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Doctor Who and the Sunmakers was a novelisation based on the 1977 television serial The Sun Makers.

Publisher's summary[]

Everyone knows that Pluto is a barren airless rock. So naturally the Doctor is surprised when he discovers artificial suns, an ultra-modern industrial city and a group of colonists being worked – and taxed – to death in this inhospitable and supposedly undeveloped part of the universe ...

With the help of his companion Leela and the faithful K9, the Doctor takes on the mysterious and powerful Company, ruthless exploiter of planets and their people.

Chapter titles[]

  1. The Cost of the Golden Death
  2. The Fugitive
  3. The Others
  4. The Collector
  5. The Reprieve
  6. The Trap
  7. The Rebels
  8. The Prisoner
  9. The Steaming
  10. Revolt
  11. The Confrontation
  12. Liquidation

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The nurse is given a little more to do in the novelisation than is shown on-screen: when Cordo asks for news of his dying father, the nurse looks up the details on a computer screen before telling him.
  • A deleted scene where Leela sees citizens lining up to be executed for their death-day is reinstated.
  • Hade's death leaves the humans sick; in the televised story they cheer.
  • There are several minor dialogue changes: For instance, Leela's "Perhaps everyone runs from the tax man" becomes "Perhaps everyone runs from this Tax Gatherer."
  • Some role as reassigned: One of Goudry's lines is given to another member of the Others and some of the Commander's role is given to an unnamed technician. Veet is absent from the scene of Goudry stirring up the rebels and the TARDIS departure scene.
  • Bisham knew the tablets he took were the PCM antidote.
  • The Doctor believes Mandrel threatening him with a poker is a bluff, saying he's not really nasty enough at heart.
  • Synge recalls that Mandrel was sent to the Correction Centre for assaulting a supervisor and there were rumours he escaped.
  • Marn accompanies the guards to Main Control and escapes to alert Hade.
  • Leela's knife strikes the guard in the back rather than the shoulder.
  • Some ad-libbed material, such as the Doctor specifying the order in which everyone walks and briefly searching for K9, is omitted.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • This was the last Target novelisation to have a title prefixed by "Doctor Who and ..." until Doctor Who and the Pirate Planet 39 years later, and even in the case most editions of the novel bore the title of simply The Pirate Planet on the front cover, with the "Doctor Who and..." variant being relegated to the spine (although a few scattered editions were said to bear one or the other title on both the front cover and the spine, suggesting perhaps the title change may have been done at the last minute). Both titles were used rather interchangeably in promotional material for the book.
  • Although not generally acknowledged as such, this was a rare occasion during the 1980s that the title of a novelisation differed from that of the original series, but barely: the serial spelled Sun Makers as two words, while the novelisation used the single-word form, Sunmakers.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

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


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 7 February 2019 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Louise Jameson with K9's voice by John Leeson.

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[]