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You may wish to consult The Chase (disambiguation) for other, similarly-named pages.

The Chase was a novelisation based on the 1965 television serial The Chase.

Publisher's summary[]

1989 Target Books edition[]

Through a Space-Time Visualiser the Doctor and his companions are horrified to see an execution squad of Daleks about to leave Skaro on a mission to find the TARDIS and exterminate the time travellers.

Eluding the Daleks on the barren planet Aridius the Doctor and his friends escape in the TARDIS. But this is only the beginning of an epic journey.

As they travel through space and time, they try to shake off their pursuers by making a series of random landings - but the Daleks don't give up easily. This is a chase to the death...

1991 Target Books edition[]


The Doctor, Barbara and Ian had faced - and narrowly defeated - the Daleks twice before. They had known that there was always the possibility that the Daleks would win. But the reaches of time and space had always seemed so safe - there was always the chance that if they were being overwhelmed, they could flee.

But now, the Daleks can track them through all of time and space. They try to shake off their attackers by making a series of random landings, but this is a chase to the death...

Doctor Who - The Chase, written by Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks, was first broadcast in 1965, with William Hartnell playing the role of the Doctor. This adaptation is by John Peel, who is also the author of The Gallifrey Chronicles, the definitive history of the Doctor's home planet and its people.

Doctor Who - The Chase is available as a BBC Video.

Chapter titles[]

  1. The Executioners
  2. A Speech in Time
  3. The Sands of Death
  4. The Victims
  5. Deadline
  6. Flight Through Eternity
  7. Nightmare
  8. Journey Into Terror
  9. Fallen Spirits
  10. Who's Who?
  11. To the Death!
  12. The Mechanoids
  13. The End of the Hunt
  14. Home!

Deviations from televised story[]

John Peel states in the Author's Notes that he decided to novelise Terry Nation's original scripts rather than simply recreate the televised story. His reasoning for doing so was that The Chase existed in full in the BBC archives, so novelising the original scripts would give readers something different. Despite this, the novel reads largely similar to the televised version with a number of the details expanded:

