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Doctor Who: The Five Doctors

(Doctor Who Library (Target) #81)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A twentieth anniversary special featuring the Doctor in all five of his regenerations.

Why are all five Doctors being removed from their separate time-streams? Who is the enemy they will have to unite against? What will become of the Doctors when the battle is over?

We have travelled a long way with Doctor Who. The Five Doctors gives us the chance to turn the clock back and
Mass Market Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 24th 1983 by Target
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The Five Doctors is a Doctor Who movie special that aired in 1983. I have never seen the movie, but when I saw this audiobook from the novelization, I just had to listen to it! Jon Culshaw narrates perfectly! I had so much fun listening to his performance!

The five doctors and several companions are kidnapped from their different times and all (well with the exception of the 4th doctor who is stuck in a time anomaly. This is because Tom Baker declined to be in the movie, and they used scenes
The first (of many) books I purchased from the Target line of adaptations still holds a special little nostalgic place in my heart. Curious about the history of the series, I figured "The Five Doctors" would be a good point to get an overview and catch-up course on the twenty plus years of history surrounding Doctor Who. Picking up the shiny silver cover, I quickly took it home and consumed it. It more than satisfied my itch and was the seed from which a huge collection of Target novels grew.

Peter Webb
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
RIP Terrance Dicks

Adapting his own television script, it helps that it's a simple but engaging narrative that I've memorised many of the scenes and much of the dialogue from through repeat viewings. Though not adding much material that isn't in the broadcast version - besides a sequence of Susan in the 22nd Century - Dicks enhances the atmosphere of scenes in his description, including the imposing threat of the time scoop, the spooky corridors of the Dark Tower, refers back to character
Mary Jo
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Doctor Who fans
This is one of the novelizations of a classic Doctor Who story. Unlike some other novelizations this one doesn't go beyond what's seen on the screen, it's just a straight retelling of the story. It's a great story - I love "The Five Doctors" and I've watched it a couple of times because it's so much fun. Doctors One, Two, and Three working together is highly entertaining!! :)

In this time of having much of the classic Who back catalogue available on DVD these novels may seem silly, but they date
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. It is fundamentally very nice to have the old companions back (though poor Susan is a bit underused). The Gallifreyan plotting makes very little sense, as usual, but it is tremendous fun, and one feels that Dicks was enjoying this despite the extraordinary pressure he was under to produce it. Oddly enough it is the Fifth Doctor who comes across least memorably here.
Shannon Marshall
The always-economical, straight-to-the-point prose of Terrance Dicks, here adapting the TV story he largely presented the framework of, is highlighted wonderfully in this audiobook version. The criminally under-used Jon Culshaw delivers a tour-de-force performance in juggling so many disparate characters. His impressions of the various Doctors are a mixed bag; Borusa and the First Doctor may as well be the same person for the limited variation Culshaw gives to each, and his Fifth Doctor is too ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Five Doctors is, in my opinion, one of the most ambitious stories in the series’ history, and this Target adaptation by the mighty Terrance Dicks proudly rises to the occasion! I remember thoroughly enjoying the book as a child, and that same experience was true on audio as an adult. Generally I tend to prefer audios narrated by their relevant Doctor (or a trusted companion, if need be), but in this case Jon Culshaw and Nicholas Briggs are the ideal combo. Culshaw captures the personality of ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
A surprisingly very thin and light read for the momentous occasion of recognising the show's 20th anniversary. It featured the first five doctors' and its good that not a single iteration dominated the story.

The Master in book appeared to me as a more convincing baddie than the newer ones which appeared in the reboot.

All in all, i think three stars is a fair mark. Good, but not great.
David Layton
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Aiming for publication simultaneous with the 20th Anniversary 90-minute special, Terrance Dicks' novelization of his script adds little to what was on the TV. The story itself is rather thin, a race-to-the-center plot spread across too many characters. In an attempt to get "everything" in that might satisfy fans, the story becomes sacrificed.
Rhys Causon
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent audiobook, with some very good impersonations of the Doctor Who actors, was most impressed with the voice of the 1st Doctor, as that is such a distinctive voice.

