Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Phil Ford. The Sarah Jane Adventures: Eye of the Gorgon. London: Penguin, 2007.
Official BBC website (accessed: October 17, 2018)
Children (Children’s Science Fiction television novelization, with large print and colour photographs from the television episodes)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Amanda Potter, Open University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, email@example.com
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
, b. 1950
Phil Ford is a British television writer who has written episodes for a number of series for adults and children. From 1997 he worked on a number of series aimed at adults for ITV including soap opera Coronation Street and drama series The Bill and Bad Girls. His first work on science fiction for children was the animated ITV series Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlett in 2005, prior to working on Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Wizards vs Aliens for the BBC, alongside Russell T. Davies. He has written novelizations of three of his Sarah Jane television episodes, Eye of the Gorgon, Day of the Clown and The Lost Boy, and The Sarah Jane Adventures Quiz Book – all published by Penguin for BBC Children’s Books – and an original Torchwood book, Skypoint. He also created the Doctor Who Adventure Games, computer games linked to the series. Ford describes himself on Twitter as “Screenwriter. A lot of sci-fi and fantasy. I admit it, I like to scare people and make them cry” (accessed: July 3, 2018).
Bio prepared by Amanda Potter, Open University, email@example.com
[See episodes summary]
A primary difference from the episodes is how information about the Gorgon is introduced. In the episode,s Sarah Jane and Maria read a book about Greek mythology from Sarah Jane’s bookshelf, but in the novelization they first discuss this in the car (without the aid of a book) and then Sarah Jane reads from "an elaborate volume on Greek Mythology" which she finds when she is locked in in the Abbey library by the nuns. This allows more information to be provided in the novelization on the story of Perseus and Medusa, than is provided in the episodes.
Following the two television episodes Eye of the Gorgon parts 1 and 2, the novelization brings the mythological creatures (the Gorgons) into the modern world, explaining that they are actually aliens from another planet. As a novelization rather than a separate novel, the story is adapted from the television episode content, and follows the plot closely. It is aimed primarily at children who have watched the series. It allows children who have seen these particular episodes to revisit the story in more detail. However, the novelization can stand alone, and does not rely on information from the episodes to aid understanding. Therefore, children who are interested in the series but have not seen these particular episodes would also be part of the target market,
The novelization provides more background about the mythical characters than the television episodes, so a fuller version of the story of Perseus is included, In the television episode, Sarah Jane tells Maria that "Perseus killed Medusa as a challenge", but in the book readers are told that King Polydectes sent Perseus to kill Medusa and bring back her head as a wedding present, as he was forcing Perseus’ mother to marry him, and that Perseus obtains a sword and shield from the gods. Perseus uses the shield as a mirror to allow him to kill Medusa without being turned to stone, and on his return uses Medusa’s head to turn Polydectes to stone. Also, readers learn that the ancient Greeks had poets "like Homer" instead of news reporters, and that the origins of stories about monsters could be encounters with aliens, which is a familiar trope in science fiction generally, including Doctor Who. As the novelization is aimed at children rather than adults this knowledge is aimed at the child readers.
Like the episodes, the book does not draw on any ancient sources, and does not require any knowledge of Greek mythology, as the story of Perseus and Medusa is explained sufficiently to allow readers to connect the polished shield of Perseus with Bea’s mirror. Homer is mentioned as a Greek poet, but no further information about him is given.
Burge, Anthony Jessica Burke and Kristine Larsen, eds.(2010) The Mythical Dimensions of Doctor Who (CreateSpace Independent Publishing.
Butler, David, ed. (2007) Time and Relative Dissertations in Space: Critical Perspectives on Doctor Who (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press.
Garner, Ross P., Melissa Beattie and Una McCormack, eds. (2010) Impossible Worlds, Impossible Things: Cultural Perspectives on Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures, , Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.
Hills, Matt, ed. (2013) New Dimensions of Doctor Who: Adventures in Space, Time and Television (London and New York: IB Tauris.
Keen, A. G. (2010) “It’s about Tempus: Greece and Rome in “classic” Doctor Who’, David C. Wright, Jr. and Allan W. Austin, eds., Space and Time: Essays on Visions of History in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, pp. 100-115.
Potter, Amanda (Forthcoming 2018) ‘Greek Myth in the Whoniverse’ in Broadcasting Greece: Engagements with Ancient Greece on British Radio and Television, eds. Amanda Wrigley and Fiona Hobden, Edinburgh, EUP.
Useful fan sites:
tardis.wikia.com (accessed: August 17, 2018).
thedoctorwhosite.co.uk (accessed: August 17, 2018).