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Target: NuWho
September 7, 2012 12:08 PM   Subscribe

What if New Who had Target Novelisations just like the old Doctor Who?
posted by Artw (58 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, Yes! MOAR 9th Doctor! Somebody make this happen (partly because the NuWho novelizations that I nave read have been underwhelming, even the Michael Moorcock one)
posted by KingEdRa at 12:14 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Technically those would be tie-ins, not novelisations.

/adjusts bow-tie.
posted by Artw at 12:22 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why are they not novelisations? Seems like exactly what they are, while the books that KingEdRa is referencing are tie-ins (i.e. new stories, not retellings of the episodes).

And to the question of "What if": I'd buy all of them obsessively and line them up perfectly, in order, on my obsessively organized Who bookshelf.
posted by jbickers at 12:29 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


And as for the Moorcock book: agreed, it was terrible. Probably because Moorcock had never seen a Matt Smith episode when he wrote it, so (among other things) he got the tone completely wrong. (And I'm a huge Moorcock fan, which made it even worse.)
posted by jbickers at 12:30 PM on September 7, 2012


Oh, these are great! Especially the use of the different styles and logos from down the years. I love that there's a cover for Time Crash too. I don't know how you'd pad that to 128 pages, but I'm sure it could be done.
posted by comealongpole at 12:33 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The tie-ins actually have a pretty illustrious history - in the dark times when there was no show it was them, DWM and the odd Big Finish audio that kept Who going. An awful lot of the better NuWho episodes have origins in the tie-ins as well.

I just wish the Kim Newman stuff was still in print, and that he'd finished Dimensions in Space to match Time and Relative. Would love to see him set loose on the new stuff as well.

But really it's the novelisations that have a place in my heart - before the series was out on video they were basically the only way you could watch or rewatch old episodes, and because they take place in your head the production values are top notch.
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on September 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


They did some novelizations for The Sarah Jane Adventures that were, I read, very Target like, which makes me very happy because I hate to think of kids today not getting novelizations of the things they just saw on TV last year. There's something really magical about reading the text of something you've already seen on television.

I love, love, love that "Aliens of London/World War Three" has been given a different title for the novelization (like "Spearhead from Space"/"The Auton Invasion") It's that level of detail that goes from making this more than just "a neat Internet-ready project" to "a thoughtful, loving tribute."

I also think there's been some thought put into which ones were given 70s covers vs. 80s covers vs. 90s reissues vs. 7th Doctor logo, etc. But that might just be my own biases.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:41 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh. My. God.

I'm only a relative Who neophyte, (started watching at the end of new season 3) so I never read any of those Target originals.

But these covers invoke all the feelings of browsing the paperback sci-fi section of my neighborhood library.

I would love these as posters of some kind ...
posted by Tevin at 12:42 PM on September 7, 2012


What if said the Time Lords, we manipulated the system. Undiscovered, background, slightly manic?
posted by Mblue at 12:43 PM on September 7, 2012


These are great, I spent a lot of my childhood religiously reading library copies of Target novelisations of Who, maybe Terrance Dicks could be persuaded out of retirement to do the new series...
posted by brilliantmistake at 12:46 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


128 pages

Hey guys, I checked Wikipedia and Terrance Dicks is still alive!

On preview: dammit, brillliantmistake beat me to it!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 12:47 PM on September 7, 2012


I love, love, love that "Aliens of London/World War Three" has been given a different title for the novelization (like "Spearhead from Space"/"The Auton Invasion") It's that level of detail that goes from making this more than just "a neat Internet-ready project" to "a thoughtful, loving tribute."

I hope they start crediting some of those novelizations to Noel Clarke to reflect the fact that Ian Marter wrote a bunch of novelizations after he played Harry Sullivan.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:47 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wonderful.

I loved the old Target books. I grew up with Tom Baker, at a time where older shows weren't repeated, and we didn't have a video (not that my pocket money would have amassed much of a collection - if indeed there were videos on sale back then). So thanks to the library I got to meet the previous three Doctors way before I saw them in action. They were breezily written, often by the screenwriter (I think? Certainly Terrance Dicks wrote several), with perfunctory illustrations, but I loved them.

I guess one interesting thing is that they captured several stories that were at least partially lost by the BBC's shortsighted tape wiping. I loved Dr Who and the Cybermen (the novelisation of The Moonbase) and was disappointed to find out that only half the episodes survived.
posted by spectrevsrector at 12:50 PM on September 7, 2012


Fantastic find. Do want, and not just the poster and/or covers. Want the actual novelizations (Dicks or otherwise).
posted by immlass at 12:51 PM on September 7, 2012


I have often sort of mourned the fact that the rise of repeats and DVDs means that there's no need for novelisations of episodes any more. My first exposure to a lot of classic Doctor Who and Star Trek was through the official novels and short story collections, and they made a huge impression on me.