  • The appearance of the Daleks at the beginning is expanded upon, with the Black Dalek seeing the squad of executioners leave in the time machine. At this point in their history, the Daleks are also aware of the Doctor's ability to change his appearance, noting he has changed a few times even though they encounter his first incarnation.
  • The Dalek Prime from John Peel's later novel War of the Daleks makes its first appearance here, and would later do so again in the novelisation The Mutation of Time and as the Dalek Emperor in The Evil of the Daleks. Its originally intended first appearance was the War of the Daleks TV story which was never produced due to the show's cancellation in 1989, although the idea was later used by Peel in all of his Dalek novels and novelisations, save for The Power of the Daleks, and it is only mentioned in Mission to the Unknown and Legacy of the Daleks.
  • The Daleks make use of Hoverbouts, referred to as "flying disks", to obtain a better view of the Aridian desert, which is called the Sagaro Desert.
  • The Aridian Elders are confronted by the Daleks and forced to cooperate with them, something which happened off-screen in the televised version. One Aridian is killed by the Daleks.
  • Prondyn is written as one of the Aridian elders, but in the televised story, Prondyn is the Aridian who destroys the airlock.
  • The Dalek time machines are powered by taranium, the driving element of the plot in The Daleks' Master Plan, the following Dalek story. It took the Daleks two decades to gather enough taranium to power their time machines. Volume One of Peel's Master Plan novelisation would make reference to this.
  • More detail is given on the background of Morton C. Dill: clumsy, always speaking without thinking and not the sort of person many people wish to know, he was nicknamed 'Dill the Pill' in school for being rather hard to take. After explaining to two guards in the Empire State Building about his encounter with the TARDIS crew and the Dalek, he was locked up in the Newman Rehabilitation Clinic in 1967 where he became a permanent resident. The Dalek decides against killing him because it considers it a far worse fate for the human race to allow him to live.
  • The crew of the Mary Celeste are all named. Additionally, while the Daleks scare the whole crew off the ship in the televised version, here one crew member is killed. Ian and Barbara discuss the matter further, wondering if the death of the crew was their fault since they led the Daleks there or if it was an inevitable fact of history. Ian notes that Barbara once tried to change the history of the Aztecs but failed. (TV: The Aztecs)
  • The battle between the Daleks and the funfair robots results in two Dalek casualties instead of one - one has its eyestalk ripped off by Dracula and the other is launched down the stairs by Frankenstein's monster. Both of them explode. One explosion damages Dracula, exposing his robotic components. One Dalek blast intended for the Doctor and Ian also sets a curtain on fire, bathing the room in a red light.
  • Steven lists the conflict fought against the Draconian Empire and the Third Dalek War as factors which put an end to Earth's expansionist phase. The Draconians were not introduced on TV until Frontier in Space during the Third Doctor's era. A conflict known as the Second Dalek War would play a large role in future stories such as Love and War, Return of the Living Dad, Deceit, Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer and Prisoner of the Daleks; a Third Dalek War would only be referenced in the Virgin New Adventures, Lucifer Rising and Sky Pirates!, as well as a Dalek Wars source from Issue 55 of Doctor Who: Battles in Time magazine.
  • Steven's stuffed panda mascot, HiFi, does not appear in the novelisation, but confusingly features in the following book, The Time Meddler by Nigel Robinson.
  • The Dalek Leader slips away from the battle with the Mechanoids after realising that the assassination squad has no chance of winning. As the last surviving Dalek and in an act of self-sacrifice, it hacks into the city's computer systems and sets the whole place to self-destruct, hoping to kill the Doctor and his companions in the blast. In the TV story, the Daleks and the Mechanoids are evenly matched and the battle brings the city down around them.
  • In the TV story, the Doctor was outraged at the thought of Ian and Barbara using the Dalek time machine, which didn't happen in the book.
  • A different reason for Barbara and Ian's departure is given; the Doctor uses the Dalek time machine to return them home, but a couple of years later than 1963 in order to sync the timelines.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The original Target edition featured the artwork of David McAllister.
  • Alister Pearson's original cover design was greatly simplified. Several elements of the story were removed.
  • The Newman Rehabilitation Clinic is presumably named after Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman.
  • John Peel's author's note at the beginning of this book states it is “not strictly speaking an adaptation of the televised version of The Chase.” Instead the author chose to base the story on Terry Nation's original script (unearthed by Terry's wife Kate) and included some of the rewritten material (presumably by then-story editor Dennis Spooner) used in the televised version - hence the numerous differences listed above. The Mary Celeste sequence was changed using facts about the incidents sourced from Mystery Ship by George S. Bryan, published by Lippincott in 1942.
  • The novel is dedicated to Terry Nation's wife Kate and the author's wife Nan.
  • For years, Target had been trying to acquire the rights to adapt The Chase, along with The Daleks' Master Plan and the two Second Doctor Dalek stories, The Power of the Daleks and The Evil of the Daleks. For a time it seemed as if these stories (of which only The Chase still existed in complete form in the BBC Archives) would remain unnovelised, along with the three Fourth Doctor stories by Douglas Adams and the two Eric Saward Daleks stories from the Fifth and Sixth Doctor eras. A surprise resolution regarding the rights to the early Dalek tales opened the door for Target to novelise them. John Peel was assigned the task of adapting these stories. The Chase was chosen as the first of these books published because it was the first broadcast.

Additional cover images[]

to be added

British publication history[]

First publication: Paperback (July 1989)

  • Target / W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. One original printing and 2 reprints in 1989, estimated print run: 24,000, priced £2.50 (UK).

Re-issues: (July 1991)

  • Target / Virgin Publishing, estimated print run: 5,000, priced £2.50 (UK).


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 7 July 2011 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Maureen O'Brien, with Dalek voices by Nicholas Briggs.

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[]

to be added