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The Dalek Invasion of Earth (The Black…

The Dalek Invasion of Earth (The Black Archive) (edition 2019)

by Jonathan Morris (Author)

Series: The Black Archive (30)

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Title:The Dalek Invasion of Earth (The Black Archive)
Authors:Jonathan Morris (Author)
Info:Obverse Books (2019)
Collections:Read in 2024, Your library
Tags:Doctor Who, Black Archive, monographs

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The Dalek Invasion of Earth by Jonathan Morris


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In essence, this is an analysis of the evolution of the story's script, which takes it a bit far off-model from the Black Archive's supposed focus on "themes and ideas" as opposed to production. Having noted that, there's probably no better example of Doctor Who to follow through that process: here, we are (briefly) given some inspirations for the story, followed by detailed analyses of Terry Nation's original draft script, the rehearsal script altered by David Whitaker, the camera script altered by Richard Martin, Milton Subotsky's initial film adaptation, and the film as produced. There's a slightly artificial progression there - I'm not sure how either of Subotsky's adaptations tell us anything of significance about the TV series or how it was made - but it's all very readable and makes an interesting examination of how different creators with different goals can approach the same detailed story and characters. ( )
  saroz | May 27, 2024 |

I really loved Morris's early Big Finish play Bloodtide and his Fourth Doctor novel Festival of Death, but this Black Archive monograph on The Dalek Invasion of Earth is the first non-fiction that I have read by him.

Unlike most of the other Black Archives, this concentrates largely on the development of the script and the story in its various iterations. Morris does enlarge on something I had learned from the DVD commentary. Originally the character of Jenny, played by Ann Davies (whose husband was Richard Briers), was to be a much younger Anglo-Indian girl, played by Pamela Franklin, who was then only 14, and would have ended the story replacing Susan by stowing away on the TARDIS. But the BBC bureaucracy screwed up on the contracts, and it didn’t work out.

On the one hand, it would have been great to have a non-white companion forty years before Martha Jones. On the other, we may have dodged a bullet: my impression is that Pamela Franklin, though born in Japan, has exclusively European ancestry, so she would have needed make-up for the role, which would have been very dubious indeed. She hit the big time a few years later as one of the pupils in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

The books has the following chapters, all fairly short:

An introduction where, like me, Morris reveals that the novelisation was the first Doctor Who book he ever bought (he was seven, I was ten)

Chapter 1, “The Return of the Daleks”, looking at the instability around the show and its place in the BBC in mid-1964, and the role of the Daleks in securing its future;

Chapter 2, “Doctor Who and the Daleks’, looks at the roots of the story in war stories, H.G. Wells and Earth vs the Flying Saucers;

Chapter 3, “The Invaders”, looks in detail at Terry Nation’s original script.

Chapter 4, “Serial K”, looks in detail at the changes made by David Whitaker to the script;

Chapter 5, “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”, looks at the changes to Whitaker’s script made by director Richard Martin and others as it was being filmed;

Chapter 6, “The Daleks are here!”, briefly looks at the way the story was marketed;

Chapter 7, “Daleks Invade Earth”, looks at Milton Subotsky’s original draft of the film script;

Chapter 8, “Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD“, looks at how the shooting script differed from Subotsky’s original draft;

Chapter 9, “Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth“, looks at Terrance Dicks’ novelisation;

and Chapter 10, “Legacy of the Daleks”, looks at how this story more than almost any other has been referenced explicitly and implicitly in later Doctor Who stories, both on and off screen. The book was written before the 2021 Big Finish play After the Daleks, but references among others Whatever Happened to Susan Foreman?, a BBC play in which she returns to our time and becomes a European Commissioner.

So, all meaty stuff. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 27, 2022 |
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