The Ark was a novelisation based on the 1966 television story The Ark.

Publisher's summary Edit

1987 edition Edit

It is ten million years in the future and the Earth is about to plunge into the Sun. A gigantic Space Ark has been launched to take the last of humanity to a new life on the planet Refusis II. Accompanying the humans on their journey are the Monoids, strange reptilian creatures from an alien world.

When the TARDIS materialises on board, the First Doctor and his friends are greeted with suspicion which soon turns to open hostility when Dodo inadvertently infects the Ark's crew with a long-forgotten virus.

It is an accident which will have a terrible effect on mankind, an effect which will last for seven hundred years...

Chapter titles Edit

  1. The Steel Sky
  2. Capture
  3. The Plague
  4. The Fight Back
  5. The Return
  6. Refusis
  7. Search
  8. The Final Conflict

Deviations from televised story Edit

  • The unnamed human initially on trial and subsequently minimised is called Niash. He's later re-enhanced at the story's conclusion where he is greeted by the Doctor, Steven and Dodo, alongside other restored Guardians and Monoids eager to start their new lives together on Refusis II.
  • In the novelisation, the Doctor and Manyak visit other environmental regions aboard the Ark struck by Dodo's spreading cold virus. These include a polar, desert and several cultivation regions, as well as a variety of fauna left unseen in the televised serial. Whilst travelling in the polar region, the Doctor and Manyak are forced to move some corpses to prevent the spread of the virus. Their actions are observed by scouts who relay back to Zentos using their wrist communicators.
  • The novella expands on how the Monoids appear to be servants to the Guardians. When the Doctor asks why no Guardians work in the cultivation region, Manyak explains that they prefer not to do manual labour, whilst the Monoids apparently embrace it. While hunting a deer, one Guardian falls prey to a boa constrictor and its only through the intervention of his Monoid companion that he survives the encounter.
  • The Doctor notes that in the intervening centuries the Guardians have evolved two hearts, a larger brain and a smaller intestinal tract. When questioned by Dodo on the subject about himself, he responds that he's had "more experience of adapting", implying a non-human physiology.
  • An explanation is provided on why the TARDIS returned to the Ark. During Steven's shift at the controls, he falls asleep and knocks one of his levers with his sleeve. The result being that he dislodges the Ship's spatial coordinates and triggers a premature, somewhat disruptive landing.
  • While only one Refusian addressed the expedition in the televised story, Dodo befriends a young Refusian girl in the novelisation with whom she plays tennis. It's during their game that she discovers the aliens have extraordinary strength, prefiguring their part in the eventual disposal of the statue aboard the Ark. Dodo gives the two Refusians names -- Charlie is their leader and Mary is his daughter.
  • The novel explains how Monoid One is the leader. He is Monoid One XVII and is a descendant of the original Monoid revolutionary leader, Monoid One I the Great. Rather than being killed outright, he flees from the rebels across Refusis's surface, trying to scale a cliff and reach a cave. A stray shot causes him to fall. He's swept up in the river below and plunges over the edge of a waterfall where he presumably drowns.
  • The cliffhanger in which the Doctor turns invisible leading to the domain of the Celestial Toymaker is removed. Instead, the novel ends with the Doctor attempting to teach Dodo to drop her colloquialisms with a quote from My Fair Lady as the TARDIS flies on through the universe. He promises his two companions a journey, but no guaranteed destination.

Writing and publishing notes Edit

Additional cover images Edit

British publication history Edit

First publication:

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


Paperback: Target / Virgin Publishing Ltd. UK December 1992 Cover by Alistair Pearson (£2.50 UK)

Audiobook Edit

This Target Book was released on 1 March 2018 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Peter Purves.

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 Edit

to be added

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