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Slap on a Doctor Who Logo

By Jon Preddle

In TSV 28 I looked at some of the non-fiction books that covered the behind the scenes of Doctor Who. Here are some of the other non-fiction books that were published between 1976 and 1988.

Doctor Who and the Daleks Omnibus
This 1976 book from Artus has special meaning for me. It was after reading it that I became a Who fan! Based on material written by Terry Nation it contains abridged adaptations of Terrance Dicks' novelisations of Planet and Genesis of the Daleks plus studies of Dalek planets and weapons, and a photographic listing of the TV and movie Dalek stories. The book is noted for containing eight pages from the Genesis script.

The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book
This was the first in a series of picture books (all the same size as the first Monster Book) written by Terrance Dicks which capitalized on Tom Baker's popularity as the Doctor. As the title suggests, this 1976 Target book takes a look at dinosaurs and cavemen with a 'commentary' by the Doctor. The cover illustration is duplicated on a large fold out poster.

Doctor Who Discovers...
As a follow-up to the Dinosaur Book, Target published (in 1977) five more books in the series: Early Man, Space Travel, Strange and Mysterious Creatures, Prehistoric Animals, and The Conquerors. Each contained a poster of the cover art and the text was illustrated with drawings and photos.

The Jon Pertwee Book Of Monsters
While not a Doctor Who book as such, this 1978 Magnet Book contains short stories selected and introduced by Pertwee. The volume was edited by Richard Davis.

Junior Doctor Who...
Following complaints from the parents of young children that their Doctor Who novelisations were too hard to read, Target decided to produce as series of books rewritten with 5-8 year old readers in mind. Terrance Dicks (who else!) was selected for this task, and he chose two of his own TV stories as the first books. The Giant Robot and The Brain of Morbius were both published in 1979 and 1980 (in hardback and paperback). They are an inch taller and wider than the usual novels, with rather groovy illustrations by Peter Edwards. The Brain of Morbius was reprinted with the neon logo in 1985.

The Adventures of K9
When K9 was written out of the series in 1980, one of his creators, Dave Martin, was approached by Sparrow Books to write a series of children's picture books about the mechanical mutt. Four titles were published: The Beasts of Vega, The Time Trap, The Missing Planet and The Zeta Rescue. The stories follow the exploits of K9 Mark 1, who is sent by the Time Lords on missions in his space ship the K-NEL.

The Doctor Who Quiz Books
Before he became the editor of the Target Doctor Who novels, Nigel Robinson was a freelance writer. In 1981 he put together The Doctor Who Quiz Book which contained questions from the first four Doctors' eras. This was followed in 1983 with The Second Doctor Who Quiz Book, now including the Fifth Doctor. The Sixth Doctor's first season was included in 1985 with The Third Doctor Who Quiz Book. All three offer excellent source material for convention/video day quizzes...

Doctor Who Crossword Book
If the three quiz books weren't enough for him, Robinson also produced a crossword book for Target (in 1982). A standard crossword style with symmetrical grids was used for the 45 puzzles with most clues being Doctor Who based. Perfect to while away those cold winter nights...

Doctor Who Quiz Book(s) of...
Magnet Books released four titles in 1983 written by TV 'scientist' Michael Holt. The four books were Doctor Who Quiz Book of Magic, Science, Space, and Dinosaurs (a popular subject!). The books (adorned with a cut out photo of Peter Davison's Doctor stuck onto an illustrated background) each have the Doctor giving his companions Tegan, Nyssa and Turlough a lecture about the subject in question. Each chapter then ends with a short test/game/puzzle. They are illustrated with line cartoons which don't do the actors any justice whatsoever...

Peter Davison's Book of Alien Monsters
Peter Davison's Book of Alien Planets
As if to cash in on Davison's portrayal as the Doctor, in 1983 Sparrow Books put out two collections of short stories selected and introduced by Davison. Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke feature among the writers.