Recommended to any fan of Classic Who.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
It would have been nice if the writer had actually deviated from the televised story and included the fourth Doctor in the adventure. It was nice though that having watched the episode many times I was able to pick up some of the dialogue that was lost through sound effects or British-ness.
Gabriel Mero
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is probably my favorite classic Who story. Not only do we get 5 Doctors, we also get Susan, the Brigadier, Sarah Jane, Romana II, Tegan, and Turlough, as well as cameos by Liz Shaw and Mike Yates. I can't wait to watch this episode.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love these books. Short and sweet, an old one but a good one.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lovely trip down memory lane. Listened to this as an audio book with my children who are now as enamoured with Dr Who as I was!
Julian White
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
pdf - 107 pages

An impossible task - to provide a celebratory script for an anniversary without knowing just who was going to be available... A serviceable novelisation, though, even if the original is really below par.
Matthew Kresal
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Terrance Dicks novelizes his own story he wrote for the show's twentieth aniversery way back in 1983. While the novelization makes for a fast and easy read all told this is a fairly typical Dicks novelization with much of the usual copy and paste feel of his other novelizations in the Target Doctor Who range. There are a few intresting tidbits and occasional changes in dialouge (including a diffrent version of both the abduction of the third Doctor and yet another diffrent version of the ...more
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctor-who
In the mid-80's, all of the episodes albeit a few were made in to short, pocket-sized Novels. Even the TV Movie was later converted into one. The books now serve as a cheap (prices starting at $.01 per-tax) way for Classic Whovians to pass the time.

The book is very good. The only issue with it is that, because it was released along side the episode and thus was likely based on the script, all ablibs are removed. The third doctor no longer refers to the second as "scare-crow," and Susan once
Kristina Brown
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
This is a fairly standard novelization. There are the usual minor changes, some of which work (The Master is no longer knocked out by a single blow) and some of which don't (Doctor One doesn't need to ask which regeneration Doctor Three is).
There is very little added explanation - an attempt to explain the application of Pi which helps it make a bit more sense, a bit of chat from the companions etc but it's missing some of the bickering between Two and Three.
Overall alright but not brilliant.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: doctor-who
It DOES expand on the TV version...but not as successfully as it could have been. Terrance Dick's other adaptations of his own TV stories (such as Horror of Fang Rock & State of Decay) have a slight edge over this one...a novelization he SHOULD have gone to town with...yet it remains strangely unambitious.
Rich Meyer
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
A very quick Doctor Who story, this anniversary tale suffers from the fact that it's really The Four Doctors (as Tom Baker didn't really participate in it). Still, it is a fun story, especially for bringing back companions Sarah Jane Smith and the Doctor's granddaughter Susan. Good characterization makes up for a fairly transparent plot.
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Not the strongest story, but the sheer fanboy joy generated by having five Doctors, ten companions, and a couple dozen monsters makes up for it.
Everybody gets something to do, there are some very clever lines and bits of Who history, plus for a change it really feels like there's an army of Cybermen wandering around.

Lots of fun if you just go with it.
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Three quarters of a lifetime ago, this was one of the best books ever. While it no longer occupies such an exalted position, it has passed an hour or two of guilty enjoyment. The writing is serviceable, the plot silly in the extreme - but it's tremendous fun.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3rd-quarter
I recommend it for all doctor who fans
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
A good tale of the previous incarnations of the Doctors.
Mar 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Yes, it's a Doctor Who novelisation. I found it in a charity shop for a pound and I like the story. It's fun :). Nuff said.
Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough, second Doctor and the Brigadier, third Doctor and Sarah, et. al..
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Cute little story. fun to imagine all 5 of the first doctors getting in each others way.
Adrian Sherlock
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hugely enjoyable fun.
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Terrance Dicks was an English writer, best known for his work in television and for writing a large number of popular children's books during the 1970s and 80s.

His break in television came when his friend Malcolm Hulke asked for his help with the writing of an episode of the popular ABC (ITV) action-adventure series The Avengers, on which Dicks received a co-writer's credit on the broadcast. He

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“The Master: The cosmos without the Doctor scarcely bears thinking about.” 10 likes
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