The Day of the Doctor (novelisation)

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The Day of the Doctor was a novelisation based on the 2013 television episode The Day of the Doctor, and additionally incorporated the mini-episode The Night of the Doctor into its narrative. It was published simultaneously with Rose, The Christmas Invasion, and Twice Upon a Time in 2018 and thus was tied with those stories as the first release under the Target Books banner since The Paradise of Death in 1994.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

Meet the new Doctor Who classics.

When the entire universe is at stake, three different Doctors will unite to save it.  The Tenth Doctor is hunting shape-shifting Zygons in Elizabethan England. The Eleventh is investigating a rift in space-time in the present day. And one other – the man they used to be but never speak of – is fighting the Daleks in the darkest days of the Time War. Driven by demons and despair, this battle-scarred Doctor is set to take a devastating decision that will threaten the survival of the entire universe... a decision that not even a Time Lord can take alone.

On this day, the Doctor's different incarnations will come together to save the Earth... to save the universe... and to save his soul.

Chapter titles[[edit]]

8. The Night of the Doctor (authored by the War Doctor)

11. The Flight of the Doctor (authored by the Eleventh Doctor)

1. The War of the Doctor (authored by the War Doctor)

10. The Love of the Doctor (authored by the Tenth Doctor)

12. The Leap of the Doctor (authored by the Eleventh Doctor)

2. The Children of the Doctor (authored by the War Doctor)

9. The Truth of the Doctor (Only contains pre-chapter notes, the actual chapter not included)

3. 400 years of the Doctor (authored by the Eleventh Doctor)

4. In the Absence of the Doctor (authored by Petronella Osgood and the Zygons)

5. The Wedding of the Doctor (authored by the War Doctor)

6. Dearest Petronella (authored by Petronella Osgood)

7. The Day of the Doctor (authored by the War Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor and the Twelfth Doctor)

13. The Doctor (authored by the Thirteenth Doctor)

Deviations from televised story[[edit]]

