Saturday, August 19, 2017

Doctor Who and the Face of Evil by Terrance Dicks

(1978: twenty-fifth book in the Doctor Who series. Based on Chris Boucher's teleplay.)

From the back cover

"Setting the controls for Earth, the Fourth Doctor is surprised when the Tardis lands in a primeval forest. Has the Tracer gone wrong or has some impulse deep in the unconscious mind directed him to this alien planet? In investigating the forest, the Doctor meets and assists Leela, a warrior banished from her tribe, the Sevateem. Through Leela, it gradually becomes apparent that the constant war between the Sevateem and the Tesh has been instigated by the god they both worship, Xoanon.

"Xoanon, an all-powerful computer, is possessed by a desperate madness – a madness that is directly related to Doctor Who, that causes Xoanon to assume the voice and form of the Doctor, a madness that is partly caused by the Doctor and that only the Doctor himself can rectify!

"The Doctor must not only do battle with Xoanon, but also must escape from the savage practices of the Sevateem, and the technically mind-controlling destructive impulses of the Tesh."


Face is an entertaining, word-lean, plot-swift and sometimes humorous science fiction novel that reflects its source television episodes. It is an excellent adaptation, one worth owning.


The four-part television serial this novel is based on aired on the BBC channel between January 1st and 22nd, 1977. Pennant Roberts directed it, from Chris Boucher's teleplay. 

Tom Baker played The Doctor. Louise Jameson played Leela. Brendan Price played Tomas. 

Leslie Schofield played Calib. David Garfield played Neeva. Leon Eagles played Jabel. Mike Elles played Gentek. Peter Baldock played "Acolyte". Roy Herrick provided the voice of Xoanon.

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