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The Massacre was a novelisation based on the 1966 television serial The Massacre.

Publisher's summary[]

1987 Target Books edition[]

The TARDIS lands in Paris on 19 August 1572. Driven by scientific curiosity, the Doctor leaves Steven to meet and exchange views with the apothecary, Charles Preslin.

Before he disappears, he warns Steven to stay out of 'mischief, religion and politics.' But in sixteenth-century Paris it is impossible to remain a mere observer, and Steven soon finds himself involved with a group of Huguenots.

The Protestant minority of France is being threatened by the Catholic hierarchy, and danger stalks the Paris streets. As Steven tries to find his way back to the TARDIS he discovers that one of the main persecutors of the Huguenots appears to be - the Doctor.

1992 Target Books edition[]


The TARDIS lands in Paris on 19 August 1572 and the Doctor, driven by scientific curiosity, leaves Steven in order to meet and exchange views with the apothecary Charles Preslin.

Ignoring the Doctor's warning to stay out of trouble, Steven finds himself caught up with a group of Huguenots, whose very existence is threatened by the Catholic hierarchy. As Steven tries to find his way back to the TARDIS, he is horrified to find the greatest persecutor of the Huguenots is actually none other then the Doctor himself...

First broadcast in 1966, this story is the only one to feature William Hartnell playing a character other then the Doctor himself. It also introduced the character of Dodo Chaplet, who was to accompany the Doctor on his next five adventures.

Chapter titles[]

  • Prologue
  1. The Roman Bridge Auberge
  2. Echoes of Wassy
  3. The Apothecary
  4. Double Trouble
  5. The Proposition
  6. Beds for a Night
  7. Admiral de Coligny
  8. The Escape
  9. A Change of Clothes
  10. The Hotel Lutèce
  11. The Royal Audience
  12. Burnt at the Stake
  13. The Phoenix
  14. Talk of War
  15. Face to Face
  16. A Rescue
  17. Good Company All
  • Epilogue

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Due to several behind-the-scenes changes at the time this story was made, the final televised version bore little resemblance to the scripts that John Lucarotti had originally submitted. The novelisation is thus an adaptation of his scripts than the televised serial rewritten by then script editor, Donald Tosh. William Hartnell's double role as the Doctor and the Abbot of Amboise is a key centrepiece of the novella, whereas it was only suggested minimally on television.
  • Lucarotti adds a prologue and epilogue in which the Doctor is being asked to explain his actions in sixteenth-century France to a group of Time Lords. Curiously, the Doctor is noted to have been retired from his travels for quite some time. He hasn't spoken French in centuries.
  • Mention is made of an EDF system or External Decontamination Function that the TARDIS can use as a "sort of spatial car-wash."
  • In one of the more marked changes from the televised story, the Doctor's time in Paris as a prisoner and later a confidante of a conspiracy operating from the Parisian catacombs is explored in far greater detail. It's the Doctor's interference, in spite of his sworn intention contrariwise, that ultimately brings the scrutiny of his peers in the bookends. Here, he deliberately meddles in historical events by attempting to prevent the assassination of Admiral de Coligny.
  • The TARDIS is taken to the Bastille prison where it is pawed over by a locksmith. The locking mechanism sets "fire to his arm on the inside," as he describes it, when attempting to force the door open.
  • Unable to find suitable lodgings for the evening, Steven and Anne rest in a Parisian crypt that Steven dubs the Hotel Lutèce.
  • The character of Charles de Teligny is not in the novel.
  • Simon Duval is killed off in the novelisation.
  • Henri III is mentioned.
  • In the novelisation, the Doctor is present, and could be argued is partly responsible, for the slaying of the Abbot of Amboise. The Abbot is considerably more antagonistic in the novelisation and a direct threat to both the Doctor and Steven, believing them to be agents of either the Huguenots or Satanic powers.
  • The Doctor and Steven depart Paris on sobering, but nevertheless, softer terms than in the televised story. It is mentioned that the Doctor dispatched the Chaplets north to safety and Preslin to Germany where he could further his study of germinology by meeting the scientist who invented the microscope.
  • The final scene of the televised story wherein the Doctor and Steven have travelled forward to twentieth-century England and been mistaken for a real police box by Dodo Chaplet is absent from the novelisation. However, both Dodo and her possible relation to a rescued Anne Chaplet are mentioned in the epilogue.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • Author's note: "The historical events described in The Massacre are factual, as were the 287 kilometres of tunnels and catacombs under Paris, some of which may still be visited. The woodcut engraving of the attempt on de Coligny's life, which shows a cowled cleric in a doorway, does exist. The author has seen it. John Lucarotti."
  • The novelisation features a Dramatis Personae detailing key roles among the Catholics and the Huguenots.
  • The included reference to the Time Lords was not in the television series' continuity and the then-producer John Nathan-Turner was at first unhappy with the reference until it was explained to him and he gave his approval.
  • The cover for the original Target Books edition featured the artwork of Tony Masero.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

Hardback (June 1987)
  • W.H.Allen & Co. Ltd. UK ISBN:[tel:[tel:[tel:0491034237 0491034237] 0491034237] 0491034237], copies priced £7.50 (UK))
Paperback (November 1987)
  • Target / W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. One single paperback edition, estimated print run: 25,300, priced £1.95 (UK).
Paperback (October 1992)
  • Target / Virgin Publishing New cover artwork by Alister Pearson, priced £2.99 (UK).


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 11 June 2015 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[]

to be added