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Doctor Who and the Crusaders

(Target Books Doctor Who (Numerical Order) #12)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  552 ratings  ·  62 reviews
The first Doctor meets Richard the Lionheart in the Third Crusade, in a new fascimile edition of the long out-of-print original 1960s edition. When Barbara is captured by the Saracens and later kidnapped by the monstrous El Akir, Ian appeals to Richard for help, but despite having achieved a splendid victory over Saladin at Arauf the English King has his own troubles and c ...more
Paperback, 162 pages
Published May 12th 1983 by Target Books, W.H. Allen (first published February 17th 1966)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Crusades is one of the few First Doctor historical’s that just doesn’t seem to click with me.

As this is the third and final novelisation from the 1960’s it’s quite telling that this was written before the main Target range was launched.
Whittaker is allowed to tell he’s story without the restricted page count. Even though I’m not a big fan of the story, this does lead to some wonderful descriptive prose.

It’s just a shame that they didn’t novelise more around this time, as I would have loved
Jun 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, doctor-who
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 23, 2015 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
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
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
In Doctor Who and the Crusaders, this was not the “doctor” I enjoyed the most—older, academic, detached, and less emotionally invested than others, at least in my perception. In another review, I stated that Terence Dicks wrote the novelizations from the series which I enjoy the most and David Whitaker didn’t change my mind with this 1973 novelization. Unlike many of the Doctor Who novelizations, Doctor Who and the Crusaders (the Target Book edition published originally in England) offers a sign ...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
Warren Fournier
One of the first of the Doctor Who novels...

Published when William Hartnell was still in his third season playing the Doctor on television, fighting the Monoids in "The Ark," this was the third ever Doctor Who novel. It is written by the original screenwriter of the half-missing serial "The Crusade," and contains illustrations by Henry Fox. It is one of the weaker stories from the Hartnell era in my opinion, and the book is therefore mediocre, though I feel it is superior to the original broadca
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Another nice historical here, set in the time of Richard Lionheart and Saladin. Following on it seems from Whitaker's Daleks novelisation, a bit of a concentration on romance between Barbara and Ian here, which wasn't in the TV story (there is enough in the TV stories to suggest they could be heading that way, and I like to think they did as confirmed as such in the Sarah Jane Adventures and other media, but not clear cut like in the novel).
I liked the portrayal of both sides, showing good peopl
Ffion Horrell
One of the original three doctor who novels, which has aged (apart from the use of one or two words a few times) incredibly well. The story is mainly focused on Ian and Barbara, with Ian trying to rescue Barbara who has been captured by El Akir. The doctor doesnt have much to do but has some lovely dialogue when he does appear. Vicki however does seem a bit underused.
The novelisation keeps to the main plotline of the original TV episode, though it does rearrange the order of some scenes. Both t
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who
I enjoyed the story quite a bit. The setting of the Crusades was a great one. The book had some dated terms for certain races/peoples, but it was not overall too dated or racist when dealing with both sides of the Crusades. I think this is because it is a Doctor Who story and is hopeful about humanity similar to Star Trek's general outlook.
The Crusading Christians and Defending Muslims both had strong good characters and bad, evil characters. Just like any normal sample of random people.
The char
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who, 2019
It's another novelasation of TV story that got lost. I really enjoy the history-episodes and so I'm glad that I could learn about it this way.
I listened to the audiobook brilliantly performed by William Russel (Ian Chesterton) - And talking about Ian: He and Barbara are clearly the heroes of this story. The Doctor is just there and steals clothes ;-) It seems to be a habit.
I enjoyed it! And I hope they find the TV-material oneday.

Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This was kind of a boring episode. The Doctor didn't even do anything. Most of the action came from Ian and Barbara. I'm also getting a little sick of how all Barbara seems to be is a pretty face and a damsel in distress. It seems all the episodes are centered around rescuing her. ...more
I liked the televised version of this story so I was excited to read it in book form. Sadly it didn't work out too well: I found myself bored and even ended up skimming some parts. And it's only 163 pages! ...more
Paul Tokarski
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put the book down ...more
Jeff Correll
Not much of the Doctor in this one.
It was an OK read, actually more of a 2.5 star book.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
My least favourite DR Who book. I remember this was long boring and a real slog to get through as a kid. I wanted monsters and aliens and weird stuff. Not a boring history lesson!
Andy Davis
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
One of the early ones that tried to tell a bit of history.
Oliver Knagg
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My word does poor Barbara go through a lot in this book!
Savannah Streger
Mar 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
It was ok it did take me awhile to finish it, not because it had to many pages it kind of just dragged out a bit.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Who and the Crusaders was originally published in 1965 as part of a trilogy of books by Frederik Muller Limited (other books were "Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Daleks", "Doctor Who and the Zarbi"). The whole trilogy has recently been rereleased, however this time by BBC Books in the style of the 60s originals.
In terms of faithfulness to the much sought after originals, BBC books has done a marvellous job. They are very good reproductions indeed. Right down to the spine an
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctorwho
- Firstly, the man Susan stayed behind on Earth with is referred to in this book as 'David Cameron' (Campbell in the TV series) which I found hilarious (though of course unintentional)
- I really enjoyed the prologue of this book, with the Doctor talking about why Earth's history can't be changed. This decision obviously didn't last long in the TV show as by the time the Meddling Monk came along history being changed was a real threat, but it's still interesting to read these early ideas for how
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
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
Jan 11, 2014 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
Jan 24, 2014 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
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
Reuben Herfindahl
Jan 04, 2014 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
Jul 13, 2012 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
Adam Stone
Oct 13, 2013 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
Feb 10, 2014 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
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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

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When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
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“It is always hard to understand a man without saving graces. All human beings have facets which make them admired, as much as those they may possess which dismay or repel. Those who knew El Akir found nothing to recommend him, for they recognized in him a man saturated with guilt, so much so that his life could only continue by laying extra evils, one above another, as if the man were tortured by the foul deeds he had committed and had to hide them by inventing fresh crimes; and far worse ones at that; curtaining off yesterday's depredations with new villainies.” 0 likes
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