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The Time Meddler was a novelisation based on the 1965 television serial The Time Meddler.

Publisher's summary[]

1988 Target Books edition[]

When the TARDIS materialises on an apparently deserted Northumbrian beach, Steven disputes the Doctor's claim that they have travelled back to the eleventh century. The discovery of a modern wristwatch in a nearby forest merely reinforces his opinion.

But it is 1066, the most important date in English history, and the Doctor's arrival has not gone unnoticed. Observing the appearance of the TARDIS is a mysterious monk who recognises the time-machine for what it is. He also knows that the Doctor poses a serious threat to his master plan - a plan which, if successful, could alter the future of the entire world...

1992 Target Books edition[]


The TARDIS materialises on a deserted Northumbrian beach. The Doctor says that he and his two companions have arrived in the eleventh century - but Steven finds a modern wristwatch in the nearby forest.

However, the years is AD 1066 and the Doctor's arrival has been noticed by a mysterious monk who recognises the TARDIS as a time machine and its owner as a threat to his carefully laid plans.

The Time Meddler was first broadcast in 1965 and starred William Hartnell as the first incarnation of the Doctor; it has recently been shown again on BBC2. This novelization is by Nigel Robinson, who has written a number of Doctor Who books including Timewyrm: Apocalypse, one of the New Adventures series.

Chapter titles[]

  • Prologue
  1. The Watcher
  2. The Saxons
  3. The Monastery
  4. Prisoners of the Saxons
  5. The Vikings
  6. An Empty Cell
  7. Unwelcome Visitors
  8. The Secret of the Monastery
  9. The Monk's Master Plan
  10. A Threat to the Future
  11. A Parting Gift
  • Epilogue

Deviations from televised story[]

  • In a prologue, Steven makes his way through the jungle, trying to avoid the Fungoids, and comes across the TARDIS.
  • The bars of the Monk's trap in the monastery are made from rusted iron rather than pared wood.
  • The Doctor and the Monk are said to recognise one another instantaneously. This is not strictly contradicted by the televised story, but not supported by it either. The only thing we have to go on in the televised the story is the Doctor's rather ambiguous comment about being "fifty years earlier" than the Monk. However, in the television serials The Daleks' Master Plan, the Monk states that the Doctor and he knew each other.
  • The Monk cooks his prisoner's breakfast using a Baby Belling stove, a non-stick frying pan, rusty toaster and a stainless steel spatula, all the while whistling a tune that won't be written for another nine centuries. The meal is toast, eggs, bacon (with the option of tomato sauce), and a side of instant coffee. It's this meal that is thrown back into the Monk's face through the viewing hatch in the cell door, rather than the water used on television.
  • Steven and Vicki discuss the Monk's plan as they did in the television serial, but the Doctor interrupts them and describes what the Monk's plan will do to them. Since Steven and Vicki are both English, the Doctor states clearly if the Monk succeeds them they will never have existed because without the Vikings' involvement, it's possible one of their ancestors was Norman and if that ancestor is killed they could not exist.
  • After stealing the Monk's directional control from his TARDIS, the Doctor makes special mention of removing the atomic cannon from the cliff edge.
  • In an epilogue featuring original content, the Monk makes several additional efforts to change the outcome of the Battle of Hastings, after his original plan fails, and before he discovers that the Doctor has marooned him in 1066.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The inside back cover includes colour details of "Fantastic Doctor Who Poster Offers!".
  • The cover for the original Target edition featured an artwork cover by Jeff Cummins.
  • The Virgin edition was a rushed reprint to coincide with the 1992 repeat screening of this serial on BBC Two, and bore a red hexagonal flash reading NOW BACK ON TELEVISION. The cover artwork by Jeff Cummins was reused for the reprint, but for reasons unknown a reverse image was used.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

Hardback (October 1987)
  • W.H.Allen & Co. Ltd. UK ISBN:0491033370, copies priced £7.95 (UK))
Paperback (March 1988)
  • Target / W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. One single paperback edition, estimated print run: 22,500, priced £1.99 (UK).
Paperback (May 1992)
  • Target / Virgin Publishing Cover artwork was reversed, priced £2.99 (UK).


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 6 October 2016 complete and unabridged by BBC Physical 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[]

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