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December 10th, 2019 17 comments

Doctor Who The Witchfinders Target 1 Paperback

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BBC Books to publish a new Target novel collection in July 2020

Seven Doctors, seven unforgettable adventures. Meet the new Doctor Who classics.

BBC Books is delighted to announce that it will be expanding the Doctor Who Target range with seven new titles in Summer 2020 – some that fans have probably been expecting, and a few that should be a pleasant surprise.
After the successful hardback publication of Eric Saward’s long-awaited novelisations, Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks, fans will finally be able to complete their Target collections with beautiful paperback editions. These will be accompanied by a Target edition of The Pirate Planet by James Goss, the first time this Douglas Adams story has been published in the Target range, and a reissue of the Gary Russell’s novelisation of The TV Movie. To complete the set, BBC Books will be publishing 3 new-era novelisations: The Witchfinders by Joy Wilkinson – the first Thirteenth Doctor adventure to be published on the Target list – Dalek by Robert Shearman, and The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss.

For Doctor Who fans, the range of novelisations published by Target Books in the 1970s and 1980s hold a special place. There was a novel published for almost every Doctor Who serial between 1963 and 1989, with a very few (five, actually) notable exceptions, and BBC Books has been successfully reissuing a number of these classic paperbacks since 2012. In 2017, BBC Books expanded the range by publishing the first all-new batch of Target novels, filling in one of those classic-era gaps (City of Death), along with new-era novelisations from Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Paul Cornell and Jenny T Colgan – all five of them instant classics.
Joy Wilkinson said: “I’m thrilled to become part of the illustrious tradition of Target novels. It was so much fun dipping my toe back into prose with the Target Storybook so I’m now relishing the chance to return to the world of The Witchfinders and get fully immersed. It’s a great chance to spend more time with the Doctor and fam, hang with King James, and find out more about the mysteries of Bilehurst Cragg and the mighty, muddy Morax.”

Robert Shearman said: “I’m still pinching myself that I was asked to write the first Dalek story of the new series – and that was fifteen years ago! I didn’t dare dream that the show would become such a big hit, and that it would still be on air now, as big and as exciting as ever – there have been so many adventures since, and so many new Doctors, and, of course, so many more Daleks. It feels like a real honour now to go back in time and relive my script… and maybe reveal a few surprises that never made it to the screen…”

Mark Gatiss said: “Novelisations of the ‘new’ series are the final piece of this whole wonderful puzzle for me and to become a Target author after all this years is a complete delight! It’s been lovely to revisit one of my favourite scripts and flesh out the lurid residents of Sweetville in all their crimson finery.”

BBC Books will publish all seven Targets on 23rd July 2020, each with newly commissioned cover artwork by Anthony Dry.

Categorised under: Books, Story books


  • Anonymous

    December 11th, 2019 - 9:40am

    Possibly one of the dullest scripts ever written. Only works with visuals

    • Anonymous

      December 14th, 2019 - 2:50am

      How do know? Have you read the novel? Personally I loved this story. The author can expand it a lot, more info on the morax, on king James etc. The sensorites is one of the dullest stories in who history but I love the novel. It’s still a very dull story but it’s beautifully written dullness! Witchfinders is far from a dull story

  • Anonymous

    December 10th, 2019 - 5:59pm

    Brilliant. One of my favourites

  • Deva Loka

    October 14th, 2019 - 10:58pm

    Could it be a re-written Target version of The Pirate Planet? City Of Death was re-written to fit into the Target range, so possibly the same could be happening with The Pirate Planet.

    • Sean Bassett

      October 15th, 2019 - 2:35pm

      If it is, it better not mean no more new series novelizations.

    • Anonymous

      October 15th, 2019 - 4:21pm

      Wouldn’t mind if it was pirate or even a cut down shada. And I’ve said this before, two of them are going to be the Eric saward books. I wish Sean would stop being so focused on new who. I’ll be happy with old or new.

  • Sean Bassett

    October 14th, 2019 - 1:00pm

    PLEASE let this be a new series novelization.

    • Anonymous

      October 14th, 2019 - 2:36pm

      Two of these will be the paperbacks of the Eric saward dalek novels. Which considering how terrible resurrection was is a shame

    • Sean Bassett

      October 14th, 2019 - 2:44pm

      Hopefully not. We don’t need both paperback versions of already released books at the same time. I’d rather they spread them out, have one in this batch and one the year after.

    • Anonymous

      October 14th, 2019 - 3:05pm

      That’s what was confirmed earlier this year that both would be out in 2020. Hopefully the third book is a new series novel and hopefully there are others to be announced but I’d even e happy with classic target reprints.

    • Sean Bassett

      October 14th, 2019 - 3:11pm

      I wouldn’t. I’d like new series novelizations or nothing.

    • Anonymous

      October 14th, 2019 - 5:10pm

      You do realize that without the original target novels there would be no new ones? Lots of others will happily buy reprints so don’t just assume that only you matter

    • Sean Bassett

      October 14th, 2019 - 6:41pm

      I know I’m not the only person that matters, but I just think Target reprints are lazy when there’s so many new series stories yet to be novelised. They have two options – either get the original writers, or hire somebody else to novelise them – so it’s not like they have to wait for the actual episodes’ writers to write them.

    • Anonymous

      October 15th, 2019 - 4:22pm

      Target reprints are not lazy, they have been out of print for nearly 30 years. It’s time they were back

    • Deva Loka

      October 15th, 2019 - 5:41pm

      It’s a wee bit frustrating that these have been listed on Amazon without the titles being named. The people submitting the info to Amazon must surely know what the titles are or they wouldn’t be submitting the info in the first place. Why the secrecy? Why not just say they’re new series titles / Target reprints / Pirate, Shada, Resurrection, Revelation. But no, being Doctor Who the powers that be have to whip the fans up into a frenzy first.

      I can’t see them being reprints of previous Target novels as the page counts are listed as 208.

      I’d be over the moon if these were new series titles because it’s high time that more were released. I’m surprised that The Doctor’s Wife hasn’t appeared yet given that Neil Gaiman said in a DWM interview not long after it was screened that he wanted to novelist it. Surely that one is a matter of time. Plus Mark Gatiss was always a prolific writer for the BBC Books/New Adventures so I’m sure he’s probably scribbling away in whatever free time he has, being a very busy chap.

      Russell T Davies’ book of ‘Rose’ was a triumph when that was released, (easily the best of the 4, in my opinion) so more like that would be so welcome.

      The range surely needs a writer or two with the time and ability to dive in and novelise the post 2005 stories in their entirety. There is a market there as Doctor Who fans are completists, and with the amount of stories since the revival 14 years ago those writers could happily pop out one or two titles per month for several years to come. Keep the fans happy!

    • booboo

      October 15th, 2019 - 6:05pm

      i believe its the info available when the ISBN numbers are allotted or a general “forthcoming” order forms are sent out and many sites list them with just that information.

      It may well be no further info can be given at this time.

    • Crosby

      October 15th, 2019 - 8:41pm

      Yeah I would love new series novelisations

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