are Ian and Barbara a couple? Are wars only waged between one good side and one evil side? Who are we supposed to root for in this book? When is it appropriate for an author to break the "show-don't-tell" rule? Is this a rote adaptation of the TV scripts for "The Crusade", or is David Whitaker using the book platform to tell a new story, one too broad and deep for the small screen? Join us as we discuss all these things.
November 28, 2021
Bonus Episode - Doctor Who Turns 58
Welcome to the first bonus episode of Doctor Who Literature. For this episode we're discussing not the books, but the TV series itself, on this, November 23, 2021, it's 58th anniversary. Tying in to Jason's recent Twitter watch-through of the Classic Series, #drwhopilgrimage, this episode will feature two randomly selected episodes of the classic series, with live and unscripted commentary over each one. Most of Doctor Who is made up not of all-time stone-cold classics or the worst turkeys, but just average workaday episodes. What can we learn about classic Doctor Who by not watching the all-time titans, but just two random ordinary episodes? Which episodes will the episode generator give us, and what larger lessons about Doctor Who can we gather from these random stories?
November 24, 2021
Episode 2 - The Zarbi
Welcome back to the Doctor Who Literature podcast. This week, I'm discussing the second published Doctor Who novelization, adapting the notorious (and very highly-rated) 1965 serial, "The Web Planet". Bill Strutton's only contribution to the books line. Strutton, who had a prolific career and a fascinating biography, came to the books very early on, and some of his assumptions about the TARDIS and the Doctor's female companions look downright odd to us today in 2021. How does the book hold up, 56 years after its release? What positive messages can we take away from it today?
November 21, 2021
Episode 1 - An Exciting Adventure with the Daleks
Welcome to the first full episode of the Doctor Who Literature podcast. I'm discussing the first Doctor Who episode novelization, 1964's "Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks". It's a novelization... that isn't.
November 14, 2021
Trailer for The History of Doctor Who Literature
Coming soon, the History of Doctor Who Literature podcast, a book by book examination of the Target novelizations, in publication order.
November 06, 2021