The second set of Target Collection books was originally due for release in July 2020 with the titles being confirmed by BBC Books as early as December 2019. But we can happily confirm the delays are over and no fewer than seven novelizations will hit the shelves on 11th March 2021.
Better still, we now have the cover artwork for each new title designed by Anthony Dry!
The full set includes:
- Dalek by Robert Shearman
- The Witchfinders by Joy Wilkinson
- The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss
- The TV Movie by Gary Russell
- The Pirate Planet by Douglas Adams and James Goss
- Resurrection of the Daleks by Eric Saward
- Revelation of the Daleks by Eric Saward
The Target Collection, which started with five titles in 2018 and continued with an anthology of original stories back in 2019, novelizes modern series Doctor Who episodes borrowing the aesthetic of classic series novels. In the 1970s and 80s, before home media, the range published by the now-defunct Target Books was the only way to relive classic Doctor Who adventures. The style – not to mention the cover art – is so ingrained in the psyche of older Who fans that Penguin RH and BBC Books opted to continue the tradition with the new series.
Of the new set, three are brand new works while four are updated reprints of existing titles. Douglas Adams’ The Pirate Planet was adapted by James Goss in 2017 while both of Eric Saward’s titles are taken from the novelizations released in 2019. At the time, I spoke to Saward about working on these books where he gave me this pithy summation of why the novelizations are so popular…
Doctor Who fans seem to be a pretty determined bunch who are happy to collect most things to do with the show.Eric Saward, 2019
The new series novelizations have all been penned by their original screenwriters, which is a first for the range since the original set had Jenny T Colgan and Paul Cornell contributing adaptations of episodes written by Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat respectively. It’s also the first time the Target Collection has used the incumbent series logo, albeit only for The Witchfinders – which was made under the current creative team – as every piece of Doctor Who merchandise since 2018, including the classic series, has used the new logo. The hybrid approach works for me, since it acknowledges the range’s past but also bucks tradition. Though I do feel robbed not getting a Dalek novelization that uses the nostalgia-laced (for me) “surfboard” logo.
Having already written a novelization of the 1996 television movie shortly after it aired, author Gary Russell has promised an updated version of the text for the Target Collection. While it doesn’t appear the TV Movie or Saward’s Dalek stories will be an abridgement, The Pirate Planet seems to have been chopped in half to fit the 400+ page original into a svelte 192 pages.
I’ll have a full roundup of the Target Collection on release but let me know in the comments which one you’re looking forward to the most!