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Doctor Who and the War Games (Doctor Who Library (Target) #70)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  13 reviews
David Troughton reads this thrilling novelisation of a classic Doctor Who adventure, first published by Target Books in 1979.

Mud, barbed wire, the smell of death.... The year is 1917 and the TARDIS has materialised on the Western Front during the First World War. Or has it? For very soon, the Doctor finds himself pursued by the soldiers of Ancient Rome; and then he and his
Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 1st 1983 by Target Books (first published 1979)
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Community Reviews

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The final story of the second Doctor's era suffers under the Target mandate that Who books could only run 126 pages. So, while there's a lot of running around to fill out 10 episodes in the "War Games" on screen, distilling it down to 12 pages per episodes leaves you with a feeling like this is a Cliff's Notes version of the story.

An adaption that is able to improve upon the TV show.
The War Games is a great story idea and a very important part of Who history, but it was ten episodes long and six of them consisted of lots of running around not accomplishing much.

The book trims out a lot of the TV show's padding, isn't held back by a special effects budget or actors that just can't do a southern accent and give the story just the right pacing.
Christian Petrie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Sammis
Doctor Who and the War Games is a novelization of the last ten episode serial of "The War Games"(1969) to be filmed in black and white and the last regular appearance of the second Doctor. The novel takes about 250 minutes worth of story and boils it down to 143 pages. What's left is a quick but thought provoking look at war while providing some glimpses at the truth behind the Doctor.

The Doctor and his two companions, Jaime and Zoe land in what appears to be the middle of a WWI battle field. Th
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]I seem to be against received fannish wisdom in finding this rather good, if taken on its own merits. The original story is one of the great Who stories; the novelisation, constrained to less than fifteen pages for each of the ten episodes, is not quite of the same quality, but none the less tells a good story well, with decent foreshadowing of the Doctor's fate and sensible meditations on the nature of war. This is the first Hulke no ...more
Daniel Kukwa
It's a novel of two halves. It's successful in that it manages the herculanean task of condensing a 10-part mega-story into a standard Target novel. However, it's also a disappointing failure. The shrink-wrapped size of "The War Games" novelization robs Malcolm Hulke of the chance to expand and enhance the story with the same skill he brought to "The Cave Monesters", "The Doomsday Weapon" and "The Green Death". One of the Target range's greatest MISSED opportunities.
Second Doctor, Jamie, Zoe. Brisk, intriguing, a page-turner. (After all, the author had to distill a 240 minute show into 143 pages.) Depending on what other Doctor Who novelisations you've been reading, may be rather grittier than the usual. A few quibbles, such as occasionally using 'Doctor Who' instead of 'the Doctor', and Zoe being from farther in the future than she was in the show. Note, fan writers might find this book a useful exhibition of how the Doctor operates.
The Doctor, Zoe, and Jamie get themselves into the darndest situations! In this final Troughton adventure, they stumble into an alien race's war games, uncovering another plot for universal domination, and, unusually, having to call for help. There is a lot of episodes (10, I think) that had to be crunched down into 144 pages of text. I granted an extra half-star (would have been 3 1/2, otherwise), for it being a final adventure.
Leo H
A rushed adaptation of one of my favourite Dr Who serials, the opportunity was here for Hulke to expand massively on what was a fascinating concept for a Who story, but instead we get very little description and whole heap of dialogue. Although this is apparently Hulke's worst book, so I'm confident that the others of his I have on my 'to read' pile will be better.
Fluffy fluff.

I need to improve my understanding of the Who chronology though. Coming from mainly watching the 2005 remake, I was surprised when time lords (other than The Doctor and The Master) make an appearance.
Scott James
A bittersweet farewell to my favorite Doctor. I remember shouting at my television during his trial at the end, but the healthy serving of cheese that comes with it still makes me wince.
Like the actual episodes, a little long.

A lot better than I was expecting.
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Malcolm Hulke was a British science fiction writer best known for his tenure as a writer on the popular series Doctor Who. He is credited with writing eight stories for Doctor Who, mostly featuring the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee. With Terrance Dicks, he wrote the final serial of Patrick Troughton's run as the Doctor, the epic ten-part story "The War Games." Hulke may be best known for w ...more
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