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Doctor Who And The Crusaders (Doctor Who Library (Target) #12)

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  338 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Arriving in the Holy Land in the middle of the Third Crusade, the Doctor and his companions run straight into trouble. The Doctor and Vicki befriend Richard the Lionheart, but must survive the cut-throat politics of the English court. Even with the king on their side, they find they have made powerful enemies.

Looking for Barbara, Ian is ambushed - staked out in the sand an
Paperback, 162 pages
Published May 12th 1983 by Target Books, W.H. Allen (first published September 1965)
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Doctor Who by Jonathan    MorrisDoctor Who by Jacqueline RaynerDoctor Who by Trevor BaxendaleDoctor Who by Justin RichardsDoctor Who by Gary Russell
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79th out of 288 books — 112 voters
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79th out of 105 books — 15 voters

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Community Reviews

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Aug 22, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who, 2011
In the early development of the world's longest running Sci-fi tv series the producers set out to educate as well as entertain. So every so often the monsters and alien planets made way for a purely Terran historic story that usually involved the Doctor and crew getting separated from the Tardis early on, followed by a tricky entanglement in established history. The BBC excelled at this sort of thing. Unfortunately most kids preferred the weird worlds, ray guns and Daleks to Marco Polo, The Azte ...more
Jan 29, 2014 Avril rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second of the printed Target novelisations that I've read - and I can understand their popularity, especially given that the books provided a chance to revisit episodes on those far-off days before videos and DVDs. Well-written, adapted by the author of the television episodes, with no budget or special effects' limitations, this is a very good children's book.

It does have a little more romance than the television programme: 'Barbara looked across at Ian, stretched out a hand and held his. A
Jan 27, 2015 Mel rated it really liked it
This was another wonderful historical for the team of the first Doctor, Ian and Barbara. After reading the "modern" novelisation of the first Doctor it was so much better to go back and read one of his actual adventures. To be fair though this was really an Ian and Barbara adventure rather than a Doctor who adventure. The Doctor and Vicki had very minor roles and mostly it was Ian and Barbara (who were in LOVE!) who had most of the action and adventures. What was great about this was that they p ...more
Reuben Herfindahl
Jan 04, 2014 Reuben Herfindahl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure how I'd missed reading this one before. In my head I thought I'd read it, but this was definitely a new one and not a re-read. For some odd reason (maybe because the recovery of "The Lion" was the first lost episode that was recovered in the internet era) I've probably watched/listened to this episode more than almost any other first Doctor story.

The differs some but is a fun fast read, and is charming for some of it's anacronisms (you can tell it was written in the mid 60's).

My only c
May 18, 2014 annik rated it it was ok
Не самый любимый сюжет в арсенале Первого Доктора, я все-таки предпочитаю инопланетные угрозы, а не попытки вмешаться в ход истории нашей многострадальной планеты. Марко Поло и ацтеки ввели меня в состояние транса – это как запихнуть в рот водоросли и старательно их пережевывать, – а тут и Ричард Львиное Сердце со своими крестоносцами подоспел.

К сожалению, исторические фигуры в раннем Докторе выглядят глуповатыми картонками. После того, как Доктор со своими компаньонами в очередной раз обводит в
This is a really enjoyable book.
A the information at the back of the book states, it does differ in many mays from the televised version, and was also one of the first three Doctor Who novels ever published.
So what makes it so good? Well, the first thing is that, apart from our lead characters and their method of transport, this is not a Science Fiction story at all. Once the characters are enmeshed in events, there are no gimmicks to help them out. It is a story about how the character deal w
Sean LeBeau
Jul 11, 2014 Sean LeBeau rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
The third and last original novelization from the 60s (Target wouldn’t start creating new ones until the 70s) and originally illustrated, to boot. The Crusaders has the feel of the possibility of a movie being made from it (such as with The Daleks, and The Dalek Invasion of Earth). Consequently, it is slightly more dramatized than later novelizations and plays on Ian’s heroics and the possibility of a romance between him and Barbara. It’s a good story though, well written, and leaves you wanting ...more
Hiram Lester
Doctor Who and the Crusaders is the novelization of the Hartnell story, The Crusade, a story which is partially missing. This is the last of the original three pre-Target novelizations which also included Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks (later renamed to Doctor Who and the Daleks) and Doctor Who and the Zarbi .

I fairly recently watched the serial The Crusade, so I was able to compare it somewhat with this novelization, which was written by David Whitaker who also wrote the
Nicholas Whyte[return]Doctor Who and the Crusaders is the only one of the 1960s Who novels to have been drawn from a four-part rather than seven-part story, and Whitaker makes full use of the extra space this gives him to expand on his own original material. His opening paragraph is pretty memorable:[return][return]As swiftly and as silently as a shadow, Doctor Who s Space and Time ship, Tardis, appeared on a succession of planets each as different as the pebbles on a b ...more
Listened to the audiobook version read by William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton on the show. His reading added a lot to the story, with excellent characterizations and an overall liveliness. The last track with his reflections on the characters and the difference in the adaptation was a nice bonus.

The story itself was an entertaining adventure, naturally rife with anachronisms, in which our Manly Hero Ian rescues Intelligent Brave Damsel in Distress Barbara from a terrible fate, and the Doc
Feb 19, 2014 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The doctor who books go to a way darker place then I have seen on the episodes. I guess book format lends itself better to that then the 60's television format. The author can go deeper into it, go into the mind of the character and create a better understanding of the dangers the characters face. It was quite a departure from the TV episodes. Of course, it still has the campy ending where everything that happened washes away as soon as they step into the TARDIS. I guess there is no excaping tha ...more
I was hoping to read about one of the lost Doctor Who stories by reading this book. I love Hartnell and I love when Doctor Who goes back in time so I was excited to start it.

