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Doctor Who and the Deadly Assassin was a novelisation based on the 1976 television serial The Deadly Assassin.

Publisher's summary[]

The Doctor is suddenly summoned to Gallifrey, the home of the Time Lords, where his ghastly hallucination of the President's assassination seems to turn into reality. When the Doctor is arrested for the murder, there is a hideous, dark, cowled figure gleefully watching in the shadows.

Faced with his old enemy, the Master, Doctor Who approaches defeat in a battle of minds in a nightmare world created by the Master's imagination. But the Master's evil intentions go much further – he has a Doomsday Plan. It is up to the Doctor to prevent him from destroying Gallifrey and taking over the universe!

DOCTOR WHO scripts – awarded The Writers' Guild Award for the best British children's original drama script.

Chapter titles[]

  1. Vision of Death
  2. The Secret Enemy
  3. Death of a Time Lord
  4. Trapped
  5. The Horror in the Gallery
  6. Into the Matrix
  7. Death by Terror
  8. Duel to the Death
  9. The End of Evil
  10. The Doomsday Plan
  11. The Final Battle
  12. An End—and a Beginning

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The Doctor's opening monologue is excised.
  • The Doctor played hide and seek in the capitol when he grew up.
  • The Master lost his ability to regenerate after using a couple of bodies as a disguise.
  • The Doctor takes part in the trial, instead of drawing cartoons as he does in the televised story.
  • Hilred's name is spelled Hildred.
  • Gallifrey has poor lighting so people have to use lanterns at night.
  • It is mentioned that the Doctor was being prepared for a seat on the High Council before he left Gallifrey.
  • It is Spandrell rather than Hildred who works out that the Doctor doubled back from the communication tower.
  • Engin is said to have one regeneration remaining but has refused to use it because he is not required to be active.
  • Hildred is said to be the Commander of Sector Seven, implying several commanders under the castellan.
  • The Doctor's biodata states that his sentence was commuted because of the Omega crisis, the details of which are only known to the High Council.
  • Instead of Runcible referring to Borusa as the head of the Prydonian chapter, it is said Borusa was recently made High Cardinal, with Goth specified as head of the Prydonians.
  • After thinking the Doctor was expelled, Runcible recalls that he was at graduation but there was a scandal later.
  • The Doctor tells Spandrell about the real assassin during his initial interrogation, rather than after the trial.
  • The crocodile appears much earlier in the Doctor's visit to the Matrix and is what forces him off the cliff.
  • When the hypnotised guard attempts to disconnect the Doctor from the Matrix, a horrified Engin is forced to shoot him multiple times before he stays dead.
  • The Doctor digs a mud hole for fresh water rather than drinking from the bottom of the stream.
  • The Doctor overpowers Goth when he tries to drown him rather than Goth collapsing.
  • The Master blasts open the cabinet containing the Great Key with a staser pistol and it is mentioned he plans to take the Eye of Harmony away in his TARDIS.
  • The Doctor recovers his usual clothes prior to his last meeting with Borusa.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • to be added

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

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

Editions published outside Britain[]

  • Published in the USA by Nelson Doubleday in 1986 as a combined Hardback edition, it comprised this story, Doctor Who and the Face of Evil and Doctor Who and the Robots of Death.


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 19 March 2015 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Geoffrey Beevers.

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.

See also[]