However you embrace Classic Who in this modern day and age is up to you. Whether it’s for free on Dailymotion, listening to soundtracks, or buying the DVDs; it doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it. Me personally? I buy DVDs. Turning the light off, grabbing a pile of pillows and experiencing the stories in their full glory on the TV screen; nothing beats it. I’m very interested in a career in TV too, so the special features and interviews are right up my street. A new thing that’s taken me by storm however is Target Novels.
Born in 1998, I was the perfect age to experience the revived series when Doctor Who came back in 2005. The first four series of the new series’ were the best in my opinion so I’m glad to have watched it through the eyes of a youngster. However, being born so late in the Doctor Who timeline means I wouldn’t get to watch the Classic series through the eyes of a seven year old, or even worse, the missing stories in general. Missing greats such as The Power of the Daleks because I was born almost 40 years too late is devastating. But now, thanks to the wizardry of internet shopping, I can read them in Target Novel form.
Again, being born late means I missed the printing of the Target Novel series. Thankfully, you can still buy them. Some sites, like Whoone, sell them as brand new books. I don’t know where they get them but it doesn’t matter when I get them for good prices and good quality. Other sites, such as eBay, allows sellers to pass on books, read or unread, to the highest bidder; and you can win with fairly low bids too! I usually have a quick surf on the internet first to make sure what I’m about to buy is a good price, for there are some greedy buggers that’ll rip you off completely, but usually, someone somewhere will be selling the desired Target Novels for a fairly good price (depending on rarity).
A lot of people don’t bother with Target Novels, you can watch every existing story for free on Dailymotion, you can even watch the reconstructions on there too; but that’s not what I like to do. I love having Doctor Who memorabilia being posted through the letterbox, the wait is just as exciting. It makes me feel like a kid from the 70s or 80s who grew up with it because I often wish I did. For me, having everything readily available for free is nowhere near as fun as having it in physical form because there is no greater feeling in the world than putting a Doctor Who disc into a DVD player. Opening a Target Novel gives off the same feeling. The smell of the pages, understanding a missing story; I love all of it!
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be wonderers in the 4th dimension? (Sorry if my quote is slightly wrong). Well Mr. H, with a Target Novel, you get to experience the 4th dimension of Doctor Who: thoughts and feelings. You also get more of a chance to explore a planet or time, admiring great structures that are built with the precisest of detail in your mind’s eye. There’s also no way to complain about bad effects or production. Maybe fans of the revived series who refuse to go back because of “wobbly sets” and “bad effects” should have a read of the Target Novels to appreciate how good Classic stories were – and still are – despite the lower budgets and undeveloped technology. That would give us Classic fans a break from the same old excuses. (I’d like to point out that’s aimed at stubborn fans of the new series and not all as I for one am also a fan of both!)
I’ve briefly touched upon it already, but the main reason I got into Target Novels was because reading them gave me a chance to experience the missing stories, and wow some of the good. Marco Polo, The Massacre, The Power of the Daleks; I’d recommend them all. Just because you can’t watch it, definitely does not make it any less exciting. It’s for this reason that I carried on buying past the missing stories and into the novels of the 70s and 80s eras too. The Target Novels give me such an amazing feeling just looking at them on my bookshelf, and I think if you’ve never read one before, you should go on to eBay or Whoone, find your favourite story, buy it, and tell me if you enjoyed it. I can guarantee that you will. I also think that it’d be cool to see the new series’ get novelised so I can compare and contrast the stories for what they are and not just for the effects. If you agree that the old Targets should be reprinted and sold in shops; and that the new series should receive novelisation, then the protest starts here. Maybe I’ll rewrite them…