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Scream of the Shalka by Paul Cornell
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http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2043008.html

I was really surprised and pleased by how much I enjoyed this book, the novelisation of the webcast story starring Richard E. Grant as the other Ninth Doctor. Perhaps it is partly that, at least in the opening pages, it so consciously draws on the style of the Dicks and Hulke novelisations of the Third and Fourth Doctor stories which meant so much to fans of the same sort of age as the author and me. But also a lot of the sequencing that didn't quite work for me in the webcast seemed to me to be much better here: the Master's new situation, the reasons for the Doctor's emotional coldness, the back story to Alison's relationship. We do miss out on Conor Moloney's performance as Greaves, though. Perhaps the last week of work before the Christmas hols was a bad time to watch the webcast; I am certain that if I had read the book before watching it, I would have enjoyed both more.

Some of the similarities between Shalka continuity and New Who are even more noticeable here: that the Ninth Doctor is suffering PTSD after an awful war in which many people he cared about were killed, and that the new companion chooses to travel with the Doctor rather than remain in a (dull) interracial relationship. (As in Rose, there is also a monster leader underground controlling its minions who burst into the normal world to terrify humans, and the Doctor must descend to their lair to do battle, but those are fairly standard plot elements.)

The book also comes with a long afterword - a quarter of its total length - including the original story proposal and the author's account of how the story came to be made, told with Cornell's typical enthusiasm, but with first-hand accounts patched in from the production team as well. This may have turned out to be just a sidetrack in Who history but we are lucky that it is so well chronicled, including the story of how Cornell, on honeymoon in New Zealand, had to get a friend to break into his house to transmit the script to the BBC after an email went astray. It certainly adds to what is already a good book for fans to track down. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 26, 2012 |
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It was a high, sunny place, where everything was calm.
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This is the book. It should not be combined with the BBCi webcast.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0563486198, Paperback)

When the Doctor lands his TARDIS in the Lancaster town of Kennet, in the present day, he finds that something is terribly wrong. The people are scared. They don't like going out onto the streets at night, they don't like making too much noise, and they certainly don't like strangers asking too many questions. What alien force has invaded the town? Why is it watching barmaid Alison Cheney? And what plans does it have for the future of the planet Earth? While starting with a small community under threat, this old-fashioned, very traditional but very up to date Doctor Who adventure takes in the entire world, from New Zealand to India, Siberia to the USA, and cosmic expanses beyond.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:35 -0400)

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