To celebrate this year’s World Book Night (23rd April), we’re sharing some of the very best Doctor Who adventures to get you time travelling through books. Allons-y!
Almost 40 years after Tom Baker and Ian Marter came up with a film idea that never made it to the big screen, Scratchman has finally been brought to life in the form of a novelisation. In this terrifying tale, the Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry arrive at a remote Scottish island where strange scarecrow creatures are terrorising the islanders, and the Doctor faces one of his most terrifying enemies yet… the devil! Or is it? Find out in Tom Baker’s first ever novel.
‘Am I a good man?’ asked the Twelfth Doctor to Clara. A regeneration on, the Thirteenth Doctor is wondering that too. Landing on the planet Lobos, the Doctor, Yaz, Graham and Ryan halt a terrible war and leave the planet in peace. But wait a minute – nothing is ever that simple in Doctor Who, right? A mislaid phone and a slip on the TARDIS controls later sees the gang back in Lobos again, hundreds of years later, only to find the Loba people as slaves, worshipping a God named ‘The Good Doctor’. How is the Doctor going to sort out this mess?
Inspired by iconic poet A.A. Milne, this book of poetry is an ode to his most famous collection Now We Are Six – with a Time Lord twist, of course. Setting the scene, the collection starts in the ‘Thousand Acre Wood’, where a particularly blue ‘tree’ has been found. Playful, sharp and funny, the collection covers everything: from Sarah Jane still waiting for her friend the Doctor to return, to a love poem about the Eleventh Doctor’s beloved bow tie. Illustrated by previous showrunner Russell T Davies, the words are lovingly intertwined with perfect characterisations. A great regeneration of a classic.
Set to shoot in 1979, the television recording of the Fourth Doctor story Shada was cut short by strikes and the full footage wasn’t seen again till a release on VHS in 1992. But nothing is ever forgotten. Not really. Using the brilliant original screenplay from Douglas Adams, Shada has made it into novel form, and what a unique and iconic Doctor Who adventure it is. The Doctor and Romana’s day trip punting on the rivers of Cambridge is interrupted by a mysterious floating sphere. What follows is a race to keep an ancient book from the dark days of Rassilon away from dangerous hands. Is there another Time Lord? And what is Shada?
We’re always busy. The mundane, the exciting. Work, eat, sleep and repeat. With never ending to-do lists, it would be so brilliant if we could just have a few extra hours in our day. Andrew Brown knows this feeling all too well – there’s never time to call his sister, or prepare that really important presentation. So when two bankers offer him some borrowed time, he grabs the offer with both hands. But what are the terms and conditions? The Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory go undercover to save Andrew from bankruptcy before Mr Symington and Blenkinsop cash their investments. Bestselling author of The Power, Naomi A Alderman writes a dark take on the potential future of debt repayment.
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For many of us, the televised episode of Rose was where it all began – a window into another world. From Jackie Tyler talking compensation, to Autons attempting world domination, it hooked us. And who better to write the novelisation than the man who brought this story to our screens? In novel form, Russell has more space to explore each character. We meet Mickey’s bandmates and best friends: Sally, Patrice and Mook, and finally find out about the man we never got to meet in the TV episode: Wilson! If you loved Rose, you will enjoy this novel as Russell T Davies has expanded on the world we first saw in 2005, furthering one of the most well-loved Doctor Who stories of all time.
We’d better say something nice about this particular book… Containing six short stories by some of the best Doctor Who writers, we’re treated to an expansion on Missy’s timeline. Starting before Series 8, we follow Missy as she has her revenge on all the men who have wronged her - and as can be expected, the revenge is not pretty. World domination under the ruse of a loving governess, collaborating with a fellow female Time Lord rebel and researching feminist history while locked up in the vault – you’ll learn more about Missy than ever before. So please try to keep up.
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As timey-wimey as Doctor Who goes, you can’t beat The Day of the Doctor. The episode that celebrated 50 years of the television show featured three Doctors, two (kind-of) companions and one very special Curator. Fresh from stepping down as Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat faced another challenge with his first ever novel and ripped up the rule book in the process, of course. Using the time travel within the story, the book jumps off the page as the jumbled chapters immerse you in a deeper journey. Benefitting from the Doctor’s internal monologue, we hear how he interprets each regeneration and how they react to one another. This novelisation takes on a life away from the episode and lets you experience the anniversary special in a whole new way. Now, I’m looking for the Doctor…