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The King's Demons was a novelisation based on the 1983 television serial The King's Demons. At 153 pages, this adaptation of a two-episode story is ten pages longer than the novelisation of The War Games, which adapted a ten-episode story.

Publisher's summary[]

It is 4 March, 1215, and the TARDIS materialises in England during a jousting match held in the presence of King John.

But it soon becomes apparent to the Doctor that something is very seriously wrong. Why does John express no fear or surprise at the time-travellers' sudden appearance, and indeed welcomes them as the King's Demons?

And what is the true identity of Sir Giles, the King's Champion?

Very soon the Doctor finds himself involved in a fiendish plot to alter the course of world history by one of his oldest and deadliest enemies.

Chapter titles[]

  1. The Challenge
  2. The Demons
  3. The King Takes a Hostage
  4. The Iron Maiden
  5. Command Performance
  6. An Old Enemy
  7. Doctor Captures King's Knight
  8. 'Find These Demons!'
  9. Kamelion
  10. A Battle of Wills

Deviations from televised story[]

  • In the televised story, Sir Geoffrey de Lacey is killed by the assassin employed by the Master dying back in the castle. In the novelisation, Sir Geoffrey is mortally wounded and his injuries are treated to by the Doctor, allowing him to part company with Ranulf and Isabella on good terms.
  • The Doctor expresses his admiration for the Master several times in the novelisation.
  • The relationship between the Doctor and Tegan is more antagonistic than it is portrayed on screen. In turn, the Doctor is patronising, condescending and treats Tegan like a child.
  • The Master does not shape-shift in front of everyone, unlike the televised story.
  • Tegan points out that the TARDIS could not have gone through the castle doors.
  • There are several references to Tegan wanting to get to London Airport, even though at this point in the series she no longer works as an air hostess. Indeed, it is there, rather than the Eye of Orion, where the Doctor offers to take her at the end.
  • Sir Gilles asks Turlough about how to get into the TARDIS.
  • The Doctor attempts to convince Ranulf that the King's identifying him as a demon is him being confused by stories about the Anjou line being descended from Satan.
  • Tegan throws a cricket ball at the Master rather than a knife.
  • Turlough recognises the Master as he recalls the Doctor describing him.
  • It is established that Sir Gilles brought the Iron Maiden to the castle. It is also mentioned that the gaoler, named as Cedric, was Sir Geoffrey's steward until Sir Gilles gave him his new position.
  • The novelisation retains the originally scripted first meeting between Sir Gilles and Sir Geoffrey where Geoffrey's squire is killed by the knights.
  • Turlough is with Sir Geoffrey when he is wounded and helps him to the barn, making more sense of his later claim that he tried to help him.
  • There is a longer sequence of the Doctor encouraging Tegan to take the TARDIS from the Great Hall.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • to be added

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

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


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 5 May 2016 complete and unabridged by BBC Physical Audio and read by Mark Strickson.

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[]