Love those covers -- they're absolutely spot on in style and tone.
posted by meronym at 12:53 PM on September 7, 2012


I was always kind of hazy on which companions went with which doctor, do unless someone else was on the cover I would pretty much assume Jon Pertwee starred in all of them.
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


NuWho does have an annual - I love that.
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on September 7, 2012


Artw: "NuWho does have an annual - I love that."

And it's always absolutely wonderful. If you think the current show is made by people who grew up loving it, it has nothing on the annual.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:57 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was always kind of hazy on which companions went with which doctor, do unless someone else was on the cover I would pretty much assume Jon Pertwee starred in all of them.

Doctor Who And The Dinosaur Invasion completely flummoxed me as to whether it was a Third or Fourth Doctor story. It had Sarah Jane and The Brig in it, but the TARDIS was working and it lacked the usual dog whistle "bohemian" to clue you in that this particular curly (but no colour given) haired Doctor was Tom Baker. If it was. Made trying to arrange my books in speculative correct (read: transmission) order needlessly confusing.

Flummoxed, I say!
posted by comealongpole at 1:05 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fans of Iain M Banks might be interested in The Also People, a tie-in novel that's essentially "What if The Doctor visited The Culture?"
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:07 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Especially relevant to Metafilter right now since the Also People in the title live in a Dyson sphere, which I was going to say was where I learned the term, except for that Scotty episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:16 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


(which I know was called "Relics" -- I don't know why I'm trying to pretend like I'm someone I'm not around here)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:16 PM on September 7, 2012


God we are such nerds.
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on September 7, 2012


/Readjusts bow-tie.
posted by Artw at 1:17 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Artw: /Readjusts bow-tie.

You might want to pick up your fez, while your at it. Although I prefer the Stetson. Stetsons are cool.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 1:20 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was basically in 9th doctor cosplay for the bulk of my uni years without knowing it.
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I had the full set of Target novelizations, up through what had been broadcast at the time. Would have been, second series of Colin Baker I think. I was still in a part of the US that generally only got the 15 or so Tom Baker episodes that some tiny distributor had the rights to, so he was the only Doctor I knew directly from TV, and no VCR or tape trading culture that I was hooked into. All the other Doctors were totally in my imagination.

Somewhere along the line I grew up and gave those novelizations away to a library sale. Now that I've grown back down I wish I had them back. Though I hope they made somebody happy.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:21 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


They look great, they really do. The artist did a phenomenal job on those covers.

But for me, the great joy of the Target novelizations was reading Doctor Who stories from the 60s and 70s that I'd never get the chance to see on television, and imagining this insane Pre-Tom Baker golden age full of lush environments, bizarre aliens and horrific violence. Reading adaptions of stories I've already seen always feels... smaller, somehow.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:22 PM on September 7, 2012


Bleh that should be "When I was a wee sprout". Apparently my sprout got eaten.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:23 PM on September 7, 2012


It's funny you say that, Artw ...

Dr Who story time!

Since our marriage seven years ago, my wife has come to share more and more of my nerdier interests. A general love of sci-fi literature, movies, board games - the usual culprits.

Three or four years ago (man, that feels like a lifetime) we were talking about how I had so slowly made her a true-blue nerd, and she said 'Well, I still haven't watched Doctor Who. I think if I ever watch that, I'll have really crossed over."

Well, that was the same year we finally signed up for Netflix. Trapped inside on a (rare for Seattle) snow day, curiosity got the better of me and I fired up the first episode of the new Doctor.

My wife came into the room while I was watching it, hunched over the laptop. Knowing that this was her last hold out, I didn't tell her what it was, but we both watched, absolutely entranced.

Later, around midnight that night, I begged her to PLEASE stop watching that stupid show ("God, those robots are SO annoying!") so I could get some sleep. She didn't; she went on to watch the whole first season in two days without me (what a jerk, amirite?).

TL;DR - After watching Dr Who, my wife capitulated to her full-on nerdery.
posted by Tevin at 1:27 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


My parents gave me a couple of the novelizations for Christmas when I was about nine years old or so, for no reason I've been able to discern (I'm not British, and to my knowledge they never even watched the series on PBS). One of them was about Daleks, and I knew just enough to know that I wasn't really getting the full effect; it wasn't scary at all or even particularly compelling. The other one, however, was The Talons of Weng-Chiang and is a contributing factor to my becoming a rabid fan 25 or so years later.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:29 PM on September 7, 2012


Plus the novelisations has the advantage that you don't have to make excuses for the common-for-it's-era racist casting!
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I haven't watched the actual episode yet; my other half and I are watching the series in chronological order and are only up to about the second season of Patrick Troughton's run.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:34 PM on September 7, 2012


It's actually really, really good, just contains some casting that wouldn't fly now.
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on September 7, 2012


It's actually really, really good, just contains some casting that wouldn't fly now.

Just wanted to check: how many of you are muttering "She been smoking pipe of poppy" under your breath after the last few comments? Please say it's not just racist old me.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:40 PM on September 7, 2012


It's better than that second Sherlock episode.
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just wanted to check: how many of you are muttering "She been smoking pipe of poppy" under your breath after the last few comments?

