Last Friday, 29 April, the artists and writers of the Doctor Who Target Books and current Doctor Peter Capaldi were on hand to celebrate Doctor Who: The Target Books Artwork, a display of original cover artwork from the classic novels taking place 28th April to 11th May at the Cartoon Museum in Holborn. This exhibition features covers from over 30 books.
Doctor Who: The Fan Show were at the event, talking to many familiar faces from the world of Doctor Who.
For fans of the Target Books, it is thrilling to see and hear artists and writers like Jeff Cummins, Chris Achilleos, Andrew Skilleter, and Terrance Dicks. Twelfth Doctor Capaldi was especially hilarious while looking at one of the covers, commenting, ‘A lot of them had a larger budget than the program!’ Outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat noted that another cover, featuring a Doctor and a very angry bird, ‘is actually kind of awesome – don’t know why he’s trying to fend off a pterodactyl with a frilled cuff, but it’s awesome!’ Don’t miss commentary from writer Jenny Colgan and others from Classic and New Who.
Standout covers include Genesis of the Daleks and The Space War by Chris Achilleos — the details on the Fourth Doctor’s jacket are stunning – and The Giant Robot by Jeff Cummins. Happily, many of the covers are available as postcards or on the re-released books themselves.
One interesting cover note – the original art for Vengeance on Varos is subtly but significantly different than the art on the actual book cover. No spoilers here: Fans, check it out for yourselves.
Target Books released 156 Doctor Who titles from 1973 to 1994. 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.