From unknown Space, the TARDIS returns to Earth, but not to the world Ian and Barbara know. The little blue telephone box has wheeled sharply in the cosmos and cut back through the pattern of history to the struggle between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, Crusader v. Saracen.
When Barbara is captured by the Saracens and later kidnapped by the monstrous El Akir, Ian appeals to Richard for help, but despite having achieved a splendid victory over Saladin at Arsuf the English King has his own troubles and cannot assist him. So Ian sets out to rescue Barbara alone, while The Doctor becomes involved in court intrigues.
In a dramatic climax, Ian finds himself fighting for his life in the harsh, cruel world of the twelfth century, where only the cleverest and strongest survive.
Readers of Doctor Who’s adventure with the Daleks and Doctor Who and the Zarbi will find here all the excitement that made those books firm favourites with youngsters of all age groups.
- Death in the Forest
- The Knight of Jaffa
- A New Scheherazade
- The Wheel of Fortune
- The Doctor in Discrace
- The Triumph of El Akir
- The Will of Allah
- Demons and Sorcerers
DEVIATIONS FROM THE TELEVISED STORY
- Mention is made of a trip to Tyron.
- Barbara and Vicki play Martian Chess in the TARDIS at the start of the novel.
- The Doctor has a lengthy discussion with Ian about altering time and the rights and wrongs in the universe.
- David Campbell, whom Susan Foreman left the TARDIS in The Dalek Invasion of Earth to marry, is referred to in the opening chapter of this novelisation as “David Cameron”. (His UK prime minister namesake was born a year after the book was published.)
- Ferrigo is killed by Saladin‘s soldiers while trying to flee the palace.
- The Doctor flees the court after Richard accuses him of giving away his plan to Joanna, rather than Richard realising The Doctor is innocent as in the television version.
- El Akir manages to inflict several strokes of his lash on Barbara before Ian rescues her.
- El Akir is strangled and then thrown against a wall so a blow on the head kills him, rather then stabbed, by Haroun.