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Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius was a novelisation based on the 1976 television serial The Brain of Morbius.

Publisher's summary[]

1977 Target Books edition[]

Why do so many spaceships crashland on Karn, a bleak, lonely and seemingly deserted planet?

Are they doomed by the mysterious powers of the strange, black-robed Sisterhood, jealously guarding their secret of eternal life? Or does the mad Dr Solon, for some evil purpose of his own, need the bodies of the victims? And more especially, the body of DOCTOR WHO ...

1991 Target Books edition[]


On the bleak and lonely planet of Karn, the mysterious Sisterhood guards the Sacred Flame, from which the Elixir of Life comes. But the Flame is dying...

Elsewhere on the planet, the renegade Time Lord Morbius awaits the creation of a monstrous new body which will give him the power to rule the Galaxy.

This is a novelization by Terrance Dicks of his own script which he wrote under the pseuodonym Robin Bland. The author of over sixty Doctor Who novelizations, Terrance Dicks was script editor of the series for five years.

Doctor Who - The Brain of Morbius is available on BBC Video and has recently been broadcast on BSB television.

Chapter titles[]

  1. A Graveyard of Spaceships
  2. The Keepers of the Flame
  3. The Horror Behind the Curtain
  4. Captive of the Flame
  5. Sarah to the Rescue
  6. The Horror in the Crypt
  7. Solon's Trap
  8. The Doctor Makes a Bargain
  9. The Monster Walks
  10. Monster on the Rampage
  11. Deathlock!
  12. A Time Lord Spell

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Extra characterisation and background of Morbius' original attack on Karn is expanded upon. The Sisterhood betrayed them to Morbius and was punished by losing her elixir, causing her to age to death.
  • The Mutt is clearly established as having nothing to do with Solos.
  • The Sisterhood are described as wearing black robes, rather than the traditional red-orange.
  • It is mentioned that Solon has made many busts of Morbius, destroying each when it failed to be perfect.
  • The Doctor says goodbye to Sarah before going back to the Sisterhood.
  • The Doctor's faulty logic regarding being left locked up if the plan doesn't work is corrected; instead, he and Sarah say the plan "will" have worked if no-one comes down to gloat.
  • The Doctor attempts to use the dart gun against the revived Morbius only for him to crush it.
  • Maren telepathically guides the Sisterhood in their attack on the Doctor.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The inside page includes the comment: "THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCTOR WHO. The cover illustration of this book portrays the fourth DOCTOR WHO."
  • This was one of two titles that was chosen for a rewrite for younger readers and released in the short lived range of Junior Doctor Who.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

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


Junior edition[]


Main article: Junior Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius.

In 1980, Terrance Dicks published a shorter version of this novel aimed at younger readers; it was one of two such experiments.

Editions published outside Britain[]

  • Published in France by Editions Garanciere in 1987 as a paperback edition, translated by Corine Derblum and published as Docteur Who – Le Cerveau de Morbius, it was one of eight French novelisations; each book is given the strapline ‘Igor et Grichka Bogdanoff presentent’ they presented a French science programme called Temps X, the broadcaster had bought and dubbed a selection of Fourth Doctor stories in 1986 but didn’t show them until 1989. [1]


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 4 February 2008 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Tom Baker.

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

The audiobook was broadcast on BBC Radio 7, serialised into eight parts, from 15th-16th, 19th-23rd and 26th April 2010.

External links[]