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Doctor Who and the Web of Fear was a novelisation based on the 1968 television serial The Web of Fear.

Publisher's summary[]

1976 Target Books edition[]

Forty Years the Yeti had been quiet. A collector's item in a museum. Then without warning it awoke - and savagely murdered.

At about the same time patches of mist began to appear in Central London. People who lingered anytime in the mist were found dead, their faces smothered in cobwebs. The cobweb seeped down, penetrating the Underground System. Slowly it spread....

Then the Yeti reappeared, not just one but hordes, roaming the misty streets and cobwebbed tunnels, killing everyone in their path. Central London was gripped tight in a Web of Fear...

1993 Target Books edition[]


For forty years the Yeti had been quiet, a simple museum exhibit. Then without warning it wakes, and savagely murders. Meanwhile patches of mist begin to appear in central London. People who linger in the mist are found dead, their faces smothered in cobwebs. The Cobwebs seep down, penetrating the Underground System, expanding... Then the Yeti reappear, not just one but hordes, roaming the misty streets and cobwebbed tunnels, killing everyone in their path. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria must unite with the young Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart to stop the deadly menace.

This is the first story to feature Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. Cover artist Alister Pearson's reference for the Doctor is a photo from The Mind Robber. The artwork for this edition featured on a postcard free with issue 203 of Doctor Who Magazine (1 September 1993).

2016 BBC Books edition[]

The TARDIS is engulfed by a mysterious web-like substance in space. Breaking free, the Doctor and his companions Jamie and Victoria land in the London Underground system. But a spreading killer mist has meant that London has been evacuated. The Great Intelligence is back - and its robot Yeti are roaming the streets and the underground tunnels.

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria team up with an old army unit working with their friend Professor Travers to combat the menace. They soon realise, however, that someone in the group must be working for the Intelligence. With time running out, the Doctor and his friends release they can trust no one...

2017 BBC Audiobook edition[]

For 40 years Professor Travers' Yeti had been quiet, a collector's item in a museum. Then without warning, it awakes and savagely murders. Patches of mist begin to appear in Central London, those who linger in it found dead, their faces smothered in cobwebs.

When the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria arrive in the London Underground, they find that the web is remorselessly spreading. What's more, hoards of Yeti are roaming the misty streets and cobwebbed tunnels, killing everyone in their path. London has been gripped tight in a web of fear.

The Doctor and his friends unite with the army, led by one Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, in defence of the Earth. But an old enemy is lurking in the shadows...

Chapter titles[]

  1. Return of Evil
  2. The Web in Space
  3. The Monster in the Tunnels
  4. Danger for the Doctor
  5. Battle with the Yeti
  6. The Terror of the Web
  7. Escape from the Web
  8. Return of the Yeti
  9. Kidnapped!
  10. Danger Above Ground
  11. 'I want your mind.'
  12. The Fall of the Fortress
  13. Captives of the Intelligence
  14. The Final Duel

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Dialogue is similar to the televised story but changed slightly. For example, the Doctor never describes the Intelligence as a "formless, shapeless thing etc" and the Web is never described as a fungus.
  • Julius Silverstein is renamed "Emil Julius" in order to remove the offensive Jewish stereotype.
  • The cliffhanger ending which saw the TARDIS crew holding on to the ship so they wouldn't fall into the time vortex from The Enemy of the World is not resolved. The first appearance of the TARDIS crew is when the Doctor and Jamie are arguing over the light on the console.
  • Detail is added for what happened to Edward Travers between stories: the world believed his talk of Yeti was a hoax, and his 'robot Yeti' was a self-made replica. He dedicated himself to learning electronics so he could crack the secrets of the control sphere and prove himself.
  • Emil is described as tall and white-haired; in the television version he is short, balding and dark-haired. It is stated that Travers sold the Yeti to him after his tales of his exploits were derided, and has tried to buy it back many times.
  • Terrence Dicks adds a mention that Travers was briefly suspected of murdering Emil to steal the Yeti back.
  • The Doctor's first meeting with Lethbridge-Stewart is depicted. The novel makes a number of references to their future friendship (referencing Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion) and ends with Lethbridge-Stewart talking about setting up an Intelligence Taskforce.
  • Travers' companion from Tibet is named Angus Mackay. The television version of The Abominable Snowmen named him John, the novelisation Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen named him Mackay.
  • Travers is already installed at the fortress when Chorley tries to interview him instead of being newly arrived.
  • Some characters' ranks are changed slightly. Staff Sergeant Arnold is usually referred to as Sergeant Arnold, except on one occasion when Knight calls him "Staff". Craftsman Weams and Driver Evans are referred to as Privates.
  • The Doctor meets up with Lethbridge-Stewart after Knight's death and they return to the fortress together. Lethbridge-Stewart's moment of despair and asking the Doctor if he will give himself up are omitted.
  • The Doctor's anger at his friends inadvertently ruining his plan to destroy the Intelligence is reduced somewhat.
  • The Doctor explains his not revealing himself to the soldiers by saying they would arrest or shoot him, giving Jamie further motivation for not revealing his existence to them.
  • The Doctor states that Arnold reverted to his original personality with no memory of his actions whenever the Intelligence had no use of him.
  • Blake is killed by a Yeti with a web gun rather than being dragged away and beaten.
  • Victoria refers to Travers as "Mister Travers" when they are first reunited, correcting a mistake in the televised version where she knows he's a professor without being told.
  • At the end of the scene where the Doctor and Lethbridge-Stewart accuse each other of being the Intelligence, Lethbridge-Stewart says they should trust each other at least, which the text notes as the beginning of their friendship.
  • The Yeti are said to have red glowing eyes.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The cover and information from the original Target Books edition featured the artwork of Chris Achilleos.
  • The first edition cover marked the last time an image of the Second Doctor would appear on a Target Books novelisation cover until The Power of the Daleks was novelised in 1993.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

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


1983 W.H. Allen with a new cover by Andrew Skilleter priced £1.25 (UK)
1993 Virgin Publishing with a new cover by Alistair Pearson priced £3.50 (UK)


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 3 August 2017 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by David Troughton.

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[]

to be added