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 Face of Evil was a novelisation based on the 1977 television serial The Face of Evil.

Publisher's summary[]

1978 Target Books edition[]

Setting the controls for Earth, the Doctor is surprised when the Tardis lands in a primeval forest. Has the Tracer gone wrong or has some impulse deep in the unconscious mind directed him to this alien planet? In investigating the forest, the Doctor meets and assists Leela, a warrior banished from her tribe, the Sevateem. Through Leela, it gradually becomes apparent that the constant war between the Sevateem and the Tesh has been instigated by the god they both worship, Xoanon.

Xoanon, an all-powerful computer, is possessed by a desperate madness – a madness that is directly related to Doctor Who, that causes Xoanon to assume the voice and form of the Doctor, a madness that is partly caused by the Doctor and that only the Doctor himself can rectify!

The Doctor must not only do battle with Xoanon, but also must escape from the savage practices of the Sevateem, and the technically mind-controlling destructive impulses of the Tesh.

1993 Target Books edition[]


Thinking the controls are set for earth, the Doctor is surprised when the TARDIS lands in a huge primeval forest where chaos reigns - chaos for which the Doctor is partially responsible. This is the home of the Sevateem and Tesh tribes, who are constantly engaged in savage wars to appease their god Xoanon.

Through meeting Leela, the young female warrior banished by her tribe, the Doctor discovers that the constant raging battles between them are instigated by none other than Xoanon, in reality an all-powerful giant computer. With Leela as his companion, the Doctor must not only battle with Xoanon, but reconcile the differences with the two tribes - who are both intent on subjecting them to their savage law.

The Face of Evil was the creation of one of the TV Series' most memorable teams; Tom Baker as the Doctor and Louise Jameson as the warrior Leela.

Chapter titles[]

  1. The Outcast
  2. The Invisible Terror
  3. Captured
  4. The Face of the Mountain
  5. Attack
  6. Danger for Leela
  7. The Test of the Horda
  8. Beyond the Wall
  9. The Tesh
  10. The Summons
  11. Xoanon
  12. The Trap
  13. The Last Battle
  14. Recovery
  15. Departure

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The backstory of how and when the Fourth Doctor met Xoanon is discussed.
  • The Doctor believes he was destined to return to the planet rather than return to join Sarah.
  • The two assassins Neeva sends after Leela are said to be warrior priests.
  • The character of Lugo is unnamed, and it is not said that the leader of the patrol that captures the Doctor and the guard killed by Leela in the inner sanctum are the same person.
  • Leela tells the Doctor that the face on the mountainside was done by the Tesh; the Doctor speculates that it was done by laser.
  • There are several minor dialogue changes, such as Calib wondering if the Sevateem are the Survey Team's "descendants" rather than "children".
  • The sequence of events is changed at the end of Part Two, in order to end a chapter on the Doctor and Leela glimpsing a Tesh rather than Tomas being attacked by the invisible creatures.
  • It is mentioned that the invisible creatures have destroyed the Sevateem village.

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 Deadly Assassin and Doctor Who and the Robots of Death.


  • An unabridged audiobook of the story was recorded by Louise Jameson for the RNIB in January 2011. It was only available to the registered blind.

Another audiobook was on 7 April 2022 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Louise Jameson.

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.

External links[]