Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon


“Fishpond”“Fishpond”

The Doomsday Weapon


The Doomsday Weapon

BOOK DETAILS

Pages 166
ISBN  0-426-10372-6
Publication Date 27 March 1974

SYNOPSIS

1974 edition

The evil MASTER has stolen the Time Lords’ file on the horrifying DOOMSDAY WEAPON with which, when he finds it, he can blast whole planets out of existence and make himself ruler of the Galaxy!

The Time Lords direct DOCTOR WHO and Jo Grant in TARDIS to a bleak planet in the year 2471 where they find colonists from Earth under threat from mysterious, savage, monster lizards with frightful claws! And hidden upon this planet is the DOOMSDAY WEAPON for which The MASTER is intently searching …

1979 edition

Despite security precautions, the Time Lords’ secret file on the devastating Doomsday Weapon is stolen by The Master.

Realising that The Master will attempt to find the weapon and use it to blast whole planets out of existence and make himself ruler of the galaxy, the Time Lords decide to intervene by enlisting the help of the Doctor- whether he likes it or not.

The Doctor and Jo Grant find themselves in the year 2471 on a bleak planet where colonists from Earth are being terrorized by savage monster lizards with fearsome claws – and where The Master hopes to lay hands on the Doomsday Weapon…

NOTES

CHAPTER TITLES

  1. A Missing Secret
  2. Into Time and Space
  3. The Planet
  4. The Monster
  5. Starvation
  6. The Survivor
  7. The Robot
  8. The Men from IMC
  9. The Spy
  10. The Claw
  11. Face-to-face
  12. The Bomb
  13. The Attack
  14. The Adjudicator
  15. Primitive City
  16. The Ambush
  17. Captain Dent Thinks Twice
  18. The Master’s TARDIS
  19. The Return of Captain Dent
  20. The Doomsday Weapon
  21. Mission Completed

DEVIATIONS FROM THE TELEVISED STORY

  • The Keeper of the Time Lord Files, distracted from a viewing of the first TARDIS’s working papers, retells the story of The War Games to an apprentice who will one day succeed his position, after the apprentice has asked the Keeper about the history between The Doctor and the Master.
  • Both Jo Grant and the Master are given new introductions, with Jo in particular described as joining The Doctor for the first time, despite several earlier stories featuring her. As one of the first releases in the Target Books series, there was no expectation that all stories would eventually be adapted. Once the earlier stories had been novelised, no attempt was made at revising The Doomsday Weapon, creating a continuity hiccough for those reading the novelisations in chronological order.
  • The various personal lives and backgrounds of Ashe’s colonists and Interplanetary Mining Corporation personnel are greatly expanded in the novelisation. Dent, for instance, has a wife arranged by IMC’s matchmaking computers and two children who are being educated in an IMC school.
  • The Earth that the colonists migrated from is elaborated upon in the novelisation. Metric units of measurement were adopted globally there some 6000 years ago and, in Dent’s lifetime, it was fashionable to dye one’s hair blue. On nonwork days, you could pay to journey up to experience sunshine on the concrete. Alternatively, you could invest in a Walk: a cubicle with a moving floor that took you through projected footage taken from the State Archives of historic greenery. Space travellers had well-developed legends surrounding the Daleks, Monoids, Drahvins and Earth’s own mythology about the Silurians.
    IMC’s robot is a Class 3 Servo Robot, humanoid in shape, and nicknamed Charlie. The Doctor expects it to crush his arm in response to a jibe, but instead, the machine repeats his insult back to him on a recording (with the addition of metallic laughter).
  • The Doctor grapples with Morgan in the remnants of the Leesons’ home, holding him in front of the robot’s slashing claws in order to force its deactivation. In the televised version, The Doctor kicks the gun from the Morgan’s grip and knocks him aside into a nearby locker, forcing him to stop the machine himself.
    Fitting the unusual chronological rewrite, only The Doctor recognises The Master when he and Jo arrive at the tribunal being mediated between the colonists and IMC. Rather than being somewhat taken aback by the appearance of a fellow Time Lord, as on television, The Master instead smiles and holds The Doctor at arm’s length. Nonetheless, despite this being Jo’s first story, The Doctor still possesses the key he recovered from Terror of the Autons. Here, it was found on a previous, unspecified adventure.
  • The Guardian is depicted as a doll-like creature that exists within the furnace of the atomic reactor used to power the Doomsday Weapon. Rather than The Doctor activating a self-destruct mechanism, it retreats and begins a meltdown of its own accord.
  • The ecological change in the planet is more immediately drastic at the end of the novelisation. Grass and shrubbery begin to sprout from the tilled soil around the dome in seconds, not long after a pleasant rainfall. The Doctor jokes that he and Jo should depart before the surrounding farmland turns into an impenetrable jungle.
  • The Doctor organises a funeral for the Leesons.
  • It is stated that the year is 2971, not 2471, in contradiction with the back cover blurb

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