Review: Doctor Who: Books: The Target Book

Target bookBy David J. Howe with Tim Neal

Telos, 2nd edition out April 28th

An exhaustive look at the Target range from its beginnings through to its recent resurrection…

If you’re a Doctor Who books fan, you’ve almost certainly heard about the new exhibition that’s coming at the end of this month, with some of – in a lot of fans’ opinion – the best Doctor Who artwork on display for the first time. Original pictures by Chris Achilleos and those who followed him can be seen (and organiser Ed Russell has suggested that if this one is successful, a sequel may follow). The exhibition coincides with the re-release of seven books from the Target range, the 80s Doctors books with new art by Achilleos in the style of the originals.

It also coincides with the release of this updated guide from Telos to the range. Those who were able to get hold of the original edition from 2007 will know already what a well put together book this is, with a great deal of insight into the creation of the Target novelisations, with input from many of those involved with it. Full disclosure – I’ve known David Howe for nearly 40 years, and his love for these books has spanned the entire time (as has mine – my first interview ever was with Terrance Dicks); that affection for the range comes through every page.

There’s been various bits of error correction across the board, but the most interesting part is the new material in the Appendices, which deals with the revival of the Target books, firstly via audio and then in print. Most fascinating are the sketches for the new covers – which explains something about the Colin Baker Varos picture that had been nagging at the back of my mind ever since seeing it.

If you’ve not got a copy, and you either love the books themselves, the art from them, or the audio versions, then get ordering now!

Verdict: The perfect companion to the new exhibition – and a lasting souvenir of one of the most important elements of Doctor Who. 10/10

Paul Simpson

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