City of Death (official novelisation)
 

No. 408 of 550 in the Miscellaneous books series
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By:James Goss
Rating:   9.2  (6 votes)  Vote here
Review:  Well worth the (36 year) wait  Read more (4 in total)
Editions:  UK (hardback) | US (hardback) | Italy (paperback) | Brazil (paperback) | Germany (paperback) | Hungary (paperback) | UK (paperback) | US (paperback) | Czech Republic (hardback) | Turkey (paperback) | China (paperback) | Russia (hardback) | UK (abridged paperback)
Note:Also available as an audio reading. Novelisation of the classic 1979 Tom Baker TV story. Had been previously published as an "unofficial novelisation" by the New Zealand Fan Club, but never had a BBC-licenced adaptation for many years, due to Douglas Adams being unable to agree terms with publishers to write the novelisation (or allow another author to do so) before his untimely death in 2001. Was originally announced for publication in 2014 with Gareth Roberts as the author, but when Roberts found himself unable to make progress on the project, it was pushed back to 2015 with James Goss as the author instead.

Cover image for City of Death (official novelisation)
Edition: UK (hardback)
When:  May 2015
Publisher:  BBC Books
ISBN:978-1-84990-675-3
Format: hardback
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Cover blurb:
No blurb on back cover, simply an X-Ray picture of the Mona Lisa with "This Is A Fake" scrawled across it. Inside cover flaps read as follows:

'You're tinkering with time. That's always a bad idea unless you know what you're doing.'

The Doctor takes Romana for a holiday in Paris — a city which, like a fine wine, has a bouquet all of its own. Especially if you visit during one of the vintage years. But the TARDIS takes them to 1979, a table-wine year, a year whose vintage is soured by cracks — not in their wine glasses but in the very fabric of time itself.

Soon the Time Lords are embroiled in an audacious alien scheme which encompasses home-made time machines, the theft of the Mona Lisa, the resurrection of the much-feared Jagaroth race, and the beginning (and quite possibly the end) of all life on Earth.

Aided by British private detective Duggan, whose speciality is thumping people, the Doctor and Romana must thwart the machinations of the suave, mysterious Count Scarlioni — all twelve of him — if the human race has any chance of survival.

But then, the Doctor's holidays tend to turn out a bit like this.

Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in 1952, and was educated at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge, where he read English. As well as writing all the different and conflicting versions of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy he has been responsible for Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, and, with John Lloyd, The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff. In 1978-9, he worked as Script Editor on Doctor Who. He wrote three scripts for the programme — 'The Pirate Planet', 'City of Death' (under the name David Agnew), and 'Shada'. Douglas Adams died in May 2001.

James Goss is the author of two Doctor Who novels: The Blood Cell and Dead of Winter, as well as Summer Falls (on behalf of Amy Pond). He is also the co-author, with Steve Tribe, of The Doctor: His Lives and Times, The Dalek Handbook and Doctor Who: A History of the Universe in 100 Objects. While at the BBC James produced an adaptation of Shada, an unfinished Douglas Adams Doctor Who story, and Dirk is his award-winning stage adaptation of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. His Doctor Who audiobook Dead Air won Best Audiobook 2010 and his books Dead of Winter and First Born were both nominated for the 2012 British Fantasy Society Awards.

Cover image for City of Death (official novelisation)
Edition: US (hardback)
When:  October 2015
Publisher:  Ace Books
ISBN:978-0-425-28390-5
Format: hardback
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Cover blurb:
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Cover image for La Città della Morte
Edition: Italy (paperback)
Title:  La Città della Morte
When:  October 2015
Publisher:  Mondadori
ISBN:978-88-04-65614-2
Format: paperback
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Cover blurb:
Il Doctor Who porta la sua Romana in vacanza a Parigi: una città che è come un buon vino, possiede un carattere particolare, uno stile proprio, tutto da assaporare. Certo, come un buon vino, occorre sceglierlo di un'annata memorabile. Peccato però che il 1979, l'anno scelto, dal TARDIS, sia più che altro un'annata... da vino da tavola! Pazienza. D'altro canto il Dottore e Romana avranno poco tempo da dedicare alle attività ricreative. I Signori del Tempo, infatti, intessono un'audace trama che comprende macchine del tempo fai-da-te, il furto della Monna Lisa, la rinascita dei terribili Jagaroth, nonché la comparsa (e probabilmente anche la scomparsa) della vita sulla Terra. Le speranze di sopravvivenza della specie umana sono nelle mani del Dottore e di Romana, aiutati dal detective inglese Duggan. Riusciranno a sventare i piani dell'affascinante, misterioso conte Scarlioni? Basato sullo scritto originale di Douglas Adams, La città della morte si ispira all'omonima microserie dello sceneggiato "Doctor Who", andata in onda per la prima volta nell'autunno 1979: uno degli episodi più amati di sempre del longevo serial con oltre sedici milioni di spettatori.

