Earthshock was a novelisation based on the 1982 television serial Earthshock. In common with the show's advance publicity, the cover and publisher's summary omit any explicit mention to the Cybermen.
1983 Target Books edition
A party of troopers and Professor Kyle, the only survivor of the attack, are investigating the deaths of her colleagues when they discover the Doctor and his companions at the site of the massacre. The time-travellers are immediately suspected.
In trying to establish their innocence and find out who - or what - was responsible for the killings, the Doctor is confronted by an old enemy...
1992 Target Books edition
'WHY ON EARTH?' ASKED NYSSA DISAPPROVINGLY. 'WHY ON EARTH NOT?' REPLIED THE DOCTOR.
A group of palaeontologists have been savagely attacked while carrying out a study of fossilised dinosaur remains in an underground cave system on twenty-sixth-century Earth. A party of troopers and Professor Kyle, the only survivor of the attack, are investigating the deaths of her colleagues when they come across the Doctor and his companions at the site of the massacre. The time travellers are immediately suspected.
Adapted by Ian Marter - who also played the role of Harry Sullivan - from the original script by Eric Saward, Earthshock features the long awaited return of the Cybermen, the Doctor's most lethal enemies.
- Labyrinth of Death
- Uneasy Allies
- A Crisis Defused
- Monstrous Awakenings
- A Siege
- War of Nerves
- Accidents Happen
- Triumph and Tragedy
Deviations from televised story
- The entranceway to the caverns is described as a gigantic human skull with the dark openings of caves gaping like empty eye-sockets and nostrils.
- It's said that should the Earthshock bomb be planted at a key focal point where several geological fault lines overlap -- such as at Professor Kyle's archaeological site -- it would be powerful enough to split the Earth apart.
- The sudden and unexplained reactivation of the Cyberleader's secondary garrison is explained away in the novelisation as an accidental side-effect of the secret passageway to the Cybermen's makeshift control centre slamming shut. The tremors set the delicate instrumentation of their equipment into action and reviving the warriors.
- The Cyberleader is assisted by an argumentative and insubordinate Cyber Deputy rather than by a Cyber-Lieutenant as seen in the televised version of the story.
- Several mentions are made of a Galactic Congress hosting the interstellar conference on Earth.
- The Cybermen aboard the freighter prove to be far more resilient to weapons fire than their televisual counterparts, surviving numerous impacts and requiring concentrated blasts to their ventilator units to be bested in combat.
- The Leader emits a "desperate choking sound [as] sticky black bubbles [start] frothing out of the grille," as the gold from Adric's badge clogs his ventilator unit during his final confrontation with the Doctor. Rather than being shredded, a portion of Adric's badge is impaled in the Cyberleader's chest unit.
- Several of the minor trooper characters, such as Baines and Carter, are unnamed.
- The first conversation between the Doctor and Adric omits the continuity references of the Doctor reading Black Orchid and failing to get Tegan to Heathrow.
- Many of the short scenes from the original are combined or dropped entirely to create longer unbroken scenes concentrating on characters or settings.
- Although the Cybermen are described in detail when they first appear, they are not actually identified. Their first explicit mention comes in their next scene, when the Cyberleader refers to "the superiority of Cyber technology."
- Ringway is said to be the ship's navigator.
- Carson is renamed Buchanan.
- The Doctor is immediately suspicious of Ringway, asking how he knew Vance and Buchanan were dead without checking. It is specified the two crewmembers were beaten to death.
- Much dialogue is changed or reassigned, such as the Doctor being given a version of Berger urging Briggs to trust the evidence of the instruments.
- Tegan is given one of the dead troopers' guns when accompanying Scott's group into the hold.
- The unlucky trooper ambushed by a Cyberman outside the TARDIS is instead killed when halfway through the interior main doors. A silver fist swings down from the darkness and shatters their skull "like an egg".
- Professor Kyle is killed instantaneously rather than picking up the dead Cyberman's weapon. Scott is more visibly shaken by her death than his grim resignation in televised story. He has to repeatedly order Nyssa to let him out of the TARDIS to help the Doctor.
- The Cyberleader threatens Nyssa to stop Tegan tampering with the TARDIS. He counters Tegan's argument that the TARDIS will be noticed by Earth's early warning systems by pointing out the blue box isn't radar-reflective.
- Scott has three surviving troopers when evacuating the freighter rather than simply Brooks as on screen.
- Rather than simply being shot by Nyssa, the Cyber Deputy is weakened by Tegan shoving the remains of Adric's badge into his chest plate and then shot repeatedly by the Doctor.
- In the end, the jammed controls on the TARDIS console are freed through the buffeting caused by the freighter's destruction. The silence is broken as the Doctor collects the remains of Adric's star from the Deputy's body and places them in his pocket.
Writing and publishing notes
- to be added
Additional cover images
British publication history
- W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK