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The mysterious Doctor and his granddaughter Susan are joined by unwilling adventurers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright in an epic struggle for survival on an alien planet.In a vast metal city they discover the survivors of a terrible nuclear war - the Daleks. Held captive in the deepest levels of the city, can the Doctor and his new companions stop the Daleks' plan to totally exterminate their mortal enemies, the peace-loving Thals? More importantly, even if they can escape from the Daleks, will Ian and Barbara ever see their home planet Earth again?This novel is based on the second Doctor Who story which was originally broadcast from 21 December 1963-1 February 1964. Featuring the First Doctor as played by William Hartnell, and his companions Susan, Ian and Barbara… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This is a mostly faithful novelization of the second Doctor Who serial, The Daleks. The biggest change comes about because there is no novelization of the first serial, and so the story of how Ian and Barbara first met the Doctor, and his kidnapping them, is instead adapted and crammed into the first couple of chapters here. The other alterations are mostly small omissions as a result of the story being told from Ian's perspective rather than the shifting perspective of the show.

Thus, if you're particularly fond of the aforementioned serial, or if you've never seen it and want to see how the Dalek story began, then you'll probably enjoy this book. I agree with something Neil Gaiman alludes to in his introduction: that the novel is more interesting from a cultural history perspective than as a story in its own right. Back in 1964 if you missed a show then you had missed the show. There were no second chances. The novelizations, when they began to appear, were the first chance many people had to catch up on missed episodes. In this age of DVD boxsets and iPlayer and Sky and VCRs and the like it's a nice reminder of the impermanence of things. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the kitchen before my flatmate decides to remind me of the impermanence of cake. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
This is a mostly faithful novelization of the second Doctor Who serial, The Daleks. The biggest change comes about because there is no novelization of the first serial, and so the story of how Ian and Barbara first met the Doctor, and his kidnapping them, is instead adapted and crammed into the first couple of chapters here. The other alterations are mostly small omissions as a result of the story being told from Ian's perspective rather than the shifting perspective of the show.

Thus, if you're particularly fond of the aforementioned serial, or if you've never seen it and want to see how the Dalek story began, then you'll probably enjoy this book. I agree with something Neil Gaiman alludes to in his introduction: that the novel is more interesting from a cultural history perspective than as a story in its own right. Back in 1964 if you missed a show then you had missed the show. There were no second chances. The novelizations, when they began to appear, were the first chance many people had to catch up on missed episodes. In this age of DVD boxsets and iPlayer and Sky and VCRs and the like it's a nice reminder of the impermanence of things. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the kitchen before my flatmate decides to remind me of the impermanence of cake. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
David Whitaker’s novel Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks was first published on 12 November 1964 by Frederick Muller, Ltd. before Target Books reprinted it as Doctor Who and the Daleks on 2 May 1973. The novel adapts Terry Nation’s script for The Daleks, the second Doctor Who serial that aired between 21 December 1963 and 1 February 1964, starring the First Doctor (as portrayed by William Hartnell), his granddaughter Susan Foreman (played by Carole Ann Ford), and her schoolteachers, Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton (portrayed by Jacqueline Hill and William Russell, respectively). The story portrays the Doctor and his companions traveling to Skaro, where they encounter the Daleks and their enemies, the Thals.

As the first Doctor Who novel, Whitaker reimagines how Ian and Barbara meet the Doctor in the beginning of the story: Ian encounters Barbara at a car crash in the fog and tries to help her locate her missing student. The Doctor appears and makes Ian suspicious, so he follows him back to a police box, which the Doctor tries to enter without being noticed. Ian forces his way in, discovering the box’s larger interior dimensions before he passes out. In capturing the early era of Doctor Who, the TARDIS’s name alternates between Tardis, like a traditional ship’s name, or characters referring to it as the Ship (pgs. 22, 34). Further, in order to get around the Doctor’s reluctance to discuss personal matters, Ian christens him “Doctor Who” (pg. 52). In another odd change, Whitaker gives Susan’s last name as “English” rather than “Foreman,” thereby departing from the show (pg. 30). While future stories added details and depth and Davros to the Daleks’ origins, the early version of divergent mutation following an atomic blast, causing the Thals to become physically perfect and peaceful as the Daleks grew hideous and hateful, resembles the Morlocks and Eloi in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine (pg. 99). Taking advantage of the options available to a novel and not a television series, Whitaker includes a climax involving sea monsters, cave-climbing, and a more dramatic battle that also features a glass Dalek like the one later seen in the 1985 serial, Revelation of the Daleks.

