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Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child by…
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Showing 5 of 5
A fun, quick read :) ( )
  hopeevey | May 20, 2018 |
This is the novelisation of the first Doctor Who story, which is split over two time zones, always a rare event in Doctor Who, the present of the time; 1963 London, and an unspecified time period far in Earth's past where the local tribe had lost fire with the death of the old leader.

With Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright worried about Susan Foreman, who seemed to know far too much about her subjects they follow her back her her home, a rather unlikely scrap yard but it's what they find inside the abandoned police phone box that was to change lives...

Ian is sceptical even in the face of the clear facts of the interior of the TARDIS but when the party are taken prisoners by the stone age tribe, it's Ian's Scouting abilities that saves their lives.

As a story this isn't particularly brilliant, partly because it's an adaption so there's a limit to what Dicks could do to make things more exciting, but he doesn't really try to give us much more than a verbatum account of the TV episodes with no attempt to show an interior life to the characters. ( )
  JohnFair | Jan 25, 2015 |
The Doctor Who story that started it all! Here we are introduced to the Doctor as portrayed by William Hartnell, his granddaughter Susan (highly brilliant at science but quite ignorant of how many shillings are in a pound...this was pre-decimalization), and her teachers Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton. This is the story of their adventure in a prehistoric civilization populated with savage cave people. What trouble will they get into?

This novelization was very exciting and well written. Unlike Arc of Infinity, it felt more substantial than the shooting script with a couple of adverbs inserted. There was actual description and everything. If you can't get your hands on a copy of the actual episode, this book is a very good substitute. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Mar 12, 2011 |
The first quarter of the book is brilliant! The first time in the TARDIS, Ian and Barbara's reaction to the Doctor and the ship. Susan pleading with her grandfather to let her teachers go..all classic DW moments.
The rest of the story (the cavemen part) i found to be more interesting in print than on video, though to be fair, I was never that amazed by parts 2-4 on screen. Still, Its a decent story and a good introduction to Doctor Who...but the best is certainly yet to come.. ( )
  moz800 | Jun 24, 2008 |
http://nhw.livejournal.com/1012809.html

This is the novel version of the very first Doctor Who story, as broadcast in 1963. But the novel was not published until shortly before the story was shown again as part of the 1981 repeat season of the Five Faces of Doctor Who, so it ties much more into the continuity of the publication of dozens of Target novelisations of Who stories by the early 80s than into the TV programme's internal chronology starting on 23 November 1963. In fact, we already had a hard-copy version of the origins of Who in the form of David Whitaker's Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure With the Daleks, so Dicks was in the peculiar position of writing the story over again, of making the weirdness and newness of the 1963 story both accessible and intriguing to the 1981 fan.

Anyway, he largely succeeds. We have a bit more background to fill out both the first quarter of the book, set in a contemporary London school, and the rest, set in a stone age environment; indeed, Dicks fills out both settings perfectly satisfactorily. If you are looking for a good entry point to the Doctor Who novelisations, this is entirely characteristic and appropriate. (Fans of Barbara will rightly assert that their heroine comes over rather girly, but this is a common Terrance Dicks problem with assertive female characters.)

Of course, the story's main importance is as a gateway for things to come, and Dicks does really well in his last couple of paragraphs, when the travellers have once again landed on an unfamiliar planet:

The Doctor was about to meet the creatures who were destined to become his greatest enemies.

Out there on Skaro, the Daleks were waiting for him.


That, if nothing else, would make you want to read the next books in the sequence. ( )
  nwhyte | Mar 14, 2008 |
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