The Aztecs was a novelisation based on the 1964 television serial The Aztecs.

Publisher's summary Edit

1984 edition Edit

The TARDIS materialises in Mexico during the Aztec civilisation. The Doctor and his companions step outside to discover they are inside a tomb - the tomb, it turns out, of Yetaxa, once High Priest of the Aztecs.

Barbara is hailed as Yetaxa's reincarnation by Autloc, High Priest of Knowledge, and Tlotoxl, High Priest of Sacrifice, when they find her in the precincts of the tomb wearing the bracelet of the deceased Priest, now revered as a god.

And she takes advantage of her position of unaccustomed power to try and dissuade the Aztecs from practising human sacrifice...

1992 edition Edit

The Doctor stood up. "There's to be a human sacrifice at sunset," he said. "Ian is to escort the chosen victim to the altar."

When the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara arrive accidentally in ancient Mexico, Barbara is mistaken for a god by the Aztecs. Horrified by the barbarous practice of human sacrifice which she is forced to observe, she is determined to use her power to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again. The Doctor must use every means in his power to prevent her from interfering with the natural course of history, but he himself is occupied by other matters - such as the rather attractive Cameca...

This is a novelisation by John Lucarotti of his own television story, first broadcast in 1964 and featuring William Hartnell as the first Doctor.


Chapter titles Edit

  1. Coiled Serpent
  2. Yetaxa the God
  3. The Chosen Warriors
  4. Sacrifice to Tlaloc
  5. The Perfect Victim
  6. The Thorn of Doom
  7. No Holds Barred
  8. Cups of Cocoa
  9. The Bride of Sacrifice
  10. Offence and Retribution
  11. Crawl, Swim, Climb
  12. Wall of Deception
  13. False God
  14. The Day of Darkness
  15. Eclipse

Deviations from televised story Edit

  • The novelisation dates the story as 1507.
  • Aztec culture is elaborated on.
  • Ian discovers the skeleton of Ixta's father in the secret passage.
  • Ixta is said to be Topau's grandson, instead of his son.
  • There is no fight between Ixta and Ian on the pyramid, but instead Ian shines the Doctor's torch in Ixta's face, stunning him, causing him to fall off the pyramid.
  • The lead into The Sensorites is not included.

Writing and publishing notes Edit

  • John Lucarotti extensively rewrote the teleplay for this novelisation of his own story.
  • This was the last book to be published featuring the colour version of the Target Books logo. The book published just prior to this one, the novelisation of Warriors of the Deep, had introduced a new white-outline version of the logo.
  • This novelisation was later released as part of The History Collection.

Additional cover images Edit

to be added

British publication history Edit

First publication:

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


  • Paperback
Virgin Publishing Ltd. UK October 1992 Cover by Andrew Skilleter (£2.50 UK)

 Audiobook Edit

This Target Book was released on 2 August 2012 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by William Russell.

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

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