The End of Time in The Three Doctors || BOOK REVIEW

Doctor Who: The Three Doctors by Terrance Dicks

3.5/5 STARS

Genre: Sci-Fi, Doctor Who
Author: Terrance Dicks
Published: November 1995
Publisher: BBC Books
Pages: 161 {paperback}

Review on Goodreads

this review is spoiler-free

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

I was skeptical at first, but this ended up being much better than I anticipated. Despite not being overly familiar with the Doctors that are in it, I thought it was very much so like any other good Doctor Who novel. I’m really curious to watch the TV serial that this one was based off, now too!

The Three Doctors

The Three Doctors is a short novel that is based off one of the old episodes of Doctor Who . It revolves around the Doctor and his companion — Jo — but in this particular story, events unfold that lead to there being three doctors all at once. These are the first three doctors: Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee.

The events of the book see the Doctor trying to stop the original Time Lord, Omega, from destroying the universe with a blackhole that he has created. Along the way, an alarming number of humans are wrapped up in the events and it’s really quite a busy and fun story.

I have to say this totally surprised me with how much I did end up liking it. I’m a Whovian through and through but I am infinitely more familiar with the reboot Doctors (nine onwards). So I was unsure as to how much I was enjoy this book, it being focussed on older regenerations.

But in the end, this is just as much fun as any other Doctor Who novel I’ve read and gives me confidence that it’s simply the familiarity with the show itself that makes it enjoyable, rather than the characters. Although I’m sure it would be even better if you had that familiarity, too.

Things I Found Difficult

Evidently, I did not give this a 5 star rating. Why? Because it was a very light-hearted book that just didn’t seem like it was up there with other books that I’ve rated so highly. Also because, my god, is it difficult to understand what is going on.

The basic premise of the story — there being a black hole that is slowly destroying the universe — is added to by “blob-monsters” as Dicks has named them (although in the serial they are referred to as “Gel Guards” during the credits). There is a lot of discussion (and it’s really rather crucial to the plot) about anti-matter and the like. Usually, I find all the crazy science stuff that the Doctor goes on about to be just fine; this time I confess I was so confused. I mean, at the end of the day I understood perfectly what was going on, but sometimes it was a little overkill.

I guess my ultimate reason for not rating it higher was just down to it being less complex that the show usually is. It wasn’t simple by any means – but it was much quicker and easier to resolve than Doctor Who tends to be. It was no brain-bamboozaler by The God Complex, that’s for sure.

What I Enjoyed

I absolutely loved the bickering and hilarity of the three Doctors together. I loved the subtly foreshadowing of how events were going to resolve themselves and I enjoyed the human companion’s contributions to the plot throughout.

It’s certainly worth a read if you are a Whovian, it’s the type of classic plot line that is just irresistible. Plus, the fact that maybe you don’t know these three Doctors too well isn’t really a problem — at the end of the day, the Doctor is the Doctor and you can see that classic bumbling idiot inside of him no matter what version.


In the end, this was a fun, quick-paced adventure that I’m glad to have finally read! I recommend this to any Whovian out there who has a spare few hours to give to this story and enjoy it. I’m certainly impressed with Dicks’ writing and keen to read more of his novelisations!

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Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~


3 thoughts on “The End of Time in The Three Doctors || BOOK REVIEW

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