Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon was a novelisation based on the 1971 television serial Colony in Space.
Publisher's summary Edit
1974 edition Edit
The Time Lords direct DOCTOR WHO and Jo Grant in TARDIS to a bleak planet in the year 2471 where they find colonists from Earth under threat from mysterious, savage, monster lizards with frightful claws! And hidden upon this planet is the DOOMSDAY WEAPON for which the MASTER is intently searching ...
Deviations from televised story Edit
- The Keeper of the Time Lord Files, distracted from a viewing of the first TARDIS's working papers, retells the story of TV: The War Games to an apprentice who will one day succeed his position.
- Both Jo Grant and the Master are given new introductions, with Grant in particular described as joining the Doctor for the first time, despite several earlier stories featuring her. As one of the first releases in the Target Books series, there was no expectation that all stories would eventually be adapted. Once the earlier stories had been novelised, no attempt was made at revising The Doomsday Weapon, creating a continuity hiccough for those reading the novelisations in chronological order.
- The various personal lives and backgrounds of Ashe's colonists and Interplanetary Mining Corporation personnel are greatly expanded in the novelisation. Dent, for instance, has a wife arranged by IMC's matchmaking computers and two children who are being educated in an IMC school.
- The Earth that the colonists migrated from is elaborated upon in the novelisation. Metric units of measurement were adopted globally there some 6000 years ago and, in Dent's lifetime, it was fashionable to dye one's hair blue. On nonwork days, you could pay to journey up to experience sunshine on the concrete. Alternatively, you could invest in a Walk: a cubicle with a moving floor that took you through projected footage taken from the State Archives of historic greenery. Space travellers had well-developed legends surrounding the Daleks, Monoids, Drahvins and Earth's own mythology about the Silurians.
- IMC's robot is a Class 3 Servo Robot, humanoid in shape, and nicknamed Charlie. The Doctor expects it to crush his arm in response to a jibe, but instead, the machine repeats his insult back to him on a recording (with the addition of metallic laughter).
- The Doctor grapples with Morgan in the remnants of the Leesons' home, holding him in front of the robot's slashing claws in order to force its deactivation. In the televised version, the Time Lord kicks the gun from the IMC man's grip and knocks him aside into a nearby locker, forcing him to stop the machine himself.
- Fitting the unusual chronological rewrite, only the Doctor recognises the Master when he and Jo arrive at the tribunal being mediated between the colonists and IMC. Rather than being somewhat taken aback by the appearance of a fellow Time Lord, as on television, the Master instead smiles and holds the Doctor at arm's length. Nonetheless, despite this being Jo's first story, the Doctor still possesses the key he recovered from TV: Terror of the Autons. Here, it was found on a previous, unspecified adventure.
- The Guardian is depicted as a doll-like creature that exists within the furnace of the atomic reactor used to power the Doomsday Weapon. Rather than the Doctor activating a self-destruct mechanism, it retreats and begins a meltdown of its own accord.
- The ecological change in the planet is more immediately drastic at the end of the novelisation. Grass and shrubbery begin to sprout from the tilled soil around the dome in seconds, not long after a pleasant rainfall. The Doctor jokes that he and Jo should depart before the surrounding farmland turns into an impenetrable jungle.
- The Doctor organises a funeral for the Leesons.
- It is stated that the year is 2971, not 2471, in contradiction with the back cover blurb.
Writing and publishing notes Edit
- The 1979 edition by Pinnacle Books in the US included an introduction by Harlan Ellison.
- The first edition Target cover was the first to feature the Master.
- This novelisation was later released as part of The Master Collection.
Additional cover images Edit
British publication history Edit
- W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
- 1979 Target Books with a new cover by Jeff Cummins priced 75p (UK)
Editions published outside Britain Edit
- Published in the USA in 1979 by Pinnacle Books.
- Published in Japan in 1980 by Hayakawa Bunko as Osoru Beki Saishyuu Heiki!
- Published in Portugal in 1983 by Editorial Presença.
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