Target Books' Doctor Who output in 1983 was almost exclusively Fifth Doctor-related. Of the eight new novelisations printed, only one belonged to another Doctor. As with the previous year, the first three Doctors were ignored by Target's writers, except to the extent that they appeared in The Five Doctors. That novelisation was peculiarly important to the Target line, in that it was the first novelisation to be available in the UK prior to the transmission of the serial it adapted.

The year was the first one in which the novelisations were released with a so-called "library number". Terminus went out as #79, with each subsequent release adding on to that number.

Novelisation covers[]

Reprints and other title covers[]

Publishing history[]

Month Title Writer Cover Artist
Reissue: Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen Terrance Dicks New cover: Andrew Skilleter
Reissue: Doctor Who and the Web of Fear Terrance Dicks New cover: Andrew Skilleter
April Time-Flight Peter Grimwade Photographic cover
May Meglos Terrance Dicks Andrew Skilleter
June Castrovalva Christopher H. Bidmead Photographic cover
July Four to Doomsday Terrance Dicks Photographic cover
August Earthshock Ian Marter Photographic cover
September Terminus John Lydecker Photographic cover
October Arc of Infinity Terrance Dicks Photographic cover
November The Five Doctors Terrance Dicks Andrew Skilleter

Publishing notes[]

Target Library Numbering[]

Doctor Who and the Visitation was the first title to be given a (working) reference number as part of the Doctor Who library (Number 74). The idea behind the numbering was to try to capitalise on collectors and regular readers of the range to complete their "set" or read all the books.

However, for a range that didn't flow in a chronological order, it was met with various reactions, and was generally criticised by fans, who after collecting some seventy odd titles, were faced with a "new look" for their collection (a factor that the BBC DVD mechandising team seem to be acutely aware of).

The implementation of the numbering system was not always to plan. Examples of inconsistencies include:

Number 77 Four to Doomsday numbered on the inside only
Number 78 Earthshock numbered on the inside only
Number 79 Terminus numbered inside and on the cover
Number 80 Arc of Infinity not numbered
Number 81 The Five Doctors numbered
Number 106 Vengeance on Varos arriving between Numbers 128 and 129 (some two years later)
Number 153 was given to Doctor Who - The Pescatons which was based on a record release and so technically not a televised novelisation.

Books 1 to 74 in the range were retrospectively numbered, in alphabetical order. These numbers appeared on the covers with the reprint schedule from 1983, the exceptions being Time-Flight, Meglos and Castrovalva.