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The Mind Robber was a novelisation based on the 1968 television serial The Mind Robber.

Publisher's summary[]

1987 Target Books edition[]

To escape a catastrophic volcanic eruption the Doctor takes the TARDIS out of space and time - and into a void he can only describe as 'nowhere'.

But the crisis is far from over and when the time-machine's circuits overload, the TARDIS explodes.

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe come to in a dark unearthly forest. There they encounter a host of characters who seem somehow familiar: a beautiful princess with long flaxen hair, a sea traveler dressed in eighteenth-century clothes, and a white rabbit frantically consulting his pocket watch...

What is happening to the three time-travellers? What strange power guides their actions? In the Land of Fiction who can really tell?

1990 Target Books edition[]


Zoe, the Doctor's astrophysicist companion, can't understand how the TARDIS can be beyond both time and space; but the Doctor's time-travelling craft has taken him, Zoe and Jamie to a place where fiction is reality.

Beguiled and threatened on all sides by characters from myth and literature, the Doctor must discover who or what controls the all-too-lifelike apparitions.

The Mind Robber, with Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, was first broadcast in 1968. This novelisation is by Peter Ling, who wrote the scripts of four of the five television episodes.

Doctor Who - The Mind Robber is available as a BBC video, and will be broadcast on BSB television during 1990.

Chapter titles[]

  1. The Doctor Abhors a Vacuum
  2. The Power of Thought
  3. Boys and Girls Come Out to Play
  4. Dangerous Games
  5. Into the Labyrinth
  6. The Facts of Fiction
  7. 'I Am the Karkus'
  8. A Meeting of Masters
  9. Lives in the Balance
  10. The Doctor Has the Last Word

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The novel opens in the Land of Fiction with the first episode of the story depicted as a flashback.
  • Rather than escaping Dulkis following the events of TV: The Dominators, the TARDIS instead materialises on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius moments before it erupts.
  • The story contains many scenes written specially for the novelisation, including a firing squad test before the charging unicorn and several references to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, among many others.
  • The labyrinth is presented as a hacienda from an unnamed Spanish crime novel, containing Miss Havisham's uneaten wedding breakfast and cake from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. The cave is from C.S. Lewis's Narnia.
  • The Karkus speaks using speech bubbles.
  • The Master of the Land of Fiction leaves with the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie in the TARDIS.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • Several amendments were made to Peter Ling's original submission. Of particular note was his mistaken belief that Zoe had long blonde hair. The error was not realised until a viewing of the BBC video. Incidentally, the character of Zoe was at one point considered to be a male, with blond hair.
  • Dedication: For Dave Baldock with love and gratitude.
  • The 1990 Target/Virgin edition utilised the same new cover artwork as used on the BBC video release.
  • The basis for the musketeer on David McAllister's cover artwork was taken from a publicity photo of Frank Finlay as Porthos in the 1973 film The Three Musketeers[1].

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

Hardback (November 1986)
  • W.H.Allen & Co. Ltd. UK ISBN:0491036825, copies priced £7.25 (UK))
Paperback (April 1987)
  • Target / W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. Single paperback edition, estimated print run: 32,500, priced £1.75 (UK).
Paperback (August 1990)
  • Target / Virgin Publishing New cover artwork by Alister Pearson, priced £2.50 (UK).

Audiobook release[]

This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 6 August 2009 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Derek Jacobi.

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