July 21 in Doctor Who

The Underwater Menace was published 30 years ago today

Doctor Who – The Underwater Menace by Nigel Robinson (Target Books)
The Underwater Menace was a novelisation based on the 1967 television serial The Underwater Menace.

When the TARDIS lands on a deserted volcanic island the Doctor and his companions find themselves kidnapped by primitive sea-people. Taken into the bowels of the earth they discover they are in the lost kingdom of Atlantis.

Offered as sacrifices to the fish-goddess, Amdo, the Doctor and his companions are rescued from the jaws of death by the famous scientist, Zaroff.

But they are still not safe and nor are the people of Atlantis. For Zaroff has a plan, a plan that will make him the greatest scientist of all time – he will raise Atlantis above the waves – even if it means destroying the world…


July 20 in Doctor Who

Death to the Daleks was published 40 years ago today

Doctor Who – Death to the Daleks by Terrance Dicks (Target Books)
Death to the Daleks was a novelisation based on the 1974 television serial Death to the Daleks. It was reissued in 1991 with a different cover.

A mysterious power-loss strands the TARDIS on Exxilon, a sinister fog-shrouded alien planet. Forced to brave the dangers of the planet, the Doctor meets the survivors of a beleaguered expedition from Earth searching for a precious mineral that can save the galaxy from a terrible space-plague. Sarah finds a mysterious super-City and becomes a captive of the savage Exxilons, and, worst of all, the Doctor’s greatest enemies, the dreaded Daleks, arrive on a secret mission of their own.
What terrifying power makes captives of all who come to the planet? What is the secret of the mysterious deserted City with its great flashing beacon? And what sinister plan has brought the Daleks to Exxilon? The Doctor and Sarah must risk their lives time and again in a desperate attempt to foil the Daleks and save millions of humans from the horrific plague.


July 13 on TV

40 years ago today, Top Gear shifted to BBC 1 Midlands to BBC 2 nationwide

Top Gear (1977-2001), title card (1977-1983)

The original Top Gear started as a monthly television series produced by BBC Midlands and presented by Angela Rippon and Tom Coyne. The 30 minute programmes had a magazine format, and were transmitted at first to viewers in the Midlands region only.  The programme covered motoring related issues, such as new car road tests, fuel economy, safety, the police, speeding, insurance, second hand cars and holiday touring.

Top Gear (1978-2001), title (1986-1987)

The BBC network took Top Gear and it became a weekly 30 minute BBC Two programme on July 13, 1978. Angela Rippon continued as presenter with new co-presenter, racing commentator, Barrie Gill. Noel Edmonds joined the team in the second networked series, eventually taking over from Rippon in 1980. Edmonds was replaced by Tomorrow’s World‘s William Woollard in 1981 who would front the programme for 10 years.

Top Gear (1978-2001), title (1994-2001)

Jeremy Clarkson joined the team in 1988, until 1998.  Ex-car salesman Quentin Willson was added in 1991, and James May appeared in the final two seasons, when the original format ended in 2001.  Clarkson and May would return in a revamped version in 2002, joined by Richard Hammond and the Stig.