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Doctor Who and the Creatures from the Pit Hardcover – 15 Jan 1981

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: W.H. Allen / Virgin Books; First Edition edition (15 Jan. 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0491029918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0491029919
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,199,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 8 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD
The great Tom Baker narrates this audio version of the 1981 Target novelisation of the 1979 TV story in which he starred as The Doctor.
The story is a natural choice to be adapted for audio and is far better than the television version. The titular creature has gone down in Doctor Who lore as one of the worst-realised of the show's infamous `rubber monsters' and makes a faintly embarrassing visual spectacle, but in your imagination Erato comes across as a mighty green behemoth and Fisher's descriptions of his odour, skin, and web weaving are fantastic.

I read the TARGET novelisation long before seeing the TV version, and it was always one of my favourite novels, with great characters, including the nasty `wolfweeds', the vindictive `Madame Karela', the motley collection of miners turned bandits led by the odious Torvin, and the corrupt and savage ruler of the planet Chloris, `The Lady Adrasta'.

Erato, the creature itself, is actually an intelligent and humane ambassador from the planet Tythonus, who has been trapped in a mine by Adrasta and used as an unwitting executioner for anyone she wants to get rid of. When The Doctor arrives she steps up her efforts, seeing K9's laser as the perfect weapon with which to do her nasty work.

Baker's rich and booming tones have mellowed with age but I could still listen to his voice all day. He brings the miners, Adrasta, Karela and Romana to life superbly, and deals well with the nuances and variations in pitch and tone necessary to make an audio story work. With Chris Achilleos' original TARGET artwork, and four discs containing the unabridged novel, this is another top release from BBC audiobooks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timelord-007 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Doctor Who - The Creature From The Pit.

CD Info
Running Time 235 minutes
Read By Tom Baker

What's Up Doc?
The planet Chloris is very fertile, but metal is in short supply & has therefore become extremely valuable. A huge creature, with most unusual physical properties, arrives from an alien planet which can provide Chloris with metal from its own unlimited supplies, in exchange for chlorophyll.

However, the ruthless Lady Adrasta has been able to exploit the shortage of metal to her own advantage & has no wish to see the situation change.

The Fourth Doctor & Romana land on Chloris just as the creature's alien masters begin to lose patience over their ambassador's long absence. The action the aliens decide to take will have devastating consequences for Chloris, unless something is done to prevent it...

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a excellent audiobook based on Season 17 TV adventure; The Creature From The Pit which sees the Fourth Doctor & Romana arrive on the planet Chloris & are soon pitted against Lady Adrasta who has imprisoned a alien life form down a deep darkened pit but why?

Tom Baker's booming voice & rich narration is outstanding & draws the listener into this exciting adventure, Baker, with his amazing familiar vocal tones easily brings this story to life & ignites our imaginations & paces the story extremely well here.

This audiobook also features the occasional sound effects & music that together with Bakers's rich voice help create a wonderful atmospheric listen.

Overall, Doctor Who & The Creature From The Pit is a thoroughly entertaining audiobook & one of the most enjoyable releases in the Target Audiobooks range that's brought to life with stunning narration by the legend that is the Fourth Doctor himself - Tom Baker.

Timelord Rating.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The televised version of this story was plagued with some of the worst effects ever. I was, therefore, hoping that the novelisation would prove much better. Unfortunately that is not the case. Upon reading the novel it becomes quite clear that many of the problems lie with the script. Usually this would evoke some type of sympathy for the author producing the novelisation. But in this case David Fisher, the author of this novelisation, is also the writer of the original script. It does seem a shame, however, that Fisher wasn't able to novelise some of his much better scripts for Doctor Who, such as `Stones of Blood' and `The Androids of Tara'.

Neither Erato nor the Wolfweeds were able to be realised on screen. But, to be honest, they were never going to work, even with today's special effects and CGI. Essentially they are flawed conceptually. Although some ideas concerning the race of Typhonians are fairly inventive; a giant, amorphous, green, blob is never going to be considered seriously. The author himself describes it at one point as "oozing like toothpaste". If you're going to call your story `The Creature from the Pit' and invent a world where people live in fear of said creature it doesn't really help the gravitas of the threat to use such a simile. Why the eponymous creature should also be called Erato, one of the Greek Muses of poetry, is also somewhat of a mystery. Whereas the Wolfweeds, voracious tumbleweeds that roll on mass over their victims at the bequest of human masters, are too ridiculous to be believable.

The main antagonist, Adrasta, although a credible villain, lacks the strength of Myra Frances' performance