Make space on the bookshelf! A new set of Doctor Who Target books is set to materialise this summer.
Back in the day, Doctor Who Target books were the only way for many fans to enjoy the Time Lord’s past adventures, long before the arrival of VHS or UK Gold. Today, Doctor Who Target books remain popular and hugely collectible. They may not be worth very much (monetarily, at least) but they are much-beloved for the magical way in which they expand and build upon the televised stories.
And in summer 2023, a new set of Doctor Who Target books is set to invade your bookshelves, this time drawing on some of the Time Lord’s more recent adventures. These are the stories you can expect…
The 1981 story ‘Warriors’ Gate’ enjoyed its original Target release in 1982, but this time the adventure’s original writer Stephen Gallagher has returned to deliver an expanded edition. The book contains a new novelisation of ‘Warriors’ Gate’ along with two additional stories – ‘The Kairos Ring’ and ‘The Little Book of Fate,’ with the latter adventure featuring the Eighth Doctor.
‘The Kairos Ring,’ meanwhile, may not be a sequel to a classic Blake’s 7 story (Google it) but it does see the return of Romana and the Tharil Lazlo as they “ride the time winds in search of the sinister Sluagh – aliens who retool the dead as deadly warriors.”
And if you’ve never seen ‘Warriors’ Gate’ before, this is the perfect time to jump in. It is certainly one of Classic Who’s more surreal and mind-bending adventures, concluding the epic E-Space Trilogy which spanned Season Eighteen – the Fourth Doctor’s final series.
With the Tenth Doctor (well, Fourteenth) and Donna Noble set to return for the 60th anniversary, it seems appropriate that we have one of their classic adventures joining the Doctor Who Target books range. The Ood, of course, are the mysterious human servants who made their debut in the terrifying ‘The Impossible Planet,’ and in this Series Four adventure, the TARDIS lands on their home world of the Ood Sphere, where he learns the unsettling truth about their existence.
“The TARDIS lands on the Ood-Sphere in the year 4126,” says the official synopsis. “Here, human profiteers have subjugated the Ood: the gentle creatures are forced into servitude and sold across the galaxy as the perfect slaves. But now, some are fighting back. Their eyes turn red as they throw off their chains and kill their oppressors…”
The latest of these Doctor Who Target books comes courtesy of Keith Temple, who penned the original 2008 screenplay.
His song is ending. He will knock four times. The Tenth Doctor knows the end is near and is waging war against time itself, determined to change his fate. This dark and foreboding adventure from 2008 is the Tenth Doctor’s penultimate story before his regeneration in ‘The End of Time,’ and sees him paying a visit to the stricken team on Bowie Base One, planet Mars.
But as the title suggests, there is something in the water of this seemingly dead, rocky world – and water always wins. Phil Ford has written the next of these Doctor Who Target books, and he penned the special’s original script alongside Russell T Davies. Read this to see the birth of the Time Lord Victorious, and a couple of unexpected cameos…
The next of the Doctor Who Target books is a novelisation of a two part adventure from 2015. Featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Clara and UNIT, this story is a sequel of sorts to Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary special. The Zygons are attempting to live peacefully alongside mankind but, as you might expect, things aren’t exactly going to plan.
“It took three Doctors to broker a fragile peace between Zygons and Humans,” says the book’s synopsis. “Now the Twelfth must face the fallout alone. With his allies compromised and his companion believed dead, can he stop the world from plunging into war?”
And perhaps one of the most memorable moments from this adventure is the Doctor’s famous anti-war speech written by Peter Harness – perhaps one of the Twelfth Doctor’s most iconic moments.
“So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours,” he says. “When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?”
Keep the popcorn handy…
‘Kerblam!’ may have one of the stranger titles from the Doctor Who back catalogue, but don’t be fooled – this 2017 adventure is no comic book. In the next of the Doctor Who Target books, the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions visit one of the galaxy’s biggest online retailers, only to find that something sinister is brooding in the depths of its warehouses.
“Going undercover as Kerblam! workers, the TARDIS fam find that several human employees have vanished in sinister circumstances,” says the official synopsis. “Could the automated workforce be to blame? Or has the whole operation been compromised by forces unknown? The Doctor soon learns that when it comes to wrapping things up, she has nothing on Kerblam!”
Certainly, this adventure from Pete McTighe features an unexpected villain with a very unique modus operandi. You could say it has the complete package…
This set of Doctor Who Target books will be released on the 13th July 2023. Which one will you be picking up first? Let me know in the comments below.