Doctor Who

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 561

Mark Gatiss, Robert Shearman and Joy Wilkinson reveal their expanded Doctor Who stories

Target novelisations have been expanding the televised stories of Doctor Who since 1973 and the latest batch of Target novels coming next month from BBC Books continues this tradition.

Three Doctor Who writers, Mark Gatiss, Robert Shearman and Joy Wilkinson talk about how their Target novels of Doctor Who expand the stories Dalek, The Crimson Horror and The Witchfinders in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. Read more in an exclusive extract below.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue #561 is on sale from Thursday 4th February 2021. It is available to order as a subscription, either physical or digital, here.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 561

What does a Target novel add to the televised story? The writers explain:

Robert Shearman on Dalek:

"I wanted the Dalek being tortured to have more impact, so I made more of its scream. That cry for help is the distress call that the Doctor picks up on while he and Rose are still in flight. So, excitingly, I got to write a TARDIS interior scene, which I didn’t get to do on TV."

Mark Gatiss on The Crimson Horror:

“One of the things I like most about the TV version is how swift it all is. I deliberately wrote it to be very different, so for example when the Doctor explains what has happened, everything goes at quite a lick. I didn’t want to sacrifice that with the book, and if I’d just enlarged the story it would have slowed it down. To preserve the slightly breakneck pace of it, I added another adventure – a prequel. It was very liberating to do the first case of Madam Vastra, Jenny and Strax.”

Joy Wilkinson on The Witchfinders:

"My episode was consciously standalone, in the midst of a series rather than at the start, and had three companions. That's why I wanted the framing story from the perspective of Willa. She’s a character I created and she goes through this massive change, inspired by the Doctor. We also find out some of what happened to her after the TV episode finishes.”

Read all three full interviews in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 561

Issue 561 also includes:

  • A celebration of the classic Target books.
  • Patrick O’Kane discusses his portrayal of Ashad, the Lone Cyberman, in Series 12.
  • An interview with editor Rebecca Trotman, who won a BAFTA for her work on Ascension of the Cybermen.
  • Inside the making of the trailer for the Season 24 Blu-ray box set, featuring contributions from Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford and writer/director Pete McTighe.
  • Family, friends and colleagues pay tribute to acclaimed Doctor Who writer Philip Martin.
  • The evolution of the scripts that would eventually become Vengeance on Varos, Philip Martin’s first Doctor Who story.
  • A Review of the Daleks! YouTube series.
  • The Fact of Fiction analyses the 1978 serial Underworld.
  • The third part of The White Dragon, a new comic-strip adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor.
  • Previews and reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser, The Blogs of Doom and more.
  • PLUS a double-sided Target wallchart and a new and exclusive Target book! (Book not available to digital subscribers.)

Don’t delay! Doctor Who Magazine Issue #561 is on sale from Thursday 4th February 2021. It is available to order as a subscription, either physical or digital, here.