Doctor Who - Brain Teasers and Mind-Benders
Adrian Heath, a Doctor Who fan in his early teens, put together a collection of games and puzzles, each with a Doctor Who theme, and submitted it to Target books. They published it in 1984. The puzzles include clueless crosswords, anagrams, hidden letters, etc.

The Doctor Who Pattern Book
With this 1984 WH Allen release, by Joy Gammon, you too can have hours of fun putting together your own TARDIS cushion, 17 foot scarf, cuddly Cybermat pillow case, or even a K9 shoulder bag!

Doctor Who Puzzle Book
When Colin Baker became the Doctor, Magnet put out Michael Holt's fifth book (in 1985). This book features the Doctor, Peri and K9 (!) as they travel from planet to planet solving various tricks and riddles to lead them to their next destination. Unlike the other Holt books, the illustrations look like the actors. This item is a rarity because unlike Target, Magnet had licence to use Colin Baker's face on the cover. The expression on his face makes one wonder if the book should instead be called the Doctor Who Puzzled Book..!

The Doctor Who Cookbook
JNT's Production Manager Gary Downie prepared this 1985 WH Allen book. The book contains the favourite recipes of some of Doctor Who's better known cast members; so you too can try the delights of Vegetable soup with Dalek Krotons, Davros' Ribs of revenge, Castrovalvan Kebabs, and the like. The only good thing about this (waste of a) book is Gail Bennett's wonderful cartoons.

A Solo-Play Adventure Game
1986 saw the release of two books that were licenced solely to the American company FASA, better known for their Role Playing Games, and written by William H. Keith Jnr. The Vortex Crystal features the Fourth Doctor, Sarah and Harry Sullivan up against the Daleks, and The Rebel's Gamble has the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Harry (??) in the midst of the American Civil War. The Rebel's Gamble features rare Colin Baker cover art.

The Companions Of Doctor Who
Target tried an experiment in 1986 under Nigel Robinson's editorship; books using the Doctor's (ex) companions in the central role. The short-lived series was kicked off with Tony Attwood's Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma. Unfortunately the story is very confusing, and Turlough is nothing like his television self. Ian Marter's Harry Sullivan's War was a lot better, mainly because Marter had played Harry on TV and knew the character better than anyone else. The experiment failed due to poor sales of these two books but a third title, K9 and Company, was released in 1987. Unlike the other two books, this was actually a novelisation, making it a convenient addition to the Companions series. Terence Dudley adapted his own script, A Girl's Best Friend, which was the pilot for the unmade series K9 and Company, produced by the BBC in 1980.

Make Your Own Adventure With Doctor Who
It seemed inevitable that Doctor Who would be hit by the 'Plot Your Own Adventure' craze. Severn House put out six of these books in 1986, all written by well-known Doctor Who authors: Search for the Doctor (Dave Martin), Crisis in Space (Michael Holt), Garden of Evil (Martin), Race Against Time (Pip & Jane Baker), Mission to Venus (William Emms) and Invasion of the Ormazoids (Philip Martin). All of the stories feature the Sixth Doctor and Peri. Mission to Venus is actually an adaptation of an unused script that Emms wrote back in 1966 called The Imps. Garden of Evil is also based on an unused script. Race Against Time was rewritten a year later by the Bakers to become Sylvester McCoy's debut story Time and the Rani!

The Doctor Who Fun Book
Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett write and draw the hilarious 'Doctor Who?' cartoon in Doctor Who Magazine. In 1987, Target released a large-sized 68-page book of their cartoons. Anyone who appreciates Howett's unique drawing style and Quinn's wicked sense of humour are sure to enjoy this book. It would take a good few hours of close study to identify all the characters appearing in the centre-spread '40th Anniversary Poster'! So if you've got a few hours to spare...

Doctor Who - It's Bigger On The Inside!
Quinn and Howett put out this second book of cartoons in 1988, but this time Marvel Comics was the publisher. There have been promises of a third volume but we're still waiting...

This item appeared in TSV 30 (September 1992).