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Doctor Who and the Masque of Mandragora was a novelisation based on the 1976 television serial The Masque of Mandragora.

Publisher's summary[]

1977 Target Books edition[]

Forced off course by the Mandragora Helix, the Tardis lands in the province of San Martino in fifteenth-century Italy. Here, the court astrologer, Hieronymous, has been taken over by the Mandragora energy-form – Hieronymous and the other members of his star-worshipping black magic cult will be used as a bridgehead, enabling the Mandragora Helix to conquer the Earth and rule it through their chosen servants.

The Doctor has to defeat not only the Mandragora energy, but the evil schemes of the murderous Count Frederico who plans to usurp the place of his nephew, the rightful ruler of the province.

1979 Pinnacle Books edition[]


It is the Italian Renaissance during the corrupt reign of the powerful Medicis. Doctor Who, angry because he was forced to land on Earth by the incredible Mandragora Helix, walks right into a Machiavellian plot. The unscrupulous Count Frederico plans to usurp the rightful rule of his naive nephew. This, with the help of Hieronymous, influential court astrologer and secret cult member.

Intent on righting all wrongs, Doctor Who studies their political manoeuvres. He uncovers a larger, even more malevalent plot - a plot to rule not only San Martino Province, but the entire world! Hieronymous has been taken over - both in mind and body - by the Mandragora energy ball, an alien, but all-powerful intelligence. Using Hieronymous and his cult members as a bridgehead, the Mandragora Helix intends to conquer Earth and dominate its people!

The question is, will Doctor Who provide a true Renaissance man? Will he be able to drain the Mandragora of its power and foil the Count as well?

Doctor Who is a mysterious, zany, and very mature Time Lord (750 years mature to be exact) who hurries through time in a stolen Time Machine. Since three's a problem with the steering, he never lands exactly when or where he plans to. This, along with his desperate desire to bring law and order to the galaxy, and his insatiable curiosity, consistently places him in weird and often wild circumstances.

The Incredible Space Fantasy Now a Hit Television Series

1991 Target Books edition[]


Forced by the Mandragora Helix to land in fifteenth-century Italy, the Doctor and Sarah find themselves at the mercy of Hieronymous, court astrologer of the province of San Martino. But Hieronymous and the other members of his star-worshiping black magic cult have also been taken over by the Mandragora energy form - they will be used as a bridgehead that will enable the Mandragora Helix to conquer Earth and rule it through their chosen servants.

Doctor Who - The Masque of Mandragora was first broadcast in 1976 and was written by Louis Marks. This adaptation is by Philip Hinchcliffe, who was producer of the programme for three seasons.

Chapter titles[]

  1. The Mandragora Helix
  2. The Brethren of Demnos
  3. Execution!
  4. Sacrifice
  5. The Prince Must Die
  6. The Secret of the Temple
  7. The Spell of Evil
  8. Torture!
  9. The Invasion Begins
  10. Siege
  11. Duel to the Death
  12. The Final Eclipse

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The Doctor humiliates Hieronymous and Frederico when he spots them trying to give rat poison to Guiliano.
  • An extended end scene features Guiliano trying to explain how the TARDIS disappeared.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • This is the only novelisation to depict the secondary control room; the others depict it as the normal console room.
  • This novelisation was later released as part of The History Collection.

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 in France by Editions Garanciere in 1987 as a paperback edition, translated by Richard D. Nolane and published as Docteur Who – Le Masque de Mandragore, it was one of eight French novelisations; each book is given the strapline ‘Igor et Grichka Bogdanoff presentent’ they presented a French science programme called Temps X, the broadcaster had bought and dubbed a selection of Fourth Doctor stories in 1986 but didn’t show them until 1989. [1]


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 16 April 2009 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Tim Piggott-Smith.

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[]