Friday, 15 August 2014

Great Unreleased Doctor Who Merchandise of the 20th Century - part eight

More Armada Dr. Who Novels

Published by Armada Books Ltd - c1966 - original price: 2/6d

Armada books published several TV tie-ins in the sixties - notably ones based on a number of successful Gerry Anderson shows and The Secret Service. They were often written by one John Theydon - a pseudonym for a writer whose shame prevented him from wanting to be identified with a load of kids' books. (I reckon it was Harold Pinter). 

Armada also reprinted the original first Doctor Who novel in paperback which was based on the first Dalek story and written by David Whittaker who had no such shame. 

Tempted by the success of their new venture, Armada commissioned their mysterious Mr. Theydon to adapt the two Dalek movies into novels. This he did. But being cheapskates, the publishers refused to cough up a royalty payment to Terry Nation for the use of the Daleks on the cover. Although printed, it seems that some bod got cold feet about the project and, in a fit of pique, cancelled it - leaving us only a handful of proof editions to flog on Ebay today.

(As a footnote, pissed off by their encounter with Terry Nation's agent, Armada went for the next best thing - namely the newest monster on the block - The Ice Warriors. A cover was knocked up and things were all ready to proceed when someone realised they hadn't asked Brian Hayles to write it. Such is life.)

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