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Doctor Who: The Aztecs Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Physical Audio; Unabridged edition (2 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445891786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445891781
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 12.7 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

William Russell reads this thrilling novelisation of a classic Doctor Who adventure.

About the Author

John Lucarotti was born in England and spent nine years in the Royal Navy during and after the Second World War. He then went to North America to work for Imperial Oil. It was here that he began writing. Later, he scripted an eighteen-part radio series about the life of Marco Polo for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, but at one point found himself earning more money as an encyclopedia salesman than as a writer. Consequently he decided to focus on the US market. By the late Fifties he had taken Canadian citizenship, and then returned to England, where he became involved in TV work.

He had recently moved to Majorca when, at Syndey Newman's suggestion, David Whitaker approached him to write for Doctor Who. Remembering his CBC series, he chose Marco Polo as his subject. Throughout the Sixties and Seventies, Lucarotti continued a successful TV career, creating the shows Operation Patch and The Ravelled Thread, among others, and contributing scripts to The Avengers, Doctor Who, Ghost Squad, Joe 90, The Man in Room 17, Murder Bag, New Scotland Yard, The Protectors, Moonbase 3, The Onedin Line, Star Maidens and Into the Labyrinth, his last credited screen work in 1981. He novelised his 1976 serial Operation Patch (Target, 1976) and the 1979/1980 series The Ravelled Thread (Puffin Books, 1979). He contributed the first Brief Encounter short story for Doctor Who Magazine in 1990, in which the author met the First Doctor in a French bar. The story was reprinted in the 1992 Doctor Who Yearbook (Marvel, 1991). John Lucarotti died in Paris, France, on 20 November 1994 aged 68.

(Author biography by David J. Howe, author of The Target Book, the complete illustrated guide to the Target Doctor Who novelisations.)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 6 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The audio readings of the novelisations of the classic Doctor Who stories are absolutely and utterly brilliant, and this is no exception. William Russell (Ian in the original series) reads John Lucarotti's novelisation of his own story first broadcast in 1964, only the sixth story of the first season of Doctor Who.

Ian and Barbara are still newbies in the time travel world, and Barbara, finding herself mistaken for the returned spirit of the great god Yetaxa, sees this as a chance to persuade the Aztecs to stop their blood sacrifices, and hopefully avert the awful fate she knows is theirs in just fifty years time with the arrival of the Conquistadores. The Doctor, sadly, knows there is nothing she can do to change history, but Barbara has to learn this lesson herself.

Meanwhile, Ian is taken to become an Aztec warrior and incurs the envy of Ixta who wants to be the chief warrior himself; Susan, Yetaxa's handmaiden, rebels against the rules of the Aztecs and is used as a pawn by the High Priest of Sacrifice, the ghastly Tlotoxl, in his schemes to remove all the time travellers from his path. It's up to the Doctor to try and find a way where they can all safely get back to the Tardis and leave; but circumstances don't make this easy.

This is a fantastic story; it's long enough that we get to really know the main characters; not only the Doctor and the Tardis crew, but the priests, the warriors and the lady Cameca, and those who give themselves in sacrifice to their gods. The twists and turns of the story, the wonderfully rounded characters and the Tardis crew are all in fine form in this story, and the reading by William Russell is, as always, absolutely spot on. This is 4 hours and 55 minutes of unalloyed joy to listen to, and is one that will be treasured and listened to often.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Sept. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The TARDIS lands in 15th Century Mexico, and the time-travellers find themselves drawn into the world of the Aztecs. With the TARDIS locked inside a tomb, the Doctor must find a way to get inside - no easy task when they were designed to keep grave-robbers out.

The Doctor's companions all have their own problems. Barbara is mistaken for the God Yetaxa, and must face the suspicion of the High Priest of Sacrifice - Tlotoxl, who is convinced she is a false goddess. Ian finds himself drafted into the Army, fighting for survival against the jealous Ixta. And Susan faces being married off to the Perfect Victim, soon to be sacrificed with all honour. And then the Doctor finds he has accidentally become engaged ....

The Aztecs by John Lucarotti was published by Target Books in 1984 and was based on his four-part story transmitted in 1964. It's a good adaptation of a well regarded story, sticking closely to the source material. It's interesting to see how Lucarotti deftly draws his characters, and there are no heroes and villains, with each protagonist having their own point of view and motivations.

Indeed, when the TARDIS crew leave, Barbara reflects that they have destroyed the faith of the reasonable Autloc, who believed in Barbara as Yetaxa. When he finds he has been deceived, he leaves the city to wander the wilderness outside.

William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton in the original story, is the reader. Now in his late eighties, it's wonderful to hear him re-tell these stories from nearly fifty years ago. The sound effects and music, which on some of these releases can be overwhelming at times, are quite restrained.

The Aztecs is a very strong entry in the ever growing series of Doctor Who Classic Novels audiobooks and the quality of the original story, as well as the reading by William Russell, make this well worth picking up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Number13 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
"You can't rewrite history - not one line!" - unless you wrote it to begin with! John Lucarotti made many subtle (and two more significant) changes in the novelisation of his 1964 classic `The Aztecs'; some are quite small alterations in dialogue, perhaps following the original script more closely? Even the Doctor's famous words to Barbara are modified to "You can't change history ... not one line of it." That printed version is often the one that's quoted, but it's not what William Hartnell said!

Some welcome changes make use of the freedom of print, removed from the tiny studios and limited budget (that still managed to produce such fine results). Here, the smallish garden of respected elders becomes almost a park, with a lake; crowds of tens of thousands line the streets and stand before the pyramid awaiting Yetaxa; a hundred warriors are in training as Ian first meets Ixta, and Ian's climb through the aqueduct to re-enter the tomb becomes a far more impressive, nail-biting ascent up a lofty stone shaft. All these changes add to the atmosphere of what on screen is a true classic.

Tlotoxl is even more savage and cruel than in the televised version and is now dressed for his vocation as High Priest of Sacrifice; no more fine robes and white plumes as on screen, here he wears a robe caked in dried blood, never bathes and has long, matted hair - it's obvious why they couldn't depict him in that way at Saturday teatime in 1964!

Part of the remit of this story was originally to be `educational'. The business with the cord and the pulley to open the tomb is clearly explained here, with lots of engineering knowledge about force, inertia, cantilevers and so on, but the astronomy is way off!
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