Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Doctor Who and the Daleks” as Want to Read:
Doctor Who and the Daleks
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Doctor Who and the Daleks

(Target Books Doctor Who (Numerical Order) #16)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,170 ratings  ·  142 reviews
The mysterious Doctor and his grandaughter Susan are joined by unwilling adventurers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright in an epic struggle for survival on an alien planet.

In a vast metal city they discover the survivors of a terrible nuclear war - the Daleks. Held captive in the deepest levels of the city, can the Doctor and his new companions stop the Daleks' plan to tot
Paperback, 174 pages
Published July 7th 2011 by BBC Books (first published November 12th 1964)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Doctor Who and the Daleks, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Doctor Who and the Daleks

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,170 ratings  ·  142 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Doctor Who and the Daleks
[April 2015]






















The Doctor meet his arch enemies for the first time!

This is a novelization of the serial of the same title. Based on the original script by Terry Nation (creator of The Daleks).


The Doctor:

The First Doctor


Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton & Barbara Wright


Planet: Skaro. Non-specified time.


This novelization of the second TV serial of Doctor Who is a good example of the importance of having here on Goodreads not only a rating system but also the chance of wr
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was the first ever novelisation of a Doctor Who tv story, first published in the mid 60s. To most fans of the show this book is all kinds of wonderful, being hugely nostalgic and a crackingly well written novel in its own right. Back then this was the only way to relive an episode. VCRs or DVDs were more far-fetched science fiction ideas than some ones in the show. David Whitaker was Story Editor on the original serial and here he takes Terry Nation's script and really adds life and depth. ...more
Robert Davis

This was the very first Doctor Who story to be novelized and the author obviously didn't feel the need to observe continuity or cannon with the original television show. Whitaker has taken a LOT of liberties with the story. The first chapter completely reimagines the beginning of Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child and how Barbara & Ian encountered the Doctor and TARDIS. This reintroduction of the supporting companions is a little off putting. Wha
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It all started out as a mild curiosity in...
Barnes Common.

The first Doctor Who novelisation, clearly capitalising on Dalekmania at the time as we get a whole new introduction to how Ian and Barbara met the time traveling Doctor.

Target books were essential reading for those growing up at this time, it was the only chance to be able to enjoy an old story.
So inconsistencies will appear throughout the range, so it seems fitting that this trend started from the first published book.
I quite liked the
One of "Doctor Who"'s original leading men reads the first story novelization with "Doctor Who and the Daleks."

Written when audiences would rarely, if ever, have a chance to see the original seven-part story this was based on, author David Whitacker makes some interesting choices in the novelization of Terry Nation's original scripts. The first is to have the story told from the first person perspective of travelling companion, Ian Chesterton. This choice makes for some interesting moments in th
Sep 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of my experience with the Doctor started in 2005 with the 9th Doctor (and I'll admit that at first I was intrigued by a time-traveling madman that looked, sounded, and acted like a British version of a good friend of mine). I've had sporadic run-ins with prior incarnations since I was a small child, but they were solitary episodes with no background to what was going on. When I did find them, I mainly watched them because of the simplistic set designs.

Now that I'm several decades older and
Ming Wei
Love this book, gave me everything that I wanted in a Doctor Who book.
Can't find any fault, excellent writing style. really enjoyed the book.
Sharanya Mukherji
Mar 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian Chesterson was an out of work scientist, Barbara Wright was a history teacher of an unusual child named Susan. It was Susan who made them meet with an unusual man, who opened to them and this reader a world of possibilities and they meet a seminal foe, The Daleks...

I must admit that I haven't seen a single episode of this series but when I got my hands on this book written by David Whitaker based on the first and second episode of the series that was aired in the early 60s, I was like, "Why
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
The novelization of The Daleks, the second ever televised Doctor Who story and one of my favorites. The beginning was odd, tweaked to make this adventure the beginning so there's a hasty reworking of An Unearthly Child (in this version Barbara and Ian are strangers and Ian had never met Susan before either) and Skaro becomes their first stop rather than 10000 BC. The plot then more or less follows the action from the show up until the Thals show up and then there are only minor embellishments up ...more
Emily Ross
This was the first novelisation of Classic Doctor Who, and it’s written in first person, from Ian Chesterton’s point of view. It was hard to read and I didn’t particularly enjoy it from Ian’s perspective.
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable and easy to read. I didn't like how different it was from the original episode. Why change it? ...more
Maisie Dappletrot
Very exciting
April Mccaffrey
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An exciting adventure with the daleks by david whiatker has been a joy to read.

