Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



The Mutation of Time was a novelisation based on episodes 7-12 of the 1965 television serial The Daleks' Master Plan.

Publisher's summary[]

The Daleks' Masterplan is well under way. With the Time Destroyer, the most deadly machine ever devised, they will conquer the Universe. Only one person stands in their way - the Doctor. For he has stolen the precious Taranium core which is vital to activate the machine.

Travelling through Time and Space, the Doctor and his companions are forever on the move in case the Daleks track them down.

But after several months, to their horror, the TARDIS indicates that they are being followed...

Chapter titles[]

  1. The Nightmare Continues
  2. The Feast of Steven
  3. The Toast of Christmas Past
  4. Failure
  5. Volcano
  6. Land of the Pharaohs
  7. Golden Death
  8. Into the Pyramid
  9. Hostages
  10. Escape Switch
  11. The Abandoned Planet
  12. The Secret of Kembel
  13. Beginning of the End
  14. The Destruction of Time
  15. The Nightmare is Ended

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Much like its preceding volume, and among many other Target Novelisations, the wording of the dialogue is altered in many places.
  • The farce in the film studio culminates in a pie fight initiated by the Doctor. With the crew on the Charlie Chaplin film unable to come up with a suitable ending, the Doctor slaps a pie in Steven's face. Steven retaliated but the Doctor ducks and the clown on set is hit instead. Arriving in the midst of the chaos, Sara is hit with a pie too. No such fight took place on TV.
  • Professor Webster does not appear in the novelisation.
  • As they use taranium to power their time machines, (PROSE: The Chase) the Daleks reveal that they do in fact have some supplies of taranium in their possession, gathered without Mavic Chen's help. However, it is explained that the amount needed to power the Time Destructor is greater than that needed for the time machines, hence why they needed Chen's help in the first place.
  • A Red Dalek is placed in charge of the time machine sent to Kembel, while the TV Dalek is clearly the same colour as the rest of the standard units. Peel would give more information about Red Daleks in his War of the Daleks novel but one would not appear on TV until The Stolen Earth/Journey's End with the Supreme Dalek and they would eventually become the initial standard drones of the Daleks in the following Dalek story, in the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor's eras respectively.
  • Similar to the battle between the Daleks and the Visians on Mira in the previous volume, the Daleks do suffer some casualties to the Egyptians, losing the Red Dalek of all Daleks, where originally there were no on-screen Dalek deaths until the story's climax.
  • Steven and Sara are not separated from the Doctor when the TARDIS returns to Kembel.
  • Peel describes the hangar containing the Dalek saucers in the hidden base on Kembel. Thousands of Daleks await the launch of the invasion and the fleet is watched by Daleks using Hoverbouts.
  • Rather than obeying the Doctor and returning to the TARDIS, Steven half-carries the Doctor back inside.
  • After appearing in The Chase novelisation and being mentioned in the previous volume, the Dalek Prime makes its second ever appearance, waiting on Skaro.
  • Both Chen and Karlton are exposed as traitors when Marc Cory's recorded message is found to have been in Bret Vyon's possession. Karlton is arrested by Senator Diksen. However a continuity error is created since Cory's message is very different here to how it was when he recorded it in the previous volume of the novelisation.
  • The scene in which the Monk swears revenge on the Doctor for stealing his TARDIS' directional unit is moved to the very end of the story.
  • The Doctor's fourth wall breaking Christmas message is excised.
  • Beaus is shot and killed by Mavic Chen at the final meeting. In the televised story, Chen shoots Gearon, and Beaus survives the events of the TV story.
  • The police officers are named Welland, Blessed, Ellis and Windsor after the actors from the series Z-Cars, whilst they are unnamed in the TV version.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • Author John Peel intentionally established an interval of some time between the two volumes to allow future writers the flexibility to tell stories featuring Sara Kingdom as a companion. Big Finish Productions later took advantage of this gap, with The Little Drummer Boy, The Anachronauts, Home Truths, The Drowned World, The Guardian of the Solar System, An Ordinary Life and The Sontarans. The novelisation, however, establishes the gap as happening in between "Coronas of the Sun" and "The Feast of Steven", while the stories listed establish it as happening between "The Feast of Steven" and "Volcano", which is more in line with the televised version. The difference is as a result of the episodes of The Daleks' Master Plan being distributed more evenly between the two volumes of the novelisation.
  • The cover for the original Target edition featured the artwork of Alister Pearson.
  • This is the last Target novel to have a completely different title to its television counterpart.

Additional cover images[]

to be added

British publication history[]

First publication: Paperback (October 1989)

  • Target / W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. One single paperback edition, estimated print run: 22,000, priced £1.99 (UK).

Re-issues: (October 1990)

  • Target / W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd., estimated print run: 5,000, priced £2.50 (UK).


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 3 June 2010 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Peter Purves and Jean Marsh, 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.

The audiobook version was re-released in June 2020 as part of The Dalek Collection box set.

External links[]

to be added