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The TV Movie was a novelisation of the 1996 TV movie, Doctor Who, released on 11 March 2021. It was an updated and expanded version of the original 1996 novelisation, written once again by Gary Russell and published under the Target Books banner of TV story novelisations.

This version had, among many inconsequential wording changes (such as morgue instead of body room or Lego bricks instead of Lego blocks for instance), some significant changes compared to the BBC edition, generally being more in line with the movie dialogue (as the original was based on an earlier, non-finalised version of the script), costumes and current context of the franchise.

Publisher's summary[]

'Who am I…? WHO AM I?'

It's December 1999, and strange things are happening as the new millennium nears. A British police box appears from nowhere in San Francisco’s Chinatown and the mysterious man inside it is shot down in the street. Despite the best efforts of Dr Grace Holloway, the man dies and another stranger appears, claiming to be the same person in a different body: a wanderer in time and space known only as the Doctor.

But the Doctor is not the only alien in San Francisco. His deadly adversary the Master is murdering his way through the city and has taken control of the TARDIS. The Master is desperate to take the Doctor’s newly regenerated body for himself, and if the Doctor does not capitulate, it will literally cost him the Earth…and every last life on it.

Deviations from the film[]

  • A short prologue titled The Changing Faces of Doctor Who, about the demise of the Eighth Doctor and legacy of the War Doctor, is added.
  • The Seventh Doctor reminisces about Ace, once offering her to stay at Gallifrey Academy, although she declined, being a space mercenary or at a French royal court, and he eventually spied on her A Charitable Earth activities.
  • The Seventh Doctor is not contacted by the Master, instead he is tasked by a female Time Lord President who used to be in his TARDIS, who transmit him the message received by Gallifrey; the message being an exact transcript of the cut Gordon Tipple voice over. The jewel casket storing the Master's ashes is stated to be a mourning casket, materialised in the TARDIS by the Time Lords.
  • The Dalek leading the Master's trial is referred to as "the Dalek Supreme" rather than "the Dalek Emperor".
  • The Seventh Doctor's journey to collect the remains in the empty courtroom on what is now described to be Skaro is fully written, depicting him escaping from a Dalek sentry.
  • The Master is not stated to have recently used up an "extra" life, but the Doctor lists to Grace some ways he used to prolong this final incarnation: Traken, Xeriphas, the Cheetah People and the Tzun Confederacy.
  • Grace keeps on her opera ballgown during the Seventh Doctor's surgery.
  • The shroud worn by the Eighth Doctor after regenerating is white instead of grey, and worn as a toga. His jacket is forest green instead of chocolate brown, his vest is silvery instead of fawn paisley. He has brown hair instead of black, and Grace notices his left eye to be a darker shade of blue than the right. Lee also notices his eyes to be two shades.
  • Grace is just engaged instead of married. Shelly Curtis, similarly, only has a construction worker as a fiancé instead of husband.
  • The Master's DNA morphant is see-through instead of green.
  • The Master is not stated to prefer male bodies when stealing Bruce instead of Miranda.
  • The Master wears dark denim, a black shirt and boots instead of a check shirt and light boots when exiting his host's lodging. When meeting Chang Lee, his black shirt under the paramedic attire is not stated to be a tunic with Nehru collar. His dress is red and gold with black velvet sleeves instead of full black velvet, and it is piped dark red at the sleeves and shoulders instead of fully piped with the same burnt orange as the high collar. It's also now held by a gold neck chain.
  • Pete and Ted's family names are stated. The Institute receptionist is called Kelly instead of Sophie
  • From Grace's window only part of the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island are seen. She also has floor to ceilign windows instead of French ones.
  • Grace's mother has died of ALS instead of cancer.
  • Chang Lee's vision of the Doctor's incarnations, from the first to the current eighth one, is expanded upon. It noticeably describes the Second Doctor has having grey and green eyes while he usually is described as blue-eyed.
  • The Master makes no mention of the Doctor being half human. The Doctor still mentions it to Joseph Wagg, but Grace believes it was probably a joke. The Master states that Lee could open the Eye of Harmony because its defence mechanism works on Time Lords, while humans were not even considered.
  • Grace wears blue Levi's instead of black.
  • The Doctor escapes the Master's ambulance on Golden Gate Bridge instead of near it.
  • Grace does not mention a previous relationship with the son of a Tuscany vineyard owner.
  • Grace asks the Doctor if he is married, he answers that he has a granddaughter he should go back to, and wonders if he has any great-grandchildren.
  • When possessed, Grace has snake like eyes.
  • The Master is seen with the Doctor's face when attempting to steal his body.
  • After the Doctor dematerialises, Grace wonders if she was right not to stay with him and if she could get back her job.

Publishing history (UK)[]


2021 audiobook cover.