Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



Death to the Daleks was a novelisation based on the 1974 television serial Death to the Daleks.

Publisher's summary[]

1978 Target Books edition[]

A mysterious power-loss strands the TARDIS on Exxilon, a sinister fog-shrouded alien planet. Forced to brave the dangers of the planet, the Doctor meets the survivors of a beleaguered expedition from Earth searching for a precious mineral that can save the galaxy from a terrible space-plague. Sarah finds a mysterious super-City and becomes a captive of the savage Exxilons, and, worst of all, the Doctor's greatest enemies, the dreaded Daleks, arrive on a secret mission of their own.

What terrifying power makes captives of all who come to the planet? What is the secret of the mysterious deserted City with its great flashing beacon? And what sinister plan has brought the Daleks to Exxilon? The Doctor and Sarah must risk their lives time and again in a desperate attempt to foil the Daleks and save millions of humans from the horrific plague.

1991 Target Books edition[]


Mysteriously drained of its energy by a strange force, the TARDIS and its occupants are stranded on the planet Exxilon, a planet inhabited by a savage and degenerate race. But it's here alone that the cure for the hideous space plague can be found, a cure so vital that even the Daleks are willing to join forces with the Doctor in order to find it...

Doctor Who - Death to the Daleks was first broadcast in 1974 and was written by Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks. This novelization was written by Terrance Dicks, who was script editor of the series for five years and who has novelized more than sixty Doctor Who television stories.

Doctor Who is currently being reshown on BSB television.

Chapter titles[]

  • Prologue
  1. Death of a TARDIS
  2. The Ambush
  3. Expedition from Earth
  4. The Deadly Arrivals
  5. A Truce with Terror
  6. The Sacrifice
  7. Escape to the Unknown
  8. Bellal
  9. The Pursuit
  10. The City Attacks
  11. The Trap
  12. The Nightmare
  13. The Antibodies
  14. The Last Victory

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The Dalek's replacement weapons are referred to as "machine-guns" (i.e. fully automatic slugthrowers). In the television story, they appeared to function only as semi-automatics.
  • The Doctor remains to examine the frozen figure in the mists, instead of wandering away when Sarah goes back to the TARDIS.
  • Railton is said to be a scientist rather than a Marine Captain, although he is still specified as being senior to Galloway. His first name Richard is never mentioned.
  • Galloway is said to have lost his entire family in the Dalek Wars, having grown up in a refugee camp and worked his way up through the ranks of the Space Corps. He feels Stewart has been blocking his promotion because of disagreements on previous missions.
  • Jill is stated to be blonde whereas, on screen, she has red hair.
  • Instead of saying to Jill that they didn't find Jack, Railton and Galloway tell her they found his body and buried him.
  • The Marine Space Corps party were originally ten in total, with the remaining members lost to two previous ambushes from the Exxilons.
  • The Exxilons capture three Daleks rather than two. The fourth is knocked down with a boulder and their battering triggers its self-destruct.
  • The surface-based Exxilons have no recorded dialogue. All of them are described as wearing black rags rather than brown.
  • Sarah is unable to understand the Exxilons during their ritual in the temple and it is stated that Galloway and the Dalek leader communicate with them verbally through a kind of "pidgin galactic", which the former finds difficult to follow.
  • Galloway and Peter are given four bombs by the Daleks rather than two, meaning they attach three to the beacon. The beacon is described as having four struts like a "miniature Eiffel tower" rather than the single pillar as seen in the televised story.
  • The probe that attacks the digging emerges from the sand rather than a lake. Hamilton attempts to pull one of the Exxilons clear before it can strike, but to no avail.
  • Bellal and his break-away Exxilon faction are identified as Subterranean Exxilons.
  • Gotal is introduced by name to the Doctor and Sarah by Bellal. On-screen, he is only identified in the credits of part three. The subterranean Exxilon spying on the Daleks is named as Jebal.
  • Sarah is strapped to the altar during her aborted sacrifice.
  • It is made clearer that the Daleks do not bother to supervise Galloway on board their ship.
  • The City generates a group of antibodies rather than the two seen in the televised story. Rather than forming from a series of columns, they emerge from "translucent screens" like windows into a vast "shadowy room filled with swirling mists." Once activated, they attack the control room indiscriminately and drive the Doctor and Bellal to the back wall.
  • The Doctor and Bellal cross the patterned floor in a mixture of red and white tiles. On screen, they only use white tiles. Additionally, the floor is said to be set in a large hall rather than a corridor.
  • The Dalek from which Jill escapes panics, but doesn't self-destruct.
  • The Doctor's party attempt to reach their respective ships before the Daleks launch their plague missiles to contaminate the planet. While he was silent on-screen, Bellal whispers their success on destroying the City in the novelisation. The Doctor wishes to continue their journey to Florana, but Sarah asks him to instead concentrate on getting her home.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • An unused and unfinished piece of cover artwork for this title by Roy Knipe was later finished and and sold privately in the early 2000s.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

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


1991 Target Books / Virgin Publishing with a new cover by Alister Pearson priced £2.50 (UK)

Editions published outside Britain[]

  • Published again in Germany by Goldmann Verlag in 1989 as a paperback edition, translated by Bettina Zeller and published as Dr. Who und der Tod den Daleks!, it was one of six German novelisations published in the late 1980’s and early 1990's.


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 3 March 2016 complete and unabridged by BBC Physical Audio and read by Jon Culshaw with Dalek voices by Nicholas Briggs.

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.

The audiobook version was re-released in June 2020 as part of The Dalek Collection box set.

External links[]

to be added