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Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster was a novelisation based on the 1975 television serial Terror of the Zygons.

Publisher's summary[]

1976 Target Books edition[]

Why is DOCTOR WHO suddenly summoned to the shores of Loch Ness? Terror and panic spread as the third oil rig is smashed into the sea by a mysterious force... the monster?

The controlling power must be the ZYGONS – alien creatures who have lived hidden on Earth for thousands of years, and now feel strong enough to take over the planet... The Doctor, Sarah and UNIT have different ideas – but can they outwit the supreme cunning of the ruthless ZYGONS?

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

1993 Target Books edition[]


Summoned back to Earth by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, the Doctor is asked to investigate a series of mysterious attacks on Scottish oil rigs. The culprit appears to be Nessie herself, but the monster turns out to be a Skarasen, the half animal, half machine creation of the Zygons. The Doctor, Sarah and Harry must stop the Zygons, some of which have taken human form, from making Earth their new home planet.

This book, previously published as DOCTOR WHO and the Loch Ness Monster, has been retitled in line with the TV story. This edition was published alongside a reissue of Doctor Who and the Pyramids of Mars. It received a new ISBN as its title was amended to Doctor Who - Terror of The Zygons to match the television serial. Alister Pearson's cover artwork featured on a postcard free with issue 214 of Doctor Who Magazine (6 July 1994). This was the 75th Target cover painting, a fact he commemorated within the artwork.

2012 BBC Books edition[]

Centuries ago, a Zygon spaceship crash landed in Loch Ness. Now, with their home planet destroyed, the alien creatures plan to take over Earth. Their most powerful weapon is a huge, armoured, dinosaur-like creature of terrifying power that they brought to Earth as an embryo - the Loch Ness Monster.

The Doctor, Sarah and Harry soon discover that the Zygons have another weapon. They can assume the identity of any human they capture. Who knows which of their friends may be a Zygon?

UNIT faces one of it's toughest battles as Broton, Warlord of the Zygons, puts his plan into action and the Loch Ness Monster attacks.

Chapter titles[]

  1. Death from the Sea
  2. Murder on the Shore
  3. The Zygons Attack
  4. A Trap for the Doctor
  5. The Sleeping Village
  6. The Monster on the Moor
  7. Hunt for a Zygon
  8. A Visit to the Duke
  9. The Secret of Forgill Castle
  10. Plan for Conquest
  11. Escape!
  12. Monster in the Thames

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The unnamed UNIT corporal is given the name of Palmer.
  • The unnamed radio operator in the televised version is replaced by Munro, who is given the first name of Jock.
  • There is an extra scene in which the TARDIS materialises and temporarily becomes invisible. (This scene was filmed, but was edited out before transmission. It can be viewed as a special feature on the DVD release of this story).
  • There is some dialogue between the Doctor and the Duke of Forgill when the Duke picks them up in his car.
  • It is the Doctor, rather than Sarah, who reveals that the Brigadier is bringing the wreckage from the rig ashore. The scene of the Doctor first seeing the wreckage outside the sickbay is omitted, but he later identifies the Skarasen as a cyborg from the tooth mark.
  • The Doctor responds to Sarah's enquiry about his jamming detector being jammed by deciding to build in a protective circuit.
  • The fake Duke getting Huckle's name wrong is omitted.
  • The Zygons are said to have a sting in their natural form, used to stun the Doctor and Harry and to kill Angus and the soldier in the cellar.
  • There is an extra sequence of the Zygon at the sickbay reporting to Broton by communicator. (This was filmed but cut from the transmitted version).
  • The Doctor's encounter with the Skarasen on the moor is said to take place at night, with the subsequent visit to Forgill Castle being the following morning.
  • The Zygons are able to speak in their normal voices while in human form; on screen, they only speak in the host's voice.
  • The Zygons have a large group of human prisoners, rather than just the three seen on screen.
  • Broton indicates that the Zygon fleet will arrive gradually over centuries and he intends to construct lakes in which to breed Skarasens.
  • The Doctor is suspicious of the fake Duke but hopes to bring about a peaceful solution by staying quiet.
  • The Prime Minister is referred to as being male, rather than female.
  • The Doctor refers to the Zygons waving a "claw" rather than a "tentacle" as rulers, probably reflecting the lack of tentacles in the Zygons' design.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The inside page includes the comments: "THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCTOR WHO. The cover illustration of this book portrays the fourth DOCTOR WHO"
  • At the end of the book, when the Brigadier refuses a trip in the TARDIS, saying "Never again", there is an asterix that leads to the footnote "You can read about that in 'Doctor Who - The Three Doctors'." (original published text)
  • The Loch-Ness Monster was the working title of Terror of the Zygons. (REF: The Secret Lives of Monsters)


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 Pinnacle Books in 1979 as a paperback edition, it was one of ten American novelisations; an introduction by Harlan Ellison features in all the editions.
  • Published again in the USA by Nelson Doubleday in 1979 as a combined Hardback edition, it comprised this story, Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks and Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen. The introduction by Harlan Ellison was included.
  • Published yet again in the USA by Aeonian Press in 1986 as a Hardback edtion, it was one of six novelisations published in the mid-1980's.

External links[]