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Doctor Who: Planet of Giants by Terrance…
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This 1990 novelisation of a 1964 TV story is a load of light fun. After an accident in transit, the time travellers find themselves shrunk to insectile proportions and stranded in the garden of a pleasant country house (OF DEATH – I almost feel obliged to add).

Doctor Who is a bit of a cultural sponge, and here the influences are fabulously early 60s: The Incredible Shrinking Man, Dixon of Dock Green. The plot about a ruthless businessman and his deadly insecticide wouldn't seem out of place in early era Avengers.

There's a joy to that clash of ideas, even if the story doesn't really explore its more interesting character angles; none of the regulars are that bothered by their reduction in size (they share the audience's assurance they'll be back to normal before the next adventure) and surprisingly little is made of the brilliantly conceived irony that the Doctor has finally got Ian and Barbara back to present day Earth only at the wrong size!

Still, it's a very light book (I got through it in more or less one sitting) and delivers you a happy shot of early 60s adventure for that. Fun and fittingly small. ( )
  m_k_m | Jun 6, 2017 |

I’m slightly surprised to report that Doctor Who - Planet of Giants is not bad at all, perhaps because it had only three episodes on TV and therefore Dicks has had to pad rather than summarise; and his own powers of invention, once brought to bear, are helpful. We do miss out on the broadcast story’s key selling point, the visual special effects of the Doctor and company miniaturised to an inch in height, but the plot as a whole does hang together, though fans of Barbara will (as usual) complain that Dicks doesn’t do her character much justice. And once again, as with Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child, Dicks finishes by telling us that the Daleks are out there waiting to start the next adventure which is a bit tedious second time round.. ( )
  nwhyte | Apr 1, 2008 |
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