WHITTAKER, DAVID – DOCTOR WHO AND THE DALEKS. 1973 Target Books #16.
The First Doctor’s most famous adventure, given that it was the one that first introduces the Daleks, but sadly this book makes a complete hash of the novelisation of the story. For one thing, it deliberately bi-passes the preceding first true Dr. Who adventure, An Unearthly Child, to give the reader s the impression that the first adventure for the Time Lord was with The Daleks. In An Unearthly Child, the companions Ian and Barbara notice something unusual about Susan, a girl in their school. They find out that she is from another planet and end up trapped in time and space adventures with her and her Grandfather’s he Doctor. Their first adventure took them to earth in prehistoric times. The Daleks came on a later adventure. Whittaker, possibly under pressure from Target Books, has Ian And Barbara meet the Doctor after a car crash instead. They are then immediately whisked off to the planet Skaro to meet Daleks and Thals (the freedom fighters who are trying to deal with the metal monsters already. Here, the Doctor leads one attack on the Dalek city while Ian and Barbara approach with the Thals through a dangerous swamp round the back. The aim is to cut off the magnetic electrical energy that allows the Daleks to move around on their metal floor surfaces. The book makes quite a long Doctor Who adventure (Seven episodes) into a short book, made shorter with lots of line drawings, (a practice dropped in later work). Once he is confident that he can maintain the basic Dalek plot the author follows the script of the Terry Nation story closely if superficially. One of the most important of the novelizations, and a total mess. It is closer to the spirit of the Peter Cushing film than the original TV adventure. It makes matters worse that Target did eventually issue the true first story in the series, rendering he events in that awful opening chapter totally contradictory. http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~ecl6nb/OnTarget/
© Copyright. Arthur Chappell
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