  • The book features scenes from the viewpoint of the Curator.
  • There are scenes featuring the Thirteenth Doctor, Mr Armitage, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and River Song, none of whom featured in the original TV version (barring a photograph of the Brigadier).
  • When the Doctors are interacting, it is unclear which incarnation is speaking. According to the Curator, the Doctor does not number his incarnations, merely identifying as the Doctor.
  • As most of the story is told in the first person from the perspective of different characters, the Moment's role in the story is dramatically reduced and several scenes are omitted such as the Eleventh Doctor's dream and the War Doctor's regeneration.
  • The Moment's character is altered slightly, and brought into more morally grey territory; it expresses that it would enjoy destroying the Time Lords and Daleks, but refrains due to its conscience. In the original episode, it is never expressed by the Moment that it has any desire to activate.
  • Osgood and McGillop have romantic feelings for one another.
  • Osgood has made it a personal mission to number the Doctor's incarnations. Apparently she has several tattoos of the Doctor's faces.
  • Kate frequently calls Osgood "Petronella", predating the name being revealed in The Zygon Inversion.
  • The Curator reveals that he made the robot magpies for the Tower of London and often meets Clara for tea but pretends not to remember her.
  • The events of The Night of the Doctor are retold. Cass' last name is given as Fermazzi and Ohila reveals that the regeneration potion she gave the Eighth Doctor was in reality just lemonade and dry ice.
  • It is explained that Cass' ship was shot down by the Time Lords after they indiscriminately opened fire on a group of ships including Dalek ones.
  • Before regenerating, in addition to mentioning Charley, C'rizz, Lucie, Tamsin and Molly, all Big Finish companions, the Eighth Doctor also mentions Fitz from the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures.
  • The colour balance in the War Doctor's new eyes are different, and he muses that he remembers his first and second incarnations to be colour-blind, and did not realise this until his third incarnation.
  • The War Doctor tricks his way into the Time Lords' Vault by claiming the Doctor is already in there. It is mentioned he burned the "No More" message on Skaro after destroying half the Emperor's fleet.
  • The Eleventh Doctor tells Clara about the events of his last regeneration (only to realise Clara isn't there and he's talking to himself). When examining his new face, he explicitly identifies himself as the eleventh face. The War Doctor's voice rebukes this and dared him to deny his existence.
  • Mr. Armitage knows that the Doctor is an alien because the head of the board told him about this.
  • The Eleventh Doctor, when Clara is pressing for information about his marriage to Elizabeth I, mentions that he has been married a lot and possibly is married to Jack Harkness. However he is unsure due to there being many people in the same room at the time which suggests the marriage, if it even happened, was accidental.
  • The Tenth Doctor's meeting with Elizabeth is elaborated on: she had him tortured and sentenced to beheading as a spy but gave a stay of execution for the picnic.
  • The Tenth Doctor's horse is identified by the name Alison despite the horse being male. This references a similar scene in A Town Called Mercy.
  • The Tenth Doctor tells the rabbit he is 900 years old, rather than 904.
  • The Eleventh Doctor states he can't wear the fezzes he has in the TARDIS because they were presents from Tommy. This is likely a reference to the comedian and magician Tommy Cooper, who wore a fez as part of his routine.
  • Both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor see some of the War Doctor's memories, including his encounter with the Moment and they are confused as to how he could remember Rose Tyler.
  • The journey from Richmond to the Tower of London is expanded upon.
  • It is said that the Ninth Doctor, soon after regenerating, smashed every mirror in the TARDIS to avoid seeing his new face, and thought of how many children he must save to make up for the ones killed on Gallifrey.
  • The Ninth Doctor let a therapy robot loose in the TARDIS, which was found centuries later by the Eleventh Doctor and River Song. It is implied that River used the robot to erase the Eleventh Doctor's memory of how many children there were on Gallifrey.
  • The Tenth Doctor's reaction to the Eleventh Doctor forgetting the number of children on Gallifrey is far more violent, to the point he actually strikes his future incarnation. The exchange between the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors directly after is also omitted, replaced instead by the War Doctor attempting to prevent further violence.
  • Kate (or rather her Zygon duplicate) remembers seeing the Fourth Doctor and Sarah with her father as a child, when the Doctor got his scarf caught in a door and thought he was trapped in a forcefield.
  • The mental state of Atkins is expanded upon, and he is killed by the Zygon Kate Stewart.
  • Elizabeth tells the Doctors her men can take care of any Zygons remaining in her time.
  • Osgood senses that her Zygon duplicate likes being her and gives her permission to carry on.
  • The Black Archive includes VHS cassettes of two "Dr. Who" movies starring Peter Cushing, Daleks: Invasion Earth and one other; the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors watch the movies and pitch a third one to Cushing on the phone. They both call each other Dr. Who for fun.
  • Moving Gallifrey into the painting disrupts its atmosphere; the Twelfth Doctor visits the War Room to coordinate disaster relief.
  • The thirteen Doctors help out on Gallifrey saving people from numerous natural disasters caused by trying to shift Gallifrey into another dimension.
  • The Doctor's other incarnations visited the Under Gallery for a tea party right before the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors arrived.
  • Chapter 13 shows the Thirteenth Doctor meeting Cass.
  • After the events of the Time War, the Doctor has several more encounters with the Moment where he questions her about why she didn't want to destroy the Time Lords.

Writing and publishing notes[[edit]]

  • Each chapter is written from the perspective of a different character, often by one of the Doctors, but usually referring to himself in the third person. The inter-chapter notes specify that it is up to the reader to identify who the author of each chapter is.
  • Chapter 9 is listed as highly confidential. It is implied that Chapter 9 contains information about the Silence and so readers cannot remember reading it. It is also stated it somehow solves many Doctor Who mysteries.
  • The novel is in memory of Sir John Hurt, who portrayed the War Doctor in the TV series.
  • This release marked Steven Moffat's first ever novel, both for the franchise and overall.[1] Prior to this, his literary contributions to the franchise had been in the form of short stories.
  • The revision that the Eighth Doctor drank lemonade and dry ice and not an elixir is a tacit way of indicating his actor, Paul McGann, had this drink for the pivotal regeneration.
  • A reference to the Peter Cushing films was originally planned for the televised story, but rights could not be obtained to display the posters from the two Dr. Who films. The concept of Cushing being pitched a third film relates to the fact a third Dr. Who film was planned but not produced.



This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 21 June 2018 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Nicholas Briggs.

External links[[edit]]