I hadn't gotten very far into the book when I got very sick with bacterial meningitis and ended up in a coma in the hospital. My aunt came to stay with me and found this book on my bedside table at home, so she brought it to the hospital to read to me.

I can remember her reading sections of the book to me after I woke up fro
Matthew Kilburn
Feb 07, 2016 Matthew Kilburn rated it liked it
A great exercise in prose adaptation of the author's television script, sharply aware of the issues being presented, but somehow it has always seemed to me lacking in incident. Still worth reading as an early example of Doctor Who and the only 1960s historical serial to be novelised within a year or so of its transmission.
Dec 31, 2012 Iain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
The interesting intro tells us that Doctor Who was originally created as an educational series for children that wouldn't let them realise they were being educated. As such, they would alternate one sci-fi story with a historically-based one.

Crusaders was, obviously, one of these history lessons and it makes for a very good story. The Doctor barely plays a part in in, the majority being focussed on two of his companions and the people of the era. It's a right swords and sandals epic set around J
James Bowman
Sep 04, 2015 James Bowman rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, sf, dr-who
Entertaining historical adventure featuring the First Doctor (though Ian and Barbara seem to get more attention). It features a surprisingly fair-minded view of both sides in the Crusades, considering the era and audience it was written for (British families in the 1960s).
Adam Stone
Nov 24, 2013 Adam Stone rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, doctor-who
Doctor Who and the Crusaders is a novelisation of the four-part Doctor Who story broadcast in 1965 featuring Julian Glover as Richard the Lionheart also known as the story where Ian is proclaimed a Knight of Jaffa.

The novelisation is written by David Whitaker who wrote the television story and this is a much richer version of the story than what we saw on screen; there is more violence and the story is also more adult in tone.

Written by an author steeped in that particular era of the show the ch
Dec 16, 2015 Ubikuberalles rated it liked it
One of the better historical adventures of the Doctor. The book is better than the actual TV episodes. The scene with Ian tied up and honey added to his arm with the ants and all was very compelling. On the minus side, it had a slow start and dragged a bit.
Denis Southall
Apr 10, 2016 Denis Southall rated it liked it
Well written enjoyable romp from the early years non science fiction stories. Characters quite believable on the whole with one hammy villain. Mainly involves Barbara and Ian getting in and out of scrapes.
Angela Maher
Jun 27, 2014 Angela Maher rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Quite a good novel in it's own right, although it would of course help to have previous knowledge of Doctor Who. Good characterisation, and depth of plot.
Christopher Hatch
A quite pleasant read, not that the Doctor was in it much or did anything of consequence when he was!
Feb 15, 2014 Anna-Marie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2010 Samuel rated it really liked it
Listened to the CD version read by William Russell. This is from the time period in the 1960's when Doctor Who's production team was commanded by the execs to focus more on historical pieces and lessons. This was the typical...split everyone up and get them captured the Doctor can maneuver events by impersonating historical figures and subsequently save them. Kept my interest and was fun...although, I do prefer the scifi/monster stories more.
Nov 05, 2008 Travis rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
The old Doctor Who historical stories were fun. Too bad they stopped doing them on the show, They should try and do some on the new series.

This book has the First Doctor and company caught up in the events of the Crusades and of course, meeting King Richard.

Not sure how historically accurate these stories were, but they make for a decent read and might have even helped to get a couple kids interested in history. Never a bad thing.

Sep 29, 2014 Kiri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014grc
I registered a book at!
Scott James
May 25, 2013 Scott James rated it really liked it
My reaction to this book may be colored somewhat by the dismal failure of the previous novelization, but the crusaders was a really good read.

Since the original serial is lost to time, this book was my first exposure to the story, and I wish I'd been able to watch it with my own eyes. But Whitaker's serve us well in this retelling, and as such we can all enjoy a story that otherwise would be gone forever.

Jan 26, 2016 Glenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much better than the TV story (missing episodes aside) and really made me appreciate the story that David Whitaker was trying to tell in the series. He really has a chance to flesh out and give more depth to the characters. He especially better defines the relationship between Ian and Barbara. Warning: as with most Doctor Who stories, don't go into it expecting historical accuracy.
J.M. Guillemette
Not a bad adventure but the Doctor isn't in it an awful lot.
Feb 03, 2013 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second Doctor Who novelisation to be written by David Whitaker (the first was Doctor Who and the Daleks). Unlike the first, this feels a more rounded work, and one in which Whitaker turns a script into a novel in its own right. It also shows that Doctor Who was originally planed as a program to teach about science and history.
Jeff Vass
Dec 29, 2013 Jeff Vass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written by David Whitaker and it is a very good read as a novel; surprisingly good characterizations and (for a book with ages 12-15 printed on the cover) some adult themes.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 24, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctor-who
One of the most richly told and historically brilliant stories in Doctor Who...and novelized to the power of 10! Aside from being the series' first script editor and guiding hand for new authors...THIS book is David Whitaker's greatest contribution to the show he helped nurture.
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David Whitaker was an English screenwriter and novelist best known for his work in the early days of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He served as the series' first story editor working on the programme's first fifty one episodes in this capacity.
More about David Whitaker...

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