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.



Doctor Who and the Carnival of Monsters was a novelisation based on the 1973 television serial Carnival of Monsters.

Publisher's summary[]

1977 Target Books edition[]

The Doctor and Jo land on a cargo ship crossing the Indian Ocean in the year 1926.

Or so they think.

Far away on a planet called Inter Minor, a travelling showman is setting up his live peepshow, watched by an eager audience of space officials

On board ship, a giant hand suddenly appears, grasps the Tardis and withdraws. Without warning, a prehistoric monster rises from the sea to attack.

What is happening? Where are they? Only the Doctor realises, with horror, that they might be trapped ...

1993 Target Books edition[]

Programming the TARDIS to visit the attractive planet of Metebelis 3, the Doctor and Jo are disappointed to find they've arrived in a cargo ship bound for Singapore. Or so they think. In fact, they are trapped in a time-loop on the far away planet Inter Minor, where all the life-forms of the Galaxy miniaturised in the Scope - a peepshow for arch-showman Vorg. These lifeforms include the terrifying Drashigs - huge underwater dragons who add to the monumental problems the Doctor and Jo face in trying to escape this nightmare circus.

Chapter titles[]

  1. Dangerous Arrivals
  2. The Monster from the Sea
  3. The Giant Hand
  4. Trapped!
  5. Inside the Machine
  6. The Monster in the Swamp
  7. 'Nothing escapes the Drashigs'
  8. The Battle on the Ship
  9. Kalik Plans Rebellion
  10. The Doctor Takes Over
  11. Return to Peril
  12. The End of the Scope

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The introduction makes specific reference to the events of The Three Doctors.
  • The Scope is made more impressive in the novelisation, producing a mild-hypnotic effect that helps draw the viewer into the experience of the scene being viewed.
  • Other creatures such as Ice Warriors are contained within the scope.
  • While in the televised version the Doctor ignited the marsh gas with his sonic screwdriver, he uses a flare pistol taken from the SS Bernice in the novelisation.
  • The aggrometer affects the Doctor but not Jo.
  • While in the televised version Jo uses the magnetic core extractor to open the plates, the Doctor uses it in the novelisation.
  • Orum survives, breaks down and confesses everything.

Writing and publishing notes[]

to be added

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

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


1993 Virgin Publishing with a new cover by Alister Pearson priced £3.50 (UK)


An unabridged audiobook of the story was recorded by Gabriel Woolf for the RNIB in 1978, alongside The Three Doctors and The Loch Ness Monster.

This Target Book was released again on 13 November 2014 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Katy Manning.

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 2014 audiobook was reissued as part of The Second Monsters Collection on 28 January 2021.

External links[]

to be added