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The Smugglers:  The Edwardian Cricketer Media Review

The Smugglers: The Edwardian Cricketer Media Review

1st Doctor, Ben, Polly

Author: EdwardianCricketer/Friday, October 13, 2017/Categories: Blog, Book Review

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Doctor Who – The Smugglers, by Terrance Dicks, Target 1988.

Number 133 in the Doctor Who Library. 128 pages, paperback.

Original script by Brian Hayles, BBC 1966.


This adventure features the 1st Doctor, Ben, and Polly.



From A Brief History of Time Travel:

The Doctor, Polly and Ben find themselves on the Cornish coast in the 17th century. The Doctor is the lone witness to the dying words of a former pirate, who wishes to pass on the location of a buried treasure. Soon, however, the time travellers are pursued by the vicious Captain Pike, who is also in search of the treasure, and become embroiled in the covert smuggling operations of the era.


From The Doctor Who Reference Guide:

The Doctor, Ben and Polly arrive on a beach in 17th century Cornwall and soon become caught up in a web of intrigue. Pirates led by the villainous Captain Pike are searching for a hidden treasure, while a smuggling ring led by the local Squire is trying to offload contraband.

Ben and Polly are arrested for the murder of the local churchwarden. Meanwhile, the Doctor is kidnapped by Pike's men after overhearing a cryptic rhyme that holds the key to the treasure's location.

Can the TARDIS crew prevent the slaughter that seems inevitable, and still escape with their lives?

From the Target book back cover:

A 17th century Cornish town – villainous pirates roam the seas searching for treasure while the townspeople have turned to smuggling, wheeling and dealing in contraband.


Into this wild and remote place the TARDIS materializes and the Doctor and his companions find themselves caught up in the dubious activities of the locals.


When the Doctor is unwittingly given a clue to the whereabouts of the treasure the pirates are determined to extract the information at any cost…



This was good adventure to introduce Ben and Polly to travel in the TARDIS, the two characters having met the Doctor in the previous story, The War Machines, which saw the departure of Dodo. The televised story is among the lost ones, though the audio still exists. Terrance Dicks writes a good story in this novelization, though I have no visual context to which to compare. It has its slow moments but overall the pace is good. It’s not a great story, just good. It seemed like a fairly straightforward adventure story with pirates and smugglers and lost treasure. 






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