Star Quest: Terrorsaur! by Terrance Dicks (W. H. Allen, 1981) Dicks concludes his Star Quest trilogy with a fast-moving but inconsequential adventure. The young protagonists are reunited with their friends from the first book and defeat the same enemies—hapless space supremacists—thanks to some guff about a possibly sentient planet-wide ecology.
The Fagin File by Terrance Dicks (Blackie & Son, 1978) A slight, rather hurried volume, even by Dicks’s standards. The narrative chops about more than it did in the first Baker Street Irregulars mystery, and the investigation is something of a doddle. For a middle-grade adventure, though, the stakes are surprisingly adult.
Star Quest: Roboworld by Terrance Dicks (W. H. Allen, 1979) Dicks once again borrowed heavily from 1970s Doctor Who in scripting this middle-grade adventure of human outcasts, robot sentience, deranged scientists and plucky rebellion. This second book in the trilogy is more assured than the first, though never reaching any great heights.
The Case of the Missing Masterpiece by Terrance Dicks (Blackie & Son, 1978) This first book of the Baker Street Irregulars series shows Terrance Dicks to be right at home in a London setting. Unlike his Doctor Who novelisations, the Holmes-inspired mystery is rich in background detail and characterisation, its investigation offering plenty of suspense!
Dr. Ninth by Adam Hargreaves (BBC, 2017) As if inspired by a particularly insipid Terrance Dicks novelisation, Hargreaves doesn’t so much attempt a mash-up here as a clumsy retelling of Rose’s first story. The text is belaboured and even the pictures offer little. Jack Harkness is a middling highpoint.
Star Quest: Spacejack! by Terrance Dicks (W. H. Allen, 1978) Drawing on the SF zeitgeist of the late 1970s, Dicks managed to channel Doctor Who, Star Wars, and even Planet of the Apes in this slim Middle Grade adventure. An easy, fast-paced read with decent characterisation and several positive (if overt) morals.
Doctor Who: Tomb of Valdemar by Simon Messingham (BBC, 2000) Messingham writes in the present tense, and with a framing device fit to discombobulate readers weaned on Terrance Dicks and the like. The result is a fully fledged SF novel that artfully showcases—rather than props itself up on—the Fourth Doctor.
Doctor Who: Night of the Humans by David Llewellyn (BBC, 2010) Whatever the story’s merits (the Doctor and Amy encounter shipwrecked aliens and bestial humans on a rubbish gyre in space), the writing makes this impossible to persist with. Not even by order of Terrance Dicks should young adult books be so unsophisticated.
Doctor Who and the Carnival of Monsters by Terrance Dicks; read by Katy Manning (Bolinda, 2014) [first published by Target, 1977] Precious few Target novelisations reach heights anywhere near those of the original broadcasts; certainly none by Terrance ‘run-of-the-mill’ Dicks. Carnival of Monsters is elevated somewhat in audiobook form by voice artist Katy Manning, whose range encompasses even a husky…