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Old 25th January 2017, 11:38 AM
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Susan Foreman Susan Foreman is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Childhood home of Billy Idol - Orpington

TARGET Book releases #2 - The Zarbi

'Doctor Who and the Zarbi' was the second Doctor Who novelisation. It was based on the 1965 television serial 'The Web Planet'. The book was written by Bill Strutton, who also wrote the original teleplay. As the second Doctor Who novelisation, this book established the title format 'Doctor Who and the ...' which would be followed by the Target Books novelisations into the early 1980s.

The Target reprint was released in 1973

Back cover summation (1973 Target version)

"DOCTOR WHO lands his space-time machine Tardis on the cold, craggy planet of Vortis. The Doctor and his companions, Ian and Vicki, are soon captured by the ZARBI, huge ant-like creatures with metallic bodies and pincer claws; meanwhile Barbara falls into the hands of the friendly MENOPTERA who have come to rid Vortis of the malevolent power of the ZARBI..."

Chapter titles
  1. The Web Planet
  2. The Zarbi
  3. Escape to Danger
  4. The Crater of Needles
  5. Invasion
  6. Centre of Terror

Differences from the televised story
  • The First Doctor is mostly referred to as "Doctor Who" throughout the book, one of the few occasions where the standard naming protocol is broken.
  • The Menoptera Vrestin is male. The character was female in the televised story.
  • The character of Hrhoonda is replaced by Challis. A fourth Menoptera named Zota is also present in the cave scenes. Zota, along with Challis, is killed by a larvae gun.
  • The Menoperta radio is described as having flashing lights and an antenna. On-screen, the radio unit is crystalline.
  • The larvae guns are called venom grubs.
  • The Zarbi throw nets over the Doctor and Ian when they first capture them. On-screen, no such event happens.
  • There is a reference made to the events of TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, concerning the Doctor and Ian's imprisonment on the Dalek saucer.
  • The scene in which the Doctor tries to give Vicki a choclate bar to calm her is removed.
  • The Menoptera slaves do not have their wings entirely cut off, merely "short-clipped".
  • The Optera Nemini is male. The character was female on-screen.
  • The Animus plans "to pluck from the earth its myriad techniques... in its hundredth Christian millennium... !", possibly indicating the time this story takes place.

Writing and publishing notes
  • The book was originally published by Frederick Muller in September 1965.
  • One of three titles bought by Target from Frederick Muller that were used to launch the series of Doctor Who novelisations.
  • The hardback edition illustrations were retained.
  • Quickly sold out of the first 20,000 copies and reprinted.
  • Chris Archileos was excited by the idea of drawing giant ants but was told they had to look like those in the series.
  • The Target edition title page information includes: "THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCTOR WHO The cover illustration and others contained within this book portray the first DOCTOR WHO whose physical appearance was later transformed when he discarded his worn-out body in favour of a new one."
  • This title was renamed 'Doctor Who - The Web Planet' in its 1990 reprint.

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