The Terrance Dicks World Cup kicked off today to decide which ten novelizations of Doctor Who stories will go into a 2020 anthology celebrating the career of the late Terrance Dicks.
Fans can keep up with all the action by following the #TerranceDicksWorldCup hashtag on Twitter. But for those with less time in your day, here’s a roundup of a dramatic first day.
Things started out strong with The Auton Invasion (adapted from Spearhead in Space) and The Planet of the Daleks taking the top spots after some quick-fire voting in Groups A and B.
But controversy erupted after voters questioned the one-hour time window for voting and the ref – in this case the @DWBBCBooks Twitter account which is also running the polls – decided to replay the polls with a 24 hour window.
Now with 24 hours given to each poll, the final results of all 16 divisions will become clear tomorrow. The top two from each will go into the knockout stages when tomorrow’s polls kick off.
So far in Groups A and B, the original results seem to be holding true though The Planet of the Spiders is currently neck-and-neck in percentage points with The Planet of the Daleks.
Over in groups C and D, fan-favourite stories Genesis of the Daleks and The Brain of Morbius hold strong leads. While in E and F The Loch Ness Monster (adapted from Terror of the Zygons) and The Five Doctors are well ahead.
To vote and keep up with the results as they happen, head over to the #TerranceDicksWorldCup hashtag.
Many spectators, especially those who have been following the game for a long time, have said that these votes are as much a popularity contest for the TV story and less about the merits of the novelization.
For my money, this is a good sign. It’s been years since the full Target range went out of print and second-hand copies go, in some cases, for top dollar. For younger fans this book will be the first time they can enjoy the stories. So it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing for the vote to be driven as much by curiousity for how Dicks translated the TV serial into prose.
We’ll bring you more analysis of the first round results tomorrow. But for now, let us know in the comments which stories you’re hoping to see in the anthology.