1990 Target Books edition
Shoreditch, London, 1963. Two teachers follow an unnervingly knowledgeable schoolgirl to her home - a blue police telephone box in the middle of a scrapyard. The old man whom the girl calls "grandfather" is annoyed at the intrusion: there is something he has to do, and he has a premonition that he will be delayed for some time...
But a Grey Dalek is lurking in Foreman's Yard; Imperial Daleks are appearing in the basement of Coal Hill School; and both factions want the Hand of Omega, the remote stellar manipulator that the Doctor has left behind. Has the Doctor arrived in time to deprive the Daleks of the secret of time travel?
2013 BBC Books edition
With unfinished business to attend to, the Seventh Doctor returns to where it all began: Coal Hill School in London in 1963. Last time he was here, the Doctor left something behind — a powerful Time Lord artefact that could unlock the secrets of time travel. Can the Doctor retrieve it before two rival factions of Daleks track it down? And even if he can, how will the Doctor prevent the whole of London becoming a war zone as the Daleks meet in explosive confrontation?
An adventure featuring the Seventh Doctor as played by Sylvester McCoy and his companion Ace
- Shoreditch, November 1963 - Friday, 15:30
- Friday, 16:03
- Friday, 17:30
- Saturday, 02:17
- Saturday, 06:26
- Saturday, 07:31
- Saturday, 12:13
- Saturday, 14:15
- Saturday, 14:55
- Saturday, 15:00
- Saturday, 15:31
- Saturday, 15:42
- Saturday, 15:50
- Saturday, 16:05
- Saturday, 16:11
- Saturday, 16:15
- Saturday, 16:32
- Saturday, 16:34
- Saturday, 16:45
- Saturday, 17:15
- Saturday, 17:37
- Thursday, 11:30
- An audio reading of the story by Terry Molloy was released by BBC Physical Audio on 19 February 2015, with additional Dalek voices by Nicholas Briggs.
- Dedication: "To Andrew who opened the door, and Anna who pushed me through it".
- The novelisation also begins with a quote from Richard III, Act 1, Scene 1.
Deviations from televised story
- Like The Curse of Fenric novelisation, this commission was given an unlimited word count and, in the light of the forthcoming range of New Adventures and the edicts of new editor Peter Darvill-Evans, the writers were encouraged to take a more adult-orientated approach to the story. In particular, Aaronovitch's thematic exploration of racial prejudice, as well as the implication a young Gilmore and Jensen had sex, and more details about the period setting.
- As is the norm for novelisations, many characters are given fleshed out backgrounds and names. These include Gilmore and Jensen having worked briefly together in the war, Jensen's childhood, and Ratcliffe having been a constant presence in Mike Smith's life. Mike is also aware of the Renegade Daleks being Ratcliffe's allies and so is lying when he later tells Ace he didn't know about them.
- The novelisation expands on the Counter-Measures group, including naming them and giving them an origin, and gives a blossoming romance between Gilmore and Rachel. Generic soldiers are given names and scenes.
- Several subtle hints are given towards Mike's eventual betrayal of the team in the form of various racist, sexist and antisemitic comments to and about others, including being relieved Ace isn't an alien as he wouldn't want to date a "foreigner".
- Dalek dialogue to each other is often rewritten as network transmissions as part of a cyberpunk treatment.
- There is a short prologue featuring the First Doctor, portraying a scene from An Unearthly Child.
- While summarising the Daleks' history to Ace, the Doctor recalls his own first encounter with them. In an interesting display of continuity, his recollection of Temmosus, begging for peace while the Daleks gunned him down, bears a striking resemblance to David Whitaker's depiction of events in Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks.
- The Dalek initially guarding the transmat receptacle in Coal Hill crashes through a brick wall before chasing the Doctor and Ace from the cellar.
- The Doctor's meeting with John (Remembrance of the Daleks) doesn't take place in the cafe set. Instead, John is running his own place: an outdoors establishment near the docks.
- Gilmore refers to the government's "sensitive state" in the show is now explicitly referring to the Profumo affair in the book, after Allison jokes, "Thanks to Miss Keeler".
- A reason is added for why the Daleks don't kill Ace at the end of episode 2 but are simply yelling "exterminate": they are directed to capture her and the screaming is an intimidation tactic.
- The book contains far more detail on the Special Weapons Dalek, known to its peers in the novelisation as the Abomination. In the book, its motives are explored in greater detail. From its inception and creation as the ultimate weapon to the surprising fact that the firing of its main weapon caused it to mutate and become self-aware. As a result, it is closely monitored and even "feared" by other Daleks. The patrol leader resists the urge to exterminate it for its impurity. Ace and the Doctor encounter the Special Weapons Dalek personally as it and the Imperial Daleks attack the Renegade Daleks in Ratcliffe's Yard.
- Various Dalek campaigns are mentioned such as the Spiridon campaign and the Movellan War. The Special Weapons Dalek is noted to have participated in three distinguished campaigns: Pa Jass-Gutrik, the War of Vengeance against the Movellans, Pa Jaski-Thal, the Liquidation War against the Thals, and Pas Jass-Vortan, the Time Campaign — the War to End All Wars.
- There are two extracts from an in-universe book series called The Children of Davros, Volume XX and Volume XIX, published in 4065. (The subtitle for Volume XX is A Short History of the Dalek Race) It is stated the Movellan virus killed 83% of the Daleks and cut off Skaro, cauisng the various surviving sector commands to become the factions "that characterize Dalek politics to this day". Davros' "subversion" of the "imperial Skarosian Daleks" is also part of a technological renaissance centred on Skaro. The Doctor expands on the Dalek civil war over racial purity, stating the factions normally wouldn't fight as they "bang databases" and one Daleks listens to the other, but the Imperials and Renegades don't recognise the other as Daleks.
- The Imperial faction employs scout Daleks with "overpowered motor[s]" that navigate and attack using sensor signals from bulb housings on their torsos. They may bear an ancestral resemblance to the reconnaissance drone depicted in TV: Resolution.
- The Renegade Dalek faction employs electronic countermeasure pods, a form of in-built intrusion countermeasures electronics (ICE), in their defence. These devices allow them to infiltrate and confuse the targeting computer and life support systems of any Imperial Daleks who come into range. During their first face-to-face encounter in London, the Renegades overwhelm their opposition by distorting their foes' aim and eventually drown them in their own nutrient tanks. (Finding and destroying the ECM pods is an explanation for why the Daleks are sometimes firing at the tunnel walls in episode 4)
- The Daleks know the Doctor by the titles of Ka Farq Gatri, Enemy of the Daleks and the Bringer of Darkness. These were reused commonly in 1990s/2000s spin-off media, but most prominently for COMIC: Metamorphosis, Emperor of the Daleks!, PROSE: Love and War, The Quantum Archangel and for the Second Doctor in COMIC: Bringer of Darkness.
- The Doctor mentions the Movellan War to Ace, Rachel and Allison. The Movellan virus apparently fragmented the Daleks and left them in isolated factions.
- Skaro's destruction is depicted up close and in great detail. From its beetles and rock leopards in the mountains to the Dalek city of Mensvat Esc-Dalek and the one-thousand-million Daleks that dwell within it. The mountains and seas boil, the sky turns white and the atmosphere is blown out into space by the supernova triggered by the Hand of Omega.
- The novelisation expands on Davros's origin, depicting the bombardment that led to him becoming crippled and chief scientist of the Kaled scientific division. The Kaled High Command attempted to persuade him to suicide after he was lamed. Citing his genetic impurity. Davros instead came to the realisation that they were too weak to abide by their principles. They couldn't kill him or even exile him and that weakness was incorporated into the Dalek design. This rejection and the bombardment were depicted in AUDIO: Davros and AUDIO: Corruption, respectively.
- The novelisation is notable for providing many points of reference for lore in the Virgin New Adventures. Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart, an ancestor of the character who later appears in Transit, is introduced as the author of the oft-quoted The Children of Davros. Flashbacks to ancient Gallifrey introduce "the Other", a prominent figure with links to the Doctor and the mysterious third member of the founding Triumvirate with Rassilon and Omega.
British publication history
First paperback edition, priced £2.50 (UK), estimated print run: 25,000 copies.
Additional cover images
Editions published outside Britain
- Published in the USA by BBC Worldwide America in 2016 as a combined Hardback edition, it comprised this story and Prisoner of the Daleks. The book was published with a special leather cover.
- Published in Germany by Bastei Lubbe in 2017 as a paperback edition, translated by Axel Merz and published as Die Hand des Omega.