At times, the story betrays its era of origin. Since Whitaker writes in the first person from Ian’s perspective, he occasionally demonstrates the gendered view of the world typical of the early 1960s. The style and content of the book also recalls science-fiction of that era more than later Doctor Who tie-in novels. In this, it serves as an interesting time capsule for Whovians who are interested in mid-century science-fiction. The story also inspired the 1965 film, Dr. Who and the Daleks, in which director Gordon Flemyng adapted Nation’s script for a standalone film not connected to the television series. The film did well enough to earn a sequel in 1966, Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., which adapted another of Nation’s scripts, this time for the second serial of the second season, The Dalek Invasion of Earth. In this edition, BBC books presents the novel in a facsimile of the 1964 edition complete with Arnold Schwartzman’s illustrations. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jun 19, 2020 |
This is the novelisation of the very first Dalek story and was the first such book, being published in November 1964 just under a year after its original broadcast. It differs considerably from the TV version, being intended as a self standing novel, so Ian and Barbara join at the beginning of this story (no An Unearthly Child story), and don't know each other beforehand, Barbara being Susan's private tutor and Ian an unemployed scientist. The story is told in the first person from Ian's point of view, so the narrative is correspondingly restructured around his actions, with other plot strands (e.g. the fact of the Doctor using mirrors to blind the city's detectors being told to Ian after the event). David Whitaker spends a lot of time exploring the Thals' pacifism, with Ian trying at great lengths to persuade them to fight for their own survival. The Daleks are quite uncharacteristically expansive in explaining their motives to the travellers. The story also contains a (short-lived) glass Dalek as their overall leader. Overall, while different in many details, this is essentially the same story and a good piece of writing. ( )
1 vote john257hopper | Nov 27, 2013 |
Until video cassette recorders became available to the masses, the only way to experience an older episode of Doctor Who was through novelizations and the rare rerun (the number of reruns allowed was heavily controlled by contracts - a factor which contributed to the junking of episodes). As with modern movie novelizations, the book, while being based on the screenplay, is often different from what makes it to the screen. This can be for various reasons: the book is based on an earlier draft of the screenplay, certain scenes were unable to be filmed as originally conceived, etc. This is also true of the Doctor Who novelizations. Where possible, the author of the original story was employed to do the novelization, and many times, they took advantage of the opportunity to flesh out the story more than they might have been able to in the screenplay or the aired episodes.

This is the first ever novelization of a Doctor Who story published. It is a novelization of the second ever serial: The Daleks. At that time, the individual episodes had names, but the serials didn't have official names. While this story is commonly known as The Daleks (or The Mutants - incidentally the title of a Third Doctor story), the novelization was originally published under the title of Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks in 1964 and was later reprinted by Target Books as Doctor Who and the Daleks in 1973. Last year, BBC Books started reprinting some of these older novelizations, both in paperback and e-book formats. They published 6 last year and 6 this year, so there are currently 12 out there for a new generation of readers.

In the BBC Books edition, there is an afterward that talks about how this novelization differs from the televised story and why. Since this novel was intended as a standalone book, the introduction of the main characters and how they come to be in the TARDIS varies significantly from the serial. The afterward also notes a few things that this book does first: such as a glass Dalek that wouldn't be seen on-screen until Revelation of the Daleks, a Sixth Doctor story. This book also was the first to use the word "Exterminate" which wouldn't be seen on screen until The Power of the Daleks (incidentally a chapter title in this book) shortly after this book was released. "Exterminate" actually didn't become a full blown mantra for the Daleks until later.

This particular story has been adapted to the screen twice: once for the original serial and once for a feature film Dr. Who and the Daleks starring Peter Cushing as "Dr. Who". These two screen versions and this novelization differ widely. It's been a while since I watched the original serial in its entirety, but I read the novelisation a couple of months before watching the feature film. I also went back to the original serial to compare a couple of scenes to see which did a better job: the serial, the film, or the book.

The scene where they cross the swamp near the lake and find a back way into the Dalek city was, to me, one of the big differences. In the book, it seemed much more perilous than in either the serial or the movie. I got the impression from the book that this was a large lake and the creatures in it were huge. The movie gave a slight sense of that when it shows them climbing the mountain with a matte painting of a lake vista behind them, in contrast, the serial didn't show them climbing at all. The lake creatures really weren't shown in the movie although the serials did some miniature work, which while done on a television budget, gives a better sense of danger than the movie. In the book, there is a scene where they injure one of the lake creatures and its fellows come and fight over the body of the fallen creature. This was missing from both screen versions.

I also got the impression from the book that the pipes they followed into the mountain were huge pipelines. In the movie, they were small when they sighted them underwater, and a little larger on the mountain. In the serial, they only showed a model shot of largish pipes running into the mountain (in a composited shot) and completely skipped the party climbing the mountain, jumping straight to them being in the caves. I also thought the scene in the serial where they jumped the chasm was more intense than the movie version.

I enjoyed reading this and I hope BBC Books will continue to reprint these Target novelizations. I'm buying them as ebooks and will buy every one they publish. :) ( )
  hwlester | Sep 15, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Whitakerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Achilleos, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Archer, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwartzman, ArnoldIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tribe, SteveNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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