The pseudo-historical is now a common staple of Doctor Who. We find aliens popping up all over the past: Terileptils in 1666, Gelth in 1869, and Justice Vehicle 6018, aka the Teselecta, in Berlin, 1938 – and that’s to name just a fraction of aliens messing with our histories. But it’s a very different story if we travel back in a blue box to the early 1960s.
There, we’d find pure historicals, mulling over the events of the French Reign of Terror, Marco Polo’s journey to the court of Kublai Khan, and the reign of Emperor Nero. That is, until July 1965. That’s when Doctor Who introduced another of the Doctor’s race and threw him in the direction of 1066.
This was The Time Meddler, the first story to feature Peter Butterworth’s Monk (who would later appear in The Daleks’ Master Plan), and the audiobook of the four-part serial is out now.
An unabridged reading of Nigel Robinson’s Target novelisation, here’s what to expect:
When the TARDIS materialises on an apparently deserted Nothumbrian beach, Steven disputes the Doctor’s claim that they have travelled back to the eleventh century. The disovery of a modern wristwatch in a nearby forest merely reinforces his opinion.
But it is 1066, the most important date in English history, and the Doctor’s arrival has not gone unnoticed. Observing the appearance of the TARDIS is a mysterious monk, who recognises the time-machine for what it is. He also knows that the Doctor poses a serious threat to his master plan – a plan which, if successful, could alter the future of the entire world…
Duration: 4 hours approx.
The CD is read by Peter Purves, who played Steven Taylor in this, his first proper adventure as the Doctor’s companion.
With a cover by Jeff Cummins, the original Target book was released in hardback in October 1987, then paperback the following March, and now it’s got a new lease of life as an audiobook!
The Time Meddler is out now, priced £20.