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REWRITING HISTORY

Between 1984 and 1987, editor Nigel Robinson brought a fan’s insight and enthusiasm to the Target Doctor Who range.
Clockwise: Author and former Target Books editor Nigel Robinson today; Tony Masero’s cover painting for Doctor Who – The Reign of Terror (1987); a 1980s badge promoting the Doctor Who book range; and the Doctor Who television logo that was introduced in 1987.
Nigel began his career with The Tolkien Quiz Book (co-written with Linda Wilson, published by Star in 1981), The Doctor Who Quiz Book (Target, 1981) and The Second Doctor Who Quiz Book (Target, 1982).

“It really was a dream come true,” says Nigel Robinson of his time editing the Doctor Who Target Books range. Now editor of the magazine Pride Life, he says, “Of all the jobs I’ve had, those four years working for Target were the best four years of my life. I really loved it.

“I’d just finished university,” he explains. “Way back then, when you finished, you went straight on the dole. I was on it for about a year, and just to pass the time with a friend of mine, Linda Wilson, who was at sixth form college, we started quizzing each other on The Lord of the Rings, as we were both madly into JRR Tolkien. After a while, we thought, ‘Let’s make this into a book.’ We created a manuscript and we sold it to Star Books as The Tolkien Quiz Book [1981]. Star Books was the paperback imprint of WH Allen, who owned Target.

The Tolkien Quiz Book did well, so I said to WH Allen, ‘I like Doctor Who, do you want a Doctor Who quiz book?’ Linda didn’t like Doctor Who at all, so I put it together on my own. When I pitched the idea, the series was just becoming big business in America – this was 1982-83. I ultimately did three quiz books and a crossword book.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Considered a unique record of Doctor Who’s history in the era before fanzines, official magazines and home video, Target books are probably the most cherished items of merchandise inspired by the show. They’re certainly the most commercially successful. From the early 1970s to the early 90s, it’s estimated that Target sold over eight million novelisations and other Doctor Who books. This is the inside story of a legendary imprint, from its rise and fall to its triumphant revival in 2018. Highlights include exclusive interviews with the key players, numerous rare images and extracts from two unpublished manuscripts.