The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.
With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the Devil.
Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. And the Doctor’s worst nightmares are coming out to play..
The novelisation is based on the script for an idea by Tom Baker and Ian Marter to take Doctor Who to the big screen, with them reprising their roles of the Doctor and Harry alongside Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah. Despite their enthusiasm for the project, a lack of funds to produce the project eventually led to it being abandoned.
The script itself was thought lost until a copy was discovered in 2006 at the British Film Institute where it had been donated to by former Doctor Who producer John Nathan Turner before his death in 2002. It has been adapted by James Goss, who has previously novelised fourth Doctor adventures penned by Douglas Adams for BBC Books.
Speaking about the project, Tom said
I love the improbability of Doctor Who. Reason plays no part at all. As in religion, the overriding thing is faith. It may be improbable, but just believe in it and it’ll all come right.
When I was approached about the book, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I’m always on the lookout for a novelty. I’m very enthusiastic as I get close to darkness.
The novelisation will also be released as an audiobook by BBC Audio on the same day, read by Tom himself.