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Doctor Who and the Creature from the Pit was a novelisation based on the 1979 television serial The Creature from the Pit.

Beginning with this release and continuing for the remainder of the novelisation series, there was a concerted effort made by Target Books to commission the original teleplay writers to novelise their own scripts whenever possible (with Terrance Dicks serving as a backup writer if this wasn't possible). Although Fisher was a recent contributor to the series, this notion would later extend to include writers of episodes dating back to the 1960s.

Publisher's summary[]

The planet Chloris is very fertile, but metal is in short supply, and has therefore become extremely valuable.

A huge creature, with most unusual physical properties, arrives from an alien planet which can provide Chloris with metal from its own unlimited supplies, in exchange for chlorophyll.

However, the ruthless Lady Adrasta has been able to exploit the shortages of metal to her own advantage, and has no wish to see the situation change.

The Doctor and Romana land on Chloris just as the creature's alien masters begin to lose patience over their ambassador's long absence.

The action the aliens decide to take will have devastating consequences for Chloris, unless something is done to prevent it...

Chapter titles[]

  1. The Pit
  2. Wolfweeds
  3. The Doctor's Leap to Death
  4. The Creature
  5. Organon
  6. The Web
  7. The Meeting
  8. The Shield
  9. Erato
  10. Complications
  11. Wrapping Up

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Cutaway scenes explain Chloris from the perspective of the ex-miners-turned-bandits.
  • Adrasta's first meeting with Erato is featured.
  • The novelisation details how Tythonians have sex.
  • How Erato gets out of the pit is elaborated on.
  • When he's out of the pit Erato doesn't have much sympathy for the people of Chloris and says they could have freed him much earlier.
  • A different explanation is given for how K9 destroys the metal.
  • The book ends with a lucky number gag as opposed to the last scene on Chloris.
  • Romana describes the bandits as hairy rather than hirsuite, removing the gag of them not knowing what it means.
  • Romana and Adrasta are present when the Doctor is apparently absorbed by the Creature.
  • There is a sequence of Edu climbing the ivy surrounding Adrasta's palace and killing a guard on the roof.
  • Rather than the vocaliser shield putting Torvin and Edu in a trance, Torvin subconsciously leads all the bandits to Erato.
  • The Doctor lands on Doran's remains after falling into the Pit and the gag of him reading books to learn how to mountaineer is omitted.
  • Organon states he last came to that part of the planet seventeen years ago and there was no sign of the Creature then.
  • The Part Three cliffhanger is largely removed, with Adrasta fleeing as soon as her guards are stunned and not seeing Erato fitted with the shield.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The novelisation uses footnotes as a device.

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 7 April 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, serialized into seven parts, between 27th-30th April and 3rd-5th May 2010.

External links[]