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Castrovalva was a novelisation based on the 1982 television serial Castrovalva.

Publisher's summary[]

1983 Target Books edition[]

Still weak and confused after his fourth regeneration, the Doctor retreats to Castrovalva to recuperate.

But Castrovalva is not the haven of peace and tranquility the Doctor and his companions are seeking. Far from being able to rest quietly, the unsuspecting time-travellers are caught up once again in the evil machinations of the Master.

Only an act of supreme self-sacrifice will enable them to escape the maniacal lunacy of the renegade Time Lord.

1991 Target Books edition[]


The TARDIS, controlled by the Master, is rushing towards Event One and imminent destruction; Adric and his computational powers are being manipulated to the Master's own ends.

But the Doctor has been weakened by regeneration and the travellers attempt to travel to peaceful Castrovalva unaware of the web that has been spun by the renegade Time Lord...

Doctor Who - Castrovalva marks the beginning of Peter Davison's tenure of the role of the Doctor and was written by Christopher H. Bidmead, who was script editor of the series during its eighteenth season.

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Nyssa and Tegan have a more in depth discussion about recursion.
  • When the Master bids farewell to Nyssa and Tegan on the scanner screen, they can see Adric behind him.
  • Medicine is dispensed to the Doctor from a large tin box on top of a chrome and glass medical trolley that moves from a door marked 'Surgery' into the corridor that the Doctor is located. On-screen, it is from a roundel near the location of the Zero Room.
  • Tegan takes notes in Pitman shorthand. The Doctor can't understand it but he had learned shorthand once, a long time ago.
  • Nyssa's on-screen gradual change of costume, from skirt to trousers, loss of jacket and haircomb is not included.
  • When the Doctor climbs the rocks, he gets subliminal images of his former self hanging off a gantry and swinging off a cable. He also hears voices of the past and future calling "Doctor".
  • It is stated that the Gallifreyan temperament tends to see the world from the other person's point of view. This means that the Doctor's natural sympathies lie with the pig on the roasting spit. To avoid offending his hosts, he tells them that he is tired.
  • During breakfast, just before Tegan and Nyssa are introduced to Shardovan, Tegan questions the lack of equality in Castrovalva.
  • The Doctor examines the tapestry with a magnifying glass, while the Portreeve flicks away some dust from it. On-screen, the Portreeve prevents the Doctor getting close to it. Here, this is only done when the Doctor attempts to look behind it.
  • On-screen, a little girl helps the Doctor count but here the sex of the child is not specified. Also, when the Doctor remembers Adric, he frightens the child who scurries back to their mother whereas the televised version, the girl just watches in amusement as he rushes off.
  • Nyssa initially worries that the Doctor is suffering from high altitude edema when he dashes up the stairs but this turns to be the effects of the spacial disturbances of Castrovalva.
  • There is an official Time Lord strategy, taught as a child, for a moment of near defeat. The Doctor found the dictum typically Gallifreyan - arid, abstract and artificial - but in his current circumstances is grateful to have it to fall back on.
  • It is stated that the Doctor is nearly 800 years old.
  • The Doctor annotates and numbers the map drawn on the back of the mirror.
  • The Master set up the trap 500 years ago.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • `This book is dedicated to M.C. Escher, whose drawings inspired it and provided the title. Thanks are also due to the Barbican Centre, London, England, where a working model of the disorienteering experiments provided valuable practical experience.'

Chapter titles[]

  1. Escape from Earth
  2. Towards Zero
  3. Destination: Event One
  4. Russian Roulette
  5. Jettisoned
  6. The Quest for Castrovalva
  7. Within the Walls
  8. The Dark Reflection
  9. The Occlusion Closes In
  10. The Clue of the Chronicle
  11. The World through the Eyes of Shardovan
  12. The Web is Broken

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

  • Hardback
W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 4 March 2010 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Peter Davison.

Produced by Kate Thomas.

The cover blurb and thumbnail illustrations were retained in the accompanying booklet with sleevenotes by David J. Howe. Music and sound effects by Simon Power.

It was later released as part of The Master Collection.

External links[]