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Doctor Who and the Cybermen was a novelisation based on the 1967 television serial The Moonbase.

Publisher's summary[]

1975 Target Books edition[]

One by one, their limbs became diseased - they were replaced by plastic and steel!

Little by little, their brains tired - computers worked just as well!

With metal limbs, they had the strength of ten men. They could live in the airless vacuum of space. They had no heart, no feelings, no emotions and only one goal - power!

In the year 2070, a small blue planet caught their attention. They would land on its satellite and, from there, attack, ransack, destroy and finally abandon...




Can the Doctor defeat an enemy whose threat is almost as great as that of the mighty Daleks?

1981 Hardback edition[]

A mystery virus is wreaking havoc among the crew of the Earth's weather control station on the Moon.

While investigations into the strange disease are in progress, International Space Headquarters Earth puts the entire Moon base into strict quarantine - the Doctor and his companions included!

To make matters worse, Moon base personnel inexplicably vanish and vital weather control equipment is sabotaged.

Who is responsible?

The Director of the base suspects the time-travellers. The Doctor fears that the ruthlessly evil Cybermen are at work...

2011 BBC Books edition[]

"There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which are against everything we have ever believed in. They must be fought. To the death."

In 2070, the Earth's weather is controlled from a base on the moon. But when the Doctor and his friends arrive, all is not well. They discover unexplained drops of air pressure, minor problems with the weather control systems, and an outbreak of a mysterious plague.

With Jamie injured, and members of the crew going missing, the Doctor realises that the moonbase is under attack. Some malevolent force is infecting the crew and sabotaging the systems as a prelude to an invasion of Earth. And the Doctor thinks he knows who is behind it: the Cybermen.

This novel is based on "The Moonbase", a Doctor Who story which was originally broadcast from 11 February-4 March 1967.

Featuring the Second Doctor as played by Patrick Troughton, and his companions Polly, Ben and Jamie

Chapter titles[]

  1. Prologue: The Creation of the Cybermen
  2. The Landing on the Moon
  3. The Moon Base
  4. Attack in the Medical Unit
  5. The Space-plague
  6. The Doctor Investigates
  7. The Cybermen's Plot
  8. The Battle with the Cybermen
  9. Victory, perhaps...
  10. The March of the Cybermen
  11. Into Battle with the Gravitron!

Deviations from televised story[]

  • An introductory chapter briefly recounts the origin and history of the Cybermen but states that they originated on Telos, not Mondas. A condensed version of this is reprinted in the books Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet, Doctor Who - The Revenge of the Cybermen and Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen with additional details where relevant: for example in Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet it is stated the Cybermen subsequently colonised Mondas.
  • The story itself says the Cybermen left Mondas before it was destroyed and went to Telos, "the other Cyberman planet". This was written into the Moonbase script but edited out of the episode.
  • The Cyberleader's name is mentioned as Tarn.
  • Both Tarn and another high-ranking Cyberman, Krang, are described as having black helmets, like the Cybermen would have in the then-upcoming Revenge.
  • Ben and Polly are retconned to be from the 1970s, the decade the book was written, rather than the 1960s. This allows Ben to make reference to the Apollo 11 moon landing, which hadn't happened yet when The Moonbase first aired.
  • Polly is given a few more extra expository questions to ask than she had in the show, while Jamie is described as "a little thick, even by 1745 standards": the 2011 edition's "Between the Lines" would note that this is unfair on both characters.
  • In Chapter 10 (taken from episode 4 of the TV story) the task of stopping more cyber-controlled people coming out the infirmary is given to Polly and Jamie instead of Ben and Jamie.
  • When lowering the Gravitron in Chapter 11, the characters use the intercom to communicate rather than the hand signals used in the TV version.
  • A few extra characters and nationalities are added to the supporting cast, and base command Jack Hobson is now a Yorkshireman (lacking a regional accent in the episodes).
  • Benoit's first name is given as Jules rather than Roger. In the television version, Jules is one of the crewmembers attacked on the lunar surface (named as Frank and Luigi here). Other characters are switched around: It is Bob, rather than John, who collapses during the coffee break, Peter, rather than Bob, who is killed by the Cybermen in the medical centre and a new character, Joe Trueman, rather than Joe Benson (who is mentioned elsewhere), who is knocked out by Evans while operating the Gravitron. Only two men in addition to Evans are "zombified", Ralph and Gregory.
  • Evans is not under guard when he is reactivated.
  • Ben is given the role of observing the Cybermen from an observation port and it is he and Benoit, rather than Hobson and Benoit, who seal the hole in the dome.
  • The Doctor states that Evans and the other controlled men will be recovered. Redirecting the Gravitron at the end takes longer and the Cybermen are about to cut through the dome with their lasers at the time.
  • Cyberman dialogue has been edited in places, in order to make them less emotional.
  • The lead into The Macra Terror is not included.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The first edition was the last Target novelisation to use its own unique version of the Doctor Who logo (a modification of the Pertwee-era logo used between 1970 and 1973). Beginning with the next book, Doctor Who and the Giant Robot and continuing through to 1991, the line would usually use the on-air logo current at the time of the book's publication (even if it didn't correspond with the Doctor's era featured).
  • The cover from the original Target edition featured the artwork of Chris Achilleos. The same artwork was re-used for the 2011 reprint. The cover shows a Cyberman from The Invasion, which more resembled their then-upcoming Revenge of the Cybermen look, while the book's illustration used the Moonbase versions.
  • Unlike most pre-1988 releases that saw a hardcover and paperback edition published either at the same time, or within months of each other, a hardcover edition of Doctor Who and the Cybermen did not appear until 1981.
  • The 2011 reprint of the novelisation includes a four page introduction by Gareth Roberts, talking about the Target Books novelisations, and a "Between the Lines" feature about the novelisation versus the episodes.


British publication history[]

First publication:

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


60p (UK)
1981 by Virgin Publishing with a new cover by Bill Donohoe priced 95p (UK)

Editions published outside Britain[]

  • Published in Turkey by Remzi Kitabevi in 1975 as a paperback edition, translated by Reha Pinar and published as Doktor Kim ve Sibermenler, it was one of six Turkish novelisations.


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 12 March 2009 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Anneke Wills with Cybermen 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.

This was the first ever audiobook in which Cyberman dialogue was read by Nicholas Briggs using a modulator instead of the main narrator. Briggs did the same for the Daleks in Prisoner of the Daleks and Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth in the same year, and has lent his voice to Dalek and Cyberman dialogue in almost all audiobooks since.

External links[]