|Publication Date||19 February 1976|
1976 and 1978 Target Books editions
The Doctor walked slowly forward into the cul-de-sac. The giant dinosaur turned its head to focus on the midget now approaching… The Doctor aimed his gun to fire… suddenly from behind came a great roar of anger. He spun round – blocking the exit from the narrow street towered a Tyrannosaurus rex, its savage jaws dripping with blood…
The Doctor and Sarah arrive back in the TARDIS to find London completely deserted – except for the dinosaurs. Has the return of these prehistoric creatures been deliberately planned and, if so, who can be behind it all?
1979 Pinnacle Books edition
RETURN OF THE PREHISTORIC CREATURES
Three hundred and fifty million years ago, dinosaurs crawled the Earth, devouring everything in sight. But then they disappeared. Certainly, no one ever expected them to return…
When Doctor Who lands in London and finds the entire city deserted – except for dinosaurs – he figures something really weird is going on. It is. A clever group of misguided idealists is at the centre of a bizarre plot to reverse time to a golden era – an era before technology, before pollution, before the hydrogen bomb. The group is going to give the human race a second chance.
But, to implement Operation Golden Age, the past must be eliminated. The present will not exist – and only the chosen will survive.
Doctor Who must turn the clock forward to stop Operation Golden Age, but will he be able to do it before Earth’s time runs out?
1993 Target Books edition
‘WE’RE FACING THE DESTRUCTION OF HISTORY ITSELF!’
The Doctor and Sarah return from the past to find London deserted and under martial law after a sudden invasion of prehistoric monsters. UNITing with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, they uncover a plot to alter time: wiping out all Earth’s previous history and returning it to a golden age before technological pollution. Fighting traitors within and monsters without, The Doctor and UNIT must try and stop the deadly idealists.
This is an adaptation by Malcolm Hulke of his own original screenplay, which featured Jon Pertwee in the role of the Doctor.
2016 BBC Books edition
‘Through the windscreen, The Doctor could see the gigantic shape of a tyrannosaurus rex blocking the road.’
The Doctor and Sarah arrived in London to find it deserted. The city has been evacuated as prehistoric monsters appear in the streets. While The Doctor works to discover who or what is bringing the dinosaurs to London, Sarah finds herself trapped onboard a spaceship that left Earth months ago travelling to a new world…
Against the odds, The Doctor manages to trace the source of the dinosaurs. But will he and the Brigadier be in time to unmask the villains before Operation Golden Age changes the history of planet Earth and wipes out the whole of human civilisation?
This novel is based on a Doctor Who story which was originally broadcast from 12 January-16 February 1974.
Featuring the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee with his companion Sarah Jane Smith and UNIT. >
- London Alert!
- ‘Shoot to Kill!’
- The Time Eddy
- The Timescoop
- Monster in Chains
- The Spaceship
- The Reminder Room
- Operation Golden Age
- The Final Countdown
DEVIATIONS FROM THE TELEVISED STORY
- The Whomobile does not appear at all, The Doctor instead uses a borrowed army motorbike, which was to have been his mode of transport in the original scripts for the televised version.
- The novelisation features a prologue about the dinosaurs and ends with the Doctor consulting the Book of Ezekiel to determine the final fate of the Golden Age time travellers.
- Butler is given the distinctive feature of a scar which he received as a result of falling through a plate glass roof whilst working as a fireman, rather than the untouched face he has in the television story.
- Several characters such as Phillips, Ogden, Duffy, Shears and Robinson are unnamed. Phillips’ death is omitted.
- The Doctor and Sarah go into a cafe called Bert’s to find something to eat, but find the food rotten. Sarah takes a couple of chocolate bars, leaving the money on the counter.
- The name Norton is reassigned: In the televised version, he is one of the soldiers who arrest The Doctor and Sarah and later take them to a detention centre. In the book, that role is given to an unnamed sergeant and the name Norton is given to the UNIT Corporal.
- The two soldiers who are present when The Doctor and Sarah are arrested are named Smith and Wilkins.
- Sarah gives a fuller explanation for how she and the Doctor came by the furs to the army.
- Since the scene that introduces the tyrannosaurus rex is cut, Lodge gives a fuller explanation of the “monsters”, saying some children who claimed to have seen a dinosaur were killed and people were attacked and killed by pterodactyls.
- The Doctor’s comment about the photographer’s camera being a bit “antiquated” is removed.
- The army photographer is given some lines. On-screen, he is a non-speaking extra.
- There is an extra opening scene from the point of view of Shughie McPherson, a drunken Glaswegian football fan who is left in London during the evacuation and killed by a dinosaur.
- The conversation between The Doctor, Sarah and the peasant goes on longer.
- Whitaker recalls that the Timescoop accidentally brought a startled Roman soldier forward in time.
- Although there is an extra sequence of Finch taking a hacksaw from The Doctor’s laboratory, the scene of Yates accusing him of freeing the tyrannosaur is omitted and he is not revealed as a conspirator until he is seen in the bunker.
- Whitaker is portrayed as much more selfish and arrogant, and as having a far more hostile relationship with Butler, than on television, with his main priority being proving his theories work.
- It is Whitaker who notices the lift indicator flashing. On-screen, it’s Butler who notices.
- Mark takes Sarah to a different room to meet Ruth and Adam. On-screen, Ruth and Adam come into the room where Sarah has just been woken.
- Whitaker and Butler have extra dialogue after their first meeting with Yates implying he does not know the full extent of their plan, despite this, he is fully aware of it when confronting The Doctor, the Brigadier and Benton, as on television.
- There is no mention of what happens to Yates after he is knocked out by Benton, on television, the Brigadier says he will be allowed to resign quietly.
- Bryson is promoted from private to corporal in the adaptation.
- Nearly all the material of the Doctor on the run from the authorities is omitted, meaning there is no explanation for why Finch turns up at UNIT headquarters believing The Doctor to have been captured and returned there. (On television, The Doctor sends a fake radio message to that effect.)
- Grover is beginning to sway some of the Golden Age colonists round to his way of thinking when The Doctor arrives.
- There is an extra speaking Golden Age colonist named Polly Anderson.
- Butler is present in the control room for the climax, rather than having been knocked out by The Doctor earlier, although his fate is unclear.
- The material of the Doctor switching the settings on the Timescoop is omitted, Grover and Whitaker merely disappear before he turns it off.