Cover image for Cidade da Morte
Edition: Brazil (paperback)
Title:  Cidade da Morte
When:  November 2015
Publisher:  Suma de Letras
ISBN:978-85-8105-313-4
Format: paperback
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Cover image for Die Stadt des Todes
Edition: Germany (paperback)
Title:  Die Stadt des Todes
When:  November 2015
Publisher:  Cross Cult
ISBN:978-3-86425-793-3
Format: paperback
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Cover image for A Halál Városa
Edition: Hungary (paperback)
Title:  A Halál Városa
When:  November 2015
Publisher:  Gabo
ISBN:978-963-406-161-8
Format: paperback
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Cover image for City of Death (official novelisation)
Edition: UK (paperback)
When:  February 2016
Publisher:  BBC Books
ISBN:978-1-84990-676-0
Format: paperback
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Cover blurb:
'You're tinkering with time. That's always a bad idea unless you know what you're doing.'

The Doctor takes Romana for a holiday in Paris — a city which, like a fine wine, has a bouquet all its own. But the TARDIS takes them to 1979, a year whose vintage is soured by cracks in the very fabric of time itself.

Soon the Time Lords are embroiled in an audacious alien scheme involving home-made time machines, the Mona Lisa, the resurrection of the much-feared Jagaroth race, and the beginning (and quite possibly the end) of all life on Earth.

But then, the Doctor's holidays tend to turn out a bit like this.

'An elegant classy novel' Doctor Who Magazine

'It's a beautiful collaboration, a work of love, and a celebration of the very best of Doctor Who that's luminous with joy' CultBox

Cover image for City of Death (official novelisation)
Edition: US (paperback)
When:  August 2016
Publisher:  Ace Books
ISBN:978-0-425-28391-2
Format: paperback
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Cover image for Město Smrti
Edition: Czech Republic (hardback)
Title:  Město Smrti
When:  October 2016
Publisher:  Argo
ISBN:978-80-257-1957-2
Format: hardback
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Cover image for Ölüm Şehri
Edition: Turkey (paperback)
Title:  Ölüm Şehri
When:  December 2016
Publisher:  Ithaki Yayinlari
ISBN:978-605-375-617-0
Format: paperback
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Cover image for City of Death (official novelisation)
Edition: China (paperback)
When:  April 2017
Publisher:  Shanghai Translation Publishing House
ISBN:978-7-5327-7388-6
Format: paperback
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Cover image for Доктор Кто. Город смерти
Edition: Russia (hardback)
Title:  Доктор Кто. Город смерти
When:  20 February 2018
Publisher:  AST
ISBN:978-5-17-102503-8
Format: hardback
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Cover image for City of Death (official novelisation)
Edition: UK (abridged paperback)
When:  5 April 2018
Publisher:  BBC Books
ISBN:978-1-78594-327-0
Format: paperback
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Note:  Abridged version of the novel, to fit in with the Target-style novelisations of new series episodes being released at the same time.

Cover blurb:
The key to Earth's destruction lies buried in its past.

Visiting Paris in 1979, the Doctor and Romana's hopes for a holiday are soon shattered by armed thugs, a suave and dangerous Count, a plot to steal the Mona Lisa and a world-threatening experiment with time.

Teaming up with a British detective, the Time Lords discover that a ruthless alien plot hatched in Earth's pre-history has reached its final stage. If Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth, cannot be stopped then the human race is history, along with all life on Earth...

This novel is based on a Doctor Who story which was originally broadcast from 29 September — 20 October 1979.

Feturing the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker with his companion Romana



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