BBC Books have announced they will be re-releasing seven of the popular Doctor Who Target book series on the 28th April. The books will feature each of the seven classic Doctors and illustrations by artist Chris Achilleos, the original artist of the 1960s and 1970s books. In order to create a uniformed look to this release, Achilleos has created new covers for The Visitation, Vengeance on Varos and Battlefield.
For Classic Doctor Who fans, Target was the special book publisher in the 1970s and 80s. Every Whovian had a stack of these paperbacks, which were novelisations of the series, frequently written by the screenwriters. At a time without reruns, Netflix, Amazon, or even a lowly VCR, the books filled the gap if a fan missed an episode.
To celebrate the reissue of these iconic books from the classic series, the Cartoon Museum in Holborn will be hosting Doctor Who: The Target Books Artwork, a display of original cover artwork from the classic novels taking place 28th April to 11th May. This exhibition will feature covers from over 30 books. There will be ten covers by Chris Achilleos from The Daleks through to Revenge of the Cybermen, over 15 covers by Andrew Skilleter from Destiny of the Daleks through to The Mark of the Rani and other classic and well-loved original cover artwork such as Death To The Daleks by Roy Knipe and Horror of Fang Rock by Jeff Cummins, and later artwork by David McAlister and Tony Masero.
“To finally see some of these memorable covers in the flesh is a wonderful, unexpected treat. It’s a testament to their terrific, punchy immediacy that they feel both nostalgic and brand new. Show a copy of any one of these glorious novelisations to people of a certain age and they are transported back to a simpler, cosier age. Some of my memories of them are imprinted with Proustian clarity, like my very own, Time Lord-flavoured Madeleine cakes. It became a wonderful ritual, saving pocket money, then deciding which Target book to go for. I devoured them. Not literally. Though I did live in the north and was always hungry…” Mark Gatiss, actor and writer
“In those long ago and almost unimaginable days before streaming, or DVDs, or VHS and Betamax, the Target novels were a way of keeping the glow of the Who adventure around. And at the age I read them I was mainly living in books. Some of the early Target novels I can still recall fondly. There was something rattly and challenging about the best of them – they looked under the surface of things I took for granted, which I think was only right. Always to be left cover-down after reading at night in case the monster escaped from the cover.” A.L. Kennedy, bestselling author
All of the Target re-releases can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
For details about the exhibition or to book tickets, please visit The Cartoon Museum on http://www.cartoonmuseum.org/ or call 020 7580 8155
The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH
Doctor Who and The Zarbi by Bill Strutton was originally broadcast from 13 February-20 March 1965.
In the Zarbi, The Doctor, Ian and Vicki are captured by the Zarbi – huge ant-like creatures controlled by the parasitic alien Animus. Meanwhile, Barbara runs into a group of Menoptra, butterfly-like creatures that have been driven from their home planet by the Animus, and plan to return with an invasion force. But the Zarbi know their plans and are waiting for the Menoptra…
Doctor Who and the Web of Fear by Terrance Dick, was originally broadcast from 3 February-9 March 1968.
The TARDIS is engulfed by a mysterious web-like substance in space. Breaking free, the Doctor and his companions Jamie and Victoria land in the London Underground system. But a spreading killer mist has meant that London has been evacuated. The Great Intelligence is back – and its robot Yeti are roaming the streets and the underground tunnels.
The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria team up with an army unit working with their old friend Professor Travers to combat the menace. They soon realise, however, that someone in the group must be working for the Intelligence. With time running out, the Doctor and his friends realise they can trust no one…
Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion by Malcolm Hulk, was originally broadcast from 12 January–16 February 1974.
The Doctor and Sarah arrive in London to find it deserted. The city has been evacuated as prehistoric monsters appear in the streets. While the Doctor works to discover who or what is bringing the dinosaurs to London, Sarah finds herself trapped on a spaceship that left Earth months ago travelling to a new world…
Against the odds, the Doctor manages to trace the source of the dinosaurs. But will he and the Brigadier be in time to unmask the villains before Operation Golden Age changes the history of planet Earth and wipes out the whole of human civilisation?
Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks by Terrance Dick, was originally broadcast from 8 March–12 April 1975.
The Time Lords have a mission for the Doctor. Together with Sarah and Harry, he finds himself stranded on the war-torn planet Skaro where the conflict between the Thals and the Kaleds has been raging for a thousand years. Chemical and biological weapons have started a cycle of mutation among the planet’s inhabitants that cannot be stopped. But Kaled scientist Davros has perfected a life support system and travel machine for the creature he knows his race will ultimately evolve into – the Dalek.
The Doctor must stop the creation of the Daleks, or perhaps affect their development so they evolve into less aggressive creatures. But with Davros’s plans to destroy the Thals and to wipe out any dissenters among his own ranks in progress, is the Doctor already too late?
Doctor Who: The Visitation by Eric Saward was originally broadcast from 15–23 February 1982.
Trying to get Tegan back to Heathrow in 1981, the Doctor brings the TARDIS to the right place, but over 300 years early – in 1666. They are not the only visitors as Death stalks the local woods, complete with cloak, scythe and a skull-like face.
In fact, ‘Death’ is an android brought by a group of alien Terileptils whose spaceship has crashed. Criminals and fugitives from their own race, they now plan to take over Earth. With Adric and Tegan captured, the Doctor and Nyssa try to deal with the deadly android, and a group of local villagers under the control of the Terileptils.
Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos by Philip Martin, was original broadcast on 19–26 January 1975.
In need of Zeiton-7 to repair the TARDIS, the Doctor and Peri travel to the planet Varos. A former prison for the criminally insane, Varos is now ruled by the descendents of the guards. The population is kept in check and entertained by broadcasts of torture and execution from the Punishment Dome – where the TARDIS lands.
Soon the Doctor and Peri, together with rebel fugitives Jondar and Areta, find themselves trying to escape the Dome’s traps and challenges – all on live television.
Can the Doctor and Peri escape the Punishment Dome, and help the Governor ensure the people of Varos get a fair deal for their Zeiton-7?
Doctor Who: Battlefield by Marc Platt, was originally broadcast from 6–27 September 1989.
A UNIT nuclear convoy, stranded on the shores of Lake Vortigern, becomes the focus of an incursion by knights from a parallel reality. In this other world, technology and magic exist side by side, and the legends of King Arthur are fact. Close to the lake, the sinister Mordred battles against his enemy Ancelyn and summons his mother, the powerful witch Morgaine.
Is the Doctor really Merlin? And will he discover what actually happened to King Arthur? But time is running out for everyone as Morgaine takes control of the nuclear weapons and summons the Destroyer – Lord of Darkness and Eater of Worlds…