"Next tlick very simple."
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:47 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh dear. I shouldn't have said anything.
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on September 7, 2012


God, the racism in Talons is so confusing -- and so much different than I originally remembered it once I started watching episodes again (and again and again) as an adult.

Because on one hand -- ARGH the casting. But on the other hand, all the actual 'in story' racism is treated as something that is offensive and to be mocked (even when done by fan favorites like Litefoot and Jago), and even Chang's 'Asian accent' is an act that he puts on so that he won't seem like a threat and it immediately goes away when he's trying to hypnotize somebody or speaking to his henchmen or Greel (and eventually the Doctor).

It's almost hard to imagine that a script that uses racism as such a plot point could turn around and be so offensive with its casting. Different times and all, but still...
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, infinitywaltz, if Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's mind erasing technology became real, I would not wipe out any of my own life's events or mistakes ("A man is the sum of his memories, you know, a Time Lord even more so") but I would give anything to be able to see episodes like "Talons of Weng-Chiang" again for the first time. Hope you enjoy!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:25 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's still a shelf of these living back at my mom's house in Cleveland. I had an episode guide that went back to the beginning, and I'd read these capsule plots out of it and just freak out. Of course, my experience of the show was whatever PBS was running (it was the Peter Davison era then); there was no way at all for me to see any of the old episodes. But then! I found out about the Target books. I made a list of the episodes I most wanted to see, and then went to the local bookstore to see about special ordering the novelizations, in the event that they existed. So many of them existed. I must have read twenty. The only problem was that when the Davison era wrapped up, my local station started running the Pertwee era...which was fine because Jon Pertwee quickly became my favorite after Tom Baker, but which was also very disillusioning because the set pieces and special effects I'd constructed in my mind, reading the novels, were...um...well, the episodes tried hard, I'll give them that.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:33 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those don't look anything like the novelizations I've seen (I will not say if I own any, or how many). They look more like badly over-photoshopped modern movie posters in teal and orange, with lots of floating disembodied heads.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:33 PM on September 7, 2012


Maybe the cover of that one could just been a close up of the statue, staring at the reader.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:06 PM on September 7, 2012


Oh my. I am deep in my wanting for these. My complete Target collection now feels incomplete and my OCD Daemon ("chap with the wings...five rounds rapid!") cannot cope with that.
posted by Ridge at 7:23 PM on September 7, 2012


On the subject of Who novelizations, I just started the Gareth Roberts novel adaptation of Douglas Adams' Shada storyline. Good stuff, especially if you're a Baker fan. Roberts manages to pull off what Eoin Coifer couldn't quite do and write in Adams' voice.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:52 PM on September 7, 2012


I think I read every novelisation that the library had... and the ones I owned I reread many times. I remember finally getting to see Terror Of The Zygons last year... not quite as full-on scary and atmospheric as Target book made it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:53 AM on September 8, 2012


And a good bit more rubbery, I'd think.
posted by Artw at 8:00 AM on September 8, 2012


"Oh man I'm really looking forward to this bit where the Doctor is chased over the moors by Nessie at night through the swirling mists, it was really exciting and atmospheric in the book... oh."
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:31 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


As someone who owns every Target book, New adventure, EDA and Missing adventure, and Quick Reads, and ... whatever the new stuff is (excluding the Darksmith Legacy and some of the CYOA DQ books): I WANT THESE.

Someone clear a weekend in Terrance Dicks' schedule and lets get some first drafts done.

I totally want The Empty Child as a poster.
posted by Mezentian at 9:37 PM on September 8, 2012


Wait... someone is talking smack about Terror of the Zygons?

I demand as chroma-key duel at dawn! I will be fringed in yellow.
posted by Mezentian at 9:40 PM on September 8, 2012


My version of Masque of Mandragora is different than the one shown at the Wiki link above. Do I have (gasp) a knockoff?
posted by justfletch at 10:22 PM on September 8, 2012


Do you have the US version?
posted by Mezentian at 12:28 AM on September 9, 2012


The chroma key to beat all chroma key
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on September 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I swear in Robot sometimes they just Chroma Keyed things that didn't even need it just for the hell of it. Surely the actor could be in the set with the robot on top, or the robot could be in a miniature set with actor on top, but no... They want to film a dingy brick building, superimpose the actor THEN superimpose the robot do none of it even looks remotely real.
posted by Artw at 10:24 AM on September 9, 2012


When I get the call to write Who, you'll see that my, already plotted, episode, has a great big monster that has a fuzzy blurry edge to it for science reasons (something something dimensional instability something)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:23 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you have the US version?

A ha! Yes, it's the US Pinnacle version with the terrible back cover tagline. Now that I think of it, the non-show logo should have given it away.
posted by justfletch at 1:05 PM on September 9, 2012


The detective novel from last week’s Doctor Who is now available as an ebook
posted by homunculus at 11:29 AM on October 6, 2012


Yowzah!

Novelty value only, I'm guessing?
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on October 6, 2012


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