A very differ alternative to an unearthly child but i love Ian and Barbara so stories involving them are always good and a lot of good quotes in this which made me love it even more.

An enjoyable reaf.
Andy Hickman
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Whitaker, “Doctor Who and the Daleks” (Reading, UK: Random, 2011; originally published as 'Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Daleks' in 1964)

The first novelisation of Doctor Who. Writing in the first person narrative of Ian Chesterton, he describes the journey of the Doctor, Susan, Barbara and himself in encountering the Daleks on the planet Skaros and their enmity against the peaceful indigenous Thals.
- - -

Neil Gaiman, “An Exciting Introduction with the Daleks”
“There was no w
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a read-along with Paul's Target blogging. It is also the first of the re-released Target novels. It's teh only one I've bought so far but I'll probably pick more up in time. Paul gives a good overview of the new editions here.

I remember the weird feeling I had when I first saw the Dr Who story The Daleks. A strange sense of deja vu. It took my weak brain a while to figure out why this was. then it dawned on me. My childhood viewings of the Cushing films. I hadn't realised they were lifte
Aman Mittal
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My past reading experience with Doctor Who books hasn’t been good. Doctor Who and The Daleks by David Whitaker is not one of them. I recently found a copy of this book, residing in the last row of my book shelf. I don’t remember when did I buy it but I feel happy that I have one.

Doctor Who and the Daleks by David Whitaker is the fist ever novelisation of a Doctor Who television story, first published in 1964, original script written by Terry Nation. I consider myself a Whovian and I my favourite
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This is a mostly faithful novelization of the second Doctor Who serial, The Daleks. The biggest change comes about because there is no novelization of the first serial, and so the story of how Ian and Barbara first met the Doctor, and his kidnapping them, is instead adapted and crammed into the first couple of chapters here. The other alterations are mostly small omissions as a result of the story being told from Ian's perspective rather than the shifting perspective of the show.

Thus, if you're
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chronologically the first official Doctor Who novelisation, published in 1964. An interesting insight into how it all began - The Doctor and his granddauter, Susan, *ahem* kidnap Barbara, Susan's history tutor, and Ian, some man fortunate enough to have been in the right place at the right time, and they fly off to Skaro. They soon discover the Daleks and the Thals, who share the planet. The Daleks wish to eradicate the Thals, yet the Thals have no concept of conflict in their perfect world and ...more
Christian Petrie
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dr Who: The Daleks represents a real departure from what I'm used to in Doctor Who book ... first that the book is told entirely in the first person, from Ian's viewpoint, and second that the author has chosen to rewrite the story of how Barbara and Ian came to be companions.

It is interesting to learn the first Dalek story, but with the major changes mentioned above, I wonder how faithful the rest of the adaptation is.
C.J. Wright
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Great novelisation. There's a different beginning than the TV story, making it easy to read without any previous knowledge of Doctor Who, and is still in keeping with the characters in the show.

It is told entirely from Ian's perspective, but nothing is missed out from what was on screen, and the flow of the story does not suffer in the slightest.

