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Doctor Who and the Green Death was a novelisation based on the 1973 television serial The Green Death.

Publisher's summary[]

1975 Target Books edition[]

The Green Death begins slowly. In a small Welsh mining village a man emerges from the disused colliery covered in a green fungus. Minutes later he is dead. Unit, Jo Grant and Doctor Who in tow, arrive on the scene to investigate, but strangely reluctant to assist their enquiries is Dr Stevens, director of the local refinery Panorama Chemicals.

Are they in time to destroy the mysterious power which threatens them all before the whole village, and even the world, is wiped out by a deadly swarm of green maggots?

Chapter titles[]

  1. 'Wealth in our time!'
  2. The Doctor Plans a Holiday
  3. Land of My Fathers
  4. Into the Mine
  5. Escape!
  6. The Sluice Pipe
  7. The Egg
  8. The Maggots
  9. The Swarm
  10. The Green Death
  11. The Chrysalis
  12. One World, One People, One BOSS!

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The refinery is called Panorama Chemicals in the book, whereas in the TV version it's called Global Chemicals.
  • Some scenes are truncated and amalgamated to fit the abbreviated length of a novelisation. The Doctor and Yates's discussion about obtaining the oil waste (or its formula), for instance, takes place in the refinery corridor where they first meet, rather than the office.
  • By the time the Doctor arrives, no one has visited Metebelis Three in three-hundred years. Not since a lone Time Lord stayed for a few hours writing up a report for their files. In addition to what's witnessed on-screen, the valley includes unusual blue flowers with prehensile roots and venom, blue predatory butterflies, blue inch-sized ants and herds of blue unicorns.
  • The Wholewheal has been graffitied with "THE NUT HATCH" and "NUTTERS GO BACK TO CARDIFF".
  • The narrative first makes mention of BOSS when Stevens first connects himself to the brainwashing headphones.
  • Dr Ralph Arnold Fell is renamed Dr Arnold Bell.
  • Hinks is reading a comic at the time that Professor Cliff Jones stages a demonstration against Panorama Chemicals. It's stated he hasn't yet gotten to the part where people are beaten and burned, so he has something to look forward to when his task is completed.
  • As the Doctor leads Cliff away from Jo, she recognises that the Doctor knows she's fallen in love. Sympathetically, she wonders why her old friend never married. She's unclear on whether there are any "lady Time Lords" or if they're capable of having children at all. There are a great many things she still doesn't know about him.
  • The Doctor relates his experiences on Metebelis Three during the evening meal in the Wholeweal, rather than his joke regarding the Venusian shanghorn and the perigosto stick.
  • Cliff proclaims his love to Jo as UNIT begin their bombing run of the slag heap.
  • Elgin is reinstated into the events where he was replaced in the televised version by James. Stevens expresses disappointment in Yates directly, rather than the fallen Elgin/James.
  • The Doctor mourns killing the giant dragonfly.
  • Stevens's efforts to destroy BOSS are observed by the Doctor. He considers whether he should carry the man to safety, but instead decides to leave him in the company of the only friend he ever trusted. The Time Lord laments the destruction and wonders how many slaves and semi-slaves perished in the inferno.
  • Following the refinery's collapse, the guard at the front gate remarks that before reconditioning he was a bus driver en route to West End. He has no idea of how he came to work there.
  • In the final moments of the story, after Jo has chosen to remain with Cliff, the Doctor is mentioned to be 725-years-old.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • An extract from the novelisation in which Dai Evans and Clifford Jones discuss the General Strike in 1926 was used to preface Chapter 3 of Dominic Sandbrook's modern history State of Emergency. The chapter in question, "Ghosts of 1926", is an account of the early 1970s strike actions in Britain.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

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


60p (UK)
1979 Target Books with a new cover by Alun Hood priced 60p (UK)


This Target book was released as an audiobook on 11 September 2008 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Katy Manning.

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.

The audiobook version was re-released in October 2018 as part of The Second UNIT Collection box set.

External links[]

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