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Pete McTighe’s Target Novelisation of Kerblam! Is the “Definitive Version of the Story”

How do you approach writing a Target novelisation of a Doctor Who story? For screenwriter, Pete McTighe, it was all about fleshing characters and scenarios out to create “the definitive version of the story”.

McTighe, who wrote Praxeus and the trailers for Doctor Who: The Collection Blu-rays, has adapted his Series 11 story, Kerblam!, into a Target, a process he rather enjoyed, as he explains:

“It was a really fascinating process actually. I’d never, ever considered writing a novel but it was also so much easier than writing a novel [from scratch], really, because I had the script as a starting point obviously.

“So, for me, it was really about adding more meat to the story, a lot more backstory, fleshing out the characters a lot more, the set pieces, being able to scale those up was really good because in 45 minutes of fast-paced television on a restricted budget, there’s just things you can’t achieve.

“But in the novel, I was able to do everything I wanted to do so I kind of see this as the definitive version of the story; it’s how I want it to be told.”

He was apparently inspired to write the episode after showrunner, Chris Chibnall, pitched the idea of a “space Amazon” to him.

Here’s the blurb for the book:

“That’s the problem with conspiracies – there’s so much to think about!”

Kerblam! is the biggest online retailer in the galaxy – but how did it become so big? When the Doctor’s Kerblam! package includes a mysterious request for help, she heads straight to the company’s warehouse moon to investigate.

Going undercover as Kerblam! workers, the TARDIS fam find that several human employees have vanished in sinister circumstances. Could the automated workforce be to blame? Or has the whole operation been compromised by forces unknown? The Doctor soon learns that when it comes to wrapping things up, she has nothing on Kerblam!…

The resulting episode starred Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, alongside her companions, Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill), Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh), and Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole). Kerblam! guest starred Lee Mack, Claudia Jessie, Julie Hesmondhalgh, and Leo Flanagan, so it’ll be interested to see how McTighe has expanded on these characters in the brand new Target novel.

Kerblam! by Pete McTighe is available now.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Pete McTighe’s Target Novelisation of Kerblam! Is the “Definitive Version of the Story”

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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