The Nightmare Fair

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The Nightmare Fair
Nightmare Fair.jpg
Author Graham Williams
Series Doctor Who book:
Doctor Who Missing Episodes
Release number
Subject Featuring:
Sixth Doctor
Set in Period between
Revelation of the Daleks and
Mission to Magnus
Publisher Target Books
Publication date
May 1989
ISBN 0-426-20334-8
Preceded by Attack of the Cybermen
Followed by The Ultimate Evil

The Nightmare Fair is a story originally written for the 1986 season of Doctor Who, but never filmed. A novelisation based on the script was published in 1989 by Target Books, as the first volume of its Missing Episodes series. The script and novelisation were written by former series producer Graham Williams, and would have been directed by Matthew Robinson had it gone to air. It is the first novel-length text featuring The Doctor not to be based upon a previously transmitted production, although being a novelization it is not strictly speaking an "original" novel; the first such book appeared in 1991.

An audio play closely based on Williams' script was released in May 2003, with profits going to the charity Sense. For this adaptation, the Sixth Doctor was played by Steve Hill, and Peri by Jennifer Adams Kelley.[1]

A second audio adaption, done by Big Finish, was released in 2009. Adapted by John Ainsworth, it featured both Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant reprising their television roles of the Sixth Doctor and Peri respectively.


The Sixth Doctor and his companion Peri are lured in the TARDIS to Blackpool, where they discover something wrong in the local videogame arcade. The Doctor's adversary the Celestial Toymaker is behind it, and the Doctor and Peri must fight their way through his videogames in order to defeat him.


Several stories were in the planning stages for the 23rd Season of Doctor Who, three of which were in the middle of being scripted when the (temporary) cancellation announcement was made. Former series Producer Graham Williams was to have written the season opener, featuring a return of the Celestial Toymaker as seen in the 1966 serial. Being the first slated for production, Williams script was by far the most advanced at the time of cancellation, with Matthew Robinson (who had helmed Resurrection of the Daleks and Attack of the Cybermen in the previous two seasons) pencilled in as director.


In 1988, Target Books, which had been successfully publishing novelisations of Doctor Who stories for many years, saw itself running out of available televised material (although a number of serials remained unadapted, most were off-limits due to licensing problems). While negotiations went forward with the BBC for the publication of new adventures, three of the cancelled scripts were published in book form. The writers of all three were approached, and all were signed to write the novels. The Nightmare Fair required far less additional material than the other two, and in May 1989 it became the first to be published under the Missing Episodes banner. It was the first of 275 releases from different publishers as of 2007 that were not televised or broadcast on radio (the novelisation of the radio story Slipback had been published in 1986).

The next two books in the series were The Ultimate Evil by Wally K. Daly, released in August 1989, and Mission to Magnus by Philip Martin, published in July 1990 (the first Doctor Who novel based on non-televised material to be published after the end of the original series).


  • The original ending of the 1985 series finale, Revelation of the Daleks, had the Doctor telling Peri he was going to take her to Blackpool. Before broadcast, however, the decision was made to freeze frame the Doctor before he says this. Williams' novelization of the serial does not, therefore, take its lead from the original ending of Revelation. At the start of this novel TARDIS is drawn into "the nexus of the primeval cauldron of Space-Time itself" and he and Peri are surprised to find themselves in Blackpool.
  • The Past Doctor Adventures novel Divided Loyalties ends with the Toymaker telling his companion Stefan "I'll take you to Blackpool", both setting up this story and pastiching the original end of Revelation.
  • In the text of the novel, the character Kevin is given the surname Stoney. Kevin Stoney is the name of an actor who appeared in earlier stories in the televised series.

Big Finish audio play[edit]

The Nightmare Fair
Album cover
Big Finish Productions audio drama
Series Doctor Who: The Lost Stories
Release no. 1
Featuring Sixth Doctor
Peri Brown
Written by Graham Williams (adapted by John Ainsworth)
Directed by John Ainsworth
Produced by Jamie Robertson - Music & Sf
Executive producer(s) Nicholas Briggs
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Production code 6Y/AA
Release date November 2009

Big Finish Productions produced an audio drama adaptation of The Nightmare Fair in 2009. In early March 2009, Big Finish announced that the role of the Toymaker was to be played by David Bailie, who had previously played Dask in the 1977 story The Robots of Death. The original 1966 Toymaker story starred Michael Gough, but at the time of audio recording, he had retired from acting.



  • Seven months before this audio was released, Big Finish brought back the Celestial Toymaker in The Magic Mousetrap.
  • In this story, the Doctor marked a reference to City of Death character, Duggan.

Production Notes[edit]

Doctor who's Audio Series producer David Richardson briefed all the Composers including Jamie Robertson to give the lost stories season an original but classic "80's Retro" feel.

Jamie used Various Synths for the music soundtrack and sound design including an AKAI AX-80 and a Yamaha SY85.


  1. ^ "Doctor Who - The Nightmare Fair Details". Retrieved 2016-01-28. 

External links[edit]