The Companions of Doctor Who

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The Companions of Doctor Who were a series of original full-length novels related to the long-running BBC science fiction television programme Doctor Who. Published by Target Books in the 1980s, they were the first original novels based on Doctor Who. (Previous Doctor Who fiction had been either short stories in Annuals or novelisations based on television serials.) The books were based on characters who had appeared in the television series as the Doctor's companions, and explored their lives after leaving the Doctor's company.

The first two books were Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma by Tony Attwood, published in July 1986 based upon the character played by Mark Strickson in the early 1980s, and Harry Sullivan's War, written by Ian Marter, who had actually played Harry Sullivan on the series a decade earlier, published in October 1986. These books sold well, but after a third attempt (a 1987 novelisation of the 1981 Doctor Who spin-off, K-9 and Company) the series ended due to rights disputes between the publishers and the BBC.[citation needed] Other novels would have featured Tegan, the Brigadier, Victoria and Mike Yates.

The Companions of Doctor Who[edit]

Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma[edit]

Doctor Who book
Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma
Series The Companions of Doctor Who
Release number 1
Featuring Vislor Turlough
Writer Tony Attwood
Publisher Target Books
ISBN 0-426-20224-4
Set between after Planet of Fire

"My Companions novel Turlough and The Earthlink Dilemma got a very similar reaction to that of Blake's 7: Afterlife. The committed fans did not like it at all. Some of the people who just watched the series and who took the trouble to write, were more complimentary. But I began to think maybe the fans were right, and I just shouldn't be trying to write in this little niche of TV continuation that I had carved out for myself." Tony Attwood, The Official Dr Who Website, May 2002

A villain in the novel was called "Rehctaht" - Thatcher backwards, a negative reference to the Conservative Prime Minister of the time Margaret Thatcher. This was one example of a wider attempt by actors and script-writers to bring left-wing politics into the show.[1]


Harry Sullivan's War[edit]

Doctor Who book
Harry Sullivan's War
Series The Companions of Doctor Who
Release number 2
Featuring Harry Sullivan
Writer Ian Marter
Publisher Target Books
ISBN 0-426-20250-3
Set between ten years after Terror of the Zygons

"Writing Harry Sullivan's War was something Ian had wanted to do for a long time. It's great fun novelising other people's material but it can also be extremely frustrating. I never ceased to be amazed by the wealth of original and intelligent ideas Ian would come up with... Ian had a very good sense of what makes a rattling good yarn and for him the Harry book was a godsend, giving him the chance to create original characters and plotlines while at the same time producing a highly entertaining story." Target editor Nigel Robinson in "A Tribute to Ian Marter", 'TARDIS' (volume 11, number 4), Winter 1987


K-9 and Company[edit]

Doctor Who book
K-9 and Company
Series The Companions of Doctor Who
Release number 3
Featuring K-9
Sarah Jane Smith
Writer Terence Dudley
Publisher Target Books
ISBN 0-426-20309-7
Set between after The Hand of Fear

References[edit]