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Pages 144
ISBN 0-426-20263-5
Publication Date August 1986


The TARDIS materialises on board the Vipod Mor, a galactic survey ship captained by the repulsive Orlous Moston Slarn.

Things are not going too well on board the spacecraft: a mysterious killer stalks the ship’s infrastructure, a juniorofficer, whose body is four years older than his brain, commands its bridge, the craft’s computer seems to be developing its own distinctive personality, and Slarn threatens to vent his vindictive angeron his crew.

Soon The Doctor and Peri stumble upon a shocking secret, a secret upon which depends the fate of the entire Universe…

The novelisation of the Radio 4 Doctor Who story.



  • The first 50 pages of the novel do not feature The Doctoror Peri and do not adapt the radio play, instead they provide backstory on the characters and circumstances encountered by The Doctor later.
  • In the radio play, when The Doctor tells Peri he’s about to recite his favourite sonnet, “Ode to a Flashist Mud Scavenger”, Peri replies that this inspiring title”brings tears to myears”! This is changed to “eyes” in the novelisation even though”ears” was correct given that Peri was hearing, not reading, the poem.
  • The steward, named as Vesper, kills Slarn before he can release his virus, then incinerates both of them to destroy the infection.
  • The computer’s external personality orders the crew to evacuate the ship before sending it back in time.

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