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Scream of the Shalka is the novelisation of the webcast of the same title. This book, written by Paul Cornell and published by BBC Books in February 2004, was the first novelisation of an officially licensed Doctor Who story since the 1996 novelisation of Doctor Who. As of 2019, it is the only novelisation based upon a webcast.

Publisher's summary[]

When the Doctor lands his TARDIS in the Lancashire town of Lannet, in the present day, he finds that something is terribly wrong. The people are scared. They don't like going out onto the streets at night, they don't like making too much noise, and they certainly don't like strangers asking too many questions.

What alien force has invaded the town? Why is it watching barmaid Alison Cheney? And what plans does it have for the future of the planet Earth?

The Doctor is helped (and hindered) by his new military liaison Major Kennet and his Royal Green Jacket troop. His old enemy the Master also plays a small part. During the course of this adventure he encounters a brand new race of ferocious alien monsters, and strikes up a friendship with his latest companion, Alison.

While starting with a small community under threat, this old-fashioned, very traditional but very up to date Doctor Who adventure takes in the entire world, from New Zealand to India, Siberia to the USA, and cosmic expanses beyond.

This is the novelisation of BBCi's acclaimed Doctor Who adventure, first broadcast over the Internet in November 2003.

Chapter titles[]

  1. Unwelcome Visitors
  2. Enter the Doctor
  3. The Underground Terror
  4. The Enemy Revealed
  5. The First Victory
  6. Military Matters
  7. No Escape
  8. Into the Depths
  9. The Shalka
  10. In the Hands of the Enemy
  11. Into the Vortex
  12. A Captive and a Mystery
  13. The Doctor's Experiment
  14. The People in the Forest
  15. The Army of the Shalka
  16. The Doctor Takes a Chance
  17. A World to Save
  18. The Death Principle
  19. The Doctor and the Master
  20. The Final Battle
  21. Farewells

Deviations from the webcast[]

  • The line to the Doctor, "While you can, be eccentric and superior", is delivered in the webcast as a joke, while in the book it's a scathing put-down.
  • The caretaker is given the name Mitch Stannard, and Joe's last name is identified as Latham.

Author, writing, and publishing notes[]

  • The novelisation was published in the same paperback format as the BBC's ongoing Eighth Doctor Adventures and Past Doctor Adventures lines, which at the time were alternating release schedules. However, Scream of the Shalka was uniquely published between the EDA Sometime Never... and the PDA Empire of Death, making it a part of neither line.
  • The adaptation of the story itself runs 194 pages, making it one of the shortest Doctor Who novels published since the Virgin New Adventures line was launched in 1991. The remainder of the book is taken up by "The Making of Scream of the Shalka", a behind-the-scenes chronicle also written by Cornell.
  • Details about the planned sequels to Scream of the Shalka were published in Obverse Books' 2017 The Black Archive reference book Scream of the Shalka.


The unabridged audiobook of the novelisation was released by BBC Physical Audio on 4 June 2016. It was read by David Collings.

External links[]