Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child (lost unreleased BBC Audio & AudioGO audiobook; 2013-2014)

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Cover for the unreleased audiobook.

Status: Lost

Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child is an unreleased audiobook that was planned to be released in 2013 before being delayed to 2014 to celebrate Doctor Who's 50th anniversary.


In 2005, BBC Audio began to release audiobooks based on the Doctor Who novels published by Target Books between 1973-1994 with many of the original actors from the show returning to narrate the audiobooks. Then in 2010, AudioGO took over from releasing the audiobooks. So in 2013, to celebrate Doctor Who's 50th anniversary, BBC Audio and AudioGO planned to release an audiobook based on the very first Doctor Who episode "An Unearthly Child." However, rather than release an audiobook based on Terrance Dicks' novelization published in 1981, Nigel Robinson (editor of the Target Books Doctor Who range 1984-87) was commissioned to write a new novelization for the audiobook. This isn't the first time this has happened, David Fisher and Stephen Gallagher were commissioned to write new novelizations for audiobooks based on their Doctor Who episodes "The Stones of Blood," "The Androids of Tara," and "Warriors' Gate," released in 2011, 2012, and 2019 respectively.


It is unclear when the audiobook was fully recorded but it was completed. William Russell (who played Ian Chesterton in the original episode) narrated the audiobook. It was planned for release in November 2013 to coincide with Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. However, around the same month it was announced AudioGO was to enter administration after significant cashflow issues were discovered in October 2013 forcing the company to suspend all operations and cease trading.[1] The audiobook was soon delayed with a new release date of November 2014 appearing on Penguin Random House's website however it was taken down due to rights issues (presumably with Anthony Coburn's estate).


In 2021, Peter Shaw wrote an article on The Doctor Who Companion revealing he listened to the audiobook back in 2013 on a flight from Mumbai to England as it was included on the plane's in-flight entertainment. However, the article doesn't reveal which flight company had the audiobook and it is unclear how they got it before it's planned release. The audiobook hasn't been made available anywhere else and it is unknown if a copy exists in BBC Audio or Penguin Random House's archives.[2]

See Also

Doctor Who