Brilliant introduction to the Doctor and his adventures in time and space.
An interesting trip down memory lane, but an awkward, self-conscious first novelisation. The decision to use Ian Chesterton as a first-person narrator seems an odd one: he has little agency through most of the story, and often does no more than listen to lengthy exposition from the other characters.
Benjamin Torres
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being borned some 40 years late to watch the first Doctor's adventures (Not to mention in the wrong country) it was really nice to read the first novelization of this iconic show.
Although I have to say that I probably wouldn't have liked this first Doctor, who is not nearly as caring, and compassionate as the Doctors of the new Era.
All in all I found the story very entertaining.
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marvelous! Worth reading just for the scene early on with the Tardis food machine.
Capsule review, in case you don't want to read the thousands of words I have to say about this book and a lot of other things

The first Doctor Who novelisation (adapting the second TV story) is a first-person narrative in the voice of Ian, one of the Doctor's original companions. A number of changes have been made between screen and page, most notably in the way the main characters meet. Thus, depending on the kind of Doctor Who fan you are, this is either a fascinating alternate version, or an a
Karl Ljungberg
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Is there anything more iconic than the Doctor facing off against the Daleks. Well, this is where it all started... on the TV, anyhow. The second serial following the introduction serial, The Unearthly Child, they veered from historic adventures into the future to fight evil monsters. Personally, I found the original serial to be dull, drawn out and hampered by its format. Seven episodes was just too long for the story and the Daleks, for all their future endeavours, aren't particularly scary or ...more
Roy Szweda
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
This is a curiosity in the Who fiction pantheon. One which I read yonks ago and rediscovered lately when having a turn out. Kind of can't part with these old Target books but...
Don't expect hard SF, don't expect the usual Who trademark, get in, fix it, leave without really engaging. Our innocent protagonist Mr Chesterton is waaaaay out of his depths in this unsettling take on Doctor vs Daleks. And not just those spooky pepper pot things... He has always bothered me from the TV series. Wooden isn
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctorwho
- I rather enjoyed hearing the story told in first person from Ian's point of view.
- The beginning is very different from the televised episode (An Unearthly Child, the previous serial, as this book is treated as the beginning of their adventures), but I quite liked this re-imagined opening. It was very atmospheric, and quite scary!
- I liked how the Doctor was written in this story, being sometimes manipulative and mysterious, but overall friendly and with his companions' best interests at heart
Chris Wing
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who
I read this (finally!) in conjunction with the unabridged audio reading, with my son.

We both thoroughly enjoyed William Russell's narration, as well as the story itself.
The interesting part of this book is how it offers an alternate origin for the first TARDIS crew's meeting. We don't have two teachers, getting stuck in the TARDIS and whisked off to prehistoric Earth, we have Ian, a scientist, meeting Barbara at the site of a car accident, and getting into the TARDIS that way, which then whisks
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Top 5 Target Books 2 11 Mar 12, 2019 06:58PM  
Doctor Who Book Club: **MAIN DISCUSSION** The Daleks 4 9 Dec 26, 2012 09:18PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Doctor Who and An Unearthly Child
  • Doctor Who: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • Doctor Who: The Witch Hunters
  • Doctor Who: Scratchman
  • Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor
  • Doctor Who: City at World's End
  • Doctor Who: Time and Relative
  • Doctor Who: Rose
  • Doctor Who: The Good Doctor
  • Doctor Who: Apollo 23
  • Doctor Who: At Childhood’s End
  • Doctor Who: The Time Travellers
  • Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By
  • Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious: The Knight, The Fool and The Dead
  • Doctor Who: Royal Blood
  • William's Treasure Trove (Just William, #33)
  • Doctor Who: Nightshade
  • Doctor Who: Engines of War
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Target Books Doctor Who (Numerical Order) (1 - 10 of 162 books)
  • Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen
  • Doctor Who and the Android Invasion
  • Doctor Who and the Androids of Tara
  • Doctor Who and the Ark in Space
  • Doctor Who and the Armageddon Factor
  • Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion
  • Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius
  • Doctor Who and the Carnival of Monsters
  • Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters
  • Doctor Who and the Claws of Axos

Related Articles

The coming season is a big one for the science fiction and fantasy genres, with the release of some of 2021's most anticipated speculative...
28 likes · 28 comments
“The whole key to life is discovering things for yourself. What you do with that discovery is what lies on the other side of that door.” 7 likes
“My friends," he began, and one thumb securely hooked itself in his waistcoat pocket while his other hand hung at his side ready for a battery of theatrical gestures.” 1 likes
More quotes…