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The Literary Travels of Dr Who

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In November 1963 the BBC made television history with a show called Doctor Who, although they did not realise it at the time (some would say they still don't) they had created one of the most innovative and fresh TV SF shows in the entire history of the medium. The initial story, An Unearthly Child starred respected British thespian William Hartnell as the silver haired time traveller.

However when Hartnell tired of the show the scriptwiters' came up with the inspired concept of allowing the character to regenerate when a body aged or grew weak and thus allowed other actors to step into the role. To date the TV Doctor's have been, in order William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Peter Cushing took the role in two big screen movies from Amucus during the 60's and actor Donald Sutherland is strongly tipped to play the Doc in the long awaited Hollywood movie to go into pre-production soon.

So with the success of the show it was inevitable that the spin-off novel would soon appear and they did, in spades. However to list every book in detail would fill several magazines, let alone a few pages so this article shuld be treated as a rough guide only.

The first Doctor Who novel entitled, Doctor Who In An Exciting Adventure with the Daleks and was penned by pulp author and scriptwiter David Whitaker. It was published by Muller in 1965 in both pink and grey jackets and today the grey is the scarcer and good condition copies can fetch anywhere between £10 - £25. The book was so successful that Muller soon published Dr Who and the Zarbi and Dr Who and the Crusaders both by Bill Strutton. Both were published in 1965 and are valued at around £8 in good condition.

But despite the success of the three books the spin - off industry didn't really take off till the highly regarded Target Books bought the rights in the early 70's. The company reissued the first three novels and then quickly followed them up with Doctor Who and the Silurians which was based on a Jon Pertwee adventure. And after publishing another Pertwee adventure the company backtracked by publishing an adaption of a Troughton adventure, Doctor Who and The Abominable Snowman but fans lapped it up. And just as Tom Baker made his TV debut Target released his first story, The Robot to the eager book public.

The Robot is highly sought by the collectors since it was the first book to use the now familiar diamond logo on its cover. From there Target continued to publish both old and new stories with a fierce regularity and in 1983 the new guy, Peter Davidson made his literary debut in, The Visitation. This book is also highly valued since it was the forst to use photographic material on its cover.

During the late 1980's W.H.Allen purchased the book rights and issued hardback editions of the first three book adventures. They followed this by publishing stories bot broadcast on TV and form other forms of the media such as the Radio 4 strory Slipback.

And then when Virgin swallowed up W.H.Allen the company commissioned writers to come up with all new stories to feed fans who were angry at the BBC's shelving of the show. The first of these three books was Terance Dick's Exodus which also started off the Timewyrm series. And these new adventures continue to be published by Virgin to the present day. So whatever happens to the TV series and the Hollywood movie, it is certain that the Doctor's literary travels are far from over.


Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure With the Daleks by David Whitaker, Muller 1964 - £10-25

Doctor Who and the Crusaders by Bill Strutton - £5-8

Doctor Who and the Zarbi by Bill Strutton - £5-8


These novels are difficult to price since there are so many different editions and the first edition of a title is not always the most valuable. But with the exception of The Robot and The Visitation most would fetch between £1-3. These other two are likely to be anything up to £10 each in nice condition.


These reissues of the first 3 books -£4 ea.

Dr Who Ephemera 1

Picture Cards & Booklets

During the last 25 years many products have used Dr Who gifts to promote sales. Confectionary and food companies have produced several items over this period of interest to collectors. Card and ephemera collector Harold Wright has compiled a brief list from his collection of such material. PPCC and Harold would be interested in information about other items and also other paper promotional or wrappings related to Dr Who.

1. CADET SWEETS in 1965 issued a series of 50 cards entitled "Dr Who & The Daleks." Each card continues the comic strip story.

2. GOODIES CONFECTIONERS also in 1965 issued a series of 50 cards entitled "Dr Who & The Daleks".

3. T.WALLS and SONS, Ice Cream issued a series of 36 cards entitled "Dr Who Adventures", in 1966. Each card continued the one story in comic strip format.

4. WEETABIX CEREALS issued in 1975 a series of 24 cards entitled "Dr Who and his Enemies".

5. WEETABIX CEREALS in 1977 issued a set of 18 cards entitled "Dr Who". These were issued on strips of 4 cards.

6. TYPHOO TEA in 1976 issued a set of 12 cards entitled "The Amazing World of Dr Who". Each showed a character encountered during the travels of the Tardis.

7. GOLDEN WONDER CRISPS in 1986 issued a series of 16 page booklets entitled "Dr Who Marvel Adventure Comic". Each featured a 14 page strip Dr Who story illustrated by John Ridgway and on the rear each booklet listed questions and answers about the Dr Who Marvel Adventure Comic.

Spelling correction: Terrance Dicks

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Dobbs, Gary M. (no. 7 (1992)). The Literary Travels of Dr Who. Paperback Pulp and Comic Collector p. 12.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Dobbs, Gary M.. "The Literary Travels of Dr Who." Paperback Pulp and Comic Collector [add city] no. 7 (1992), 12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Dobbs, Gary M.. "The Literary Travels of Dr Who." Paperback Pulp and Comic Collector, edition, sec., no. 7 (1992)
  • Turabian: Dobbs, Gary M.. "The Literary Travels of Dr Who." Paperback Pulp and Comic Collector, no. 7 (1992), section, 12 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The Literary Travels of Dr Who | url= | work=Paperback Pulp and Comic Collector | pages=12 | date=no. 7 (1992) | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 August 2022 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The Literary Travels of Dr Who | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 August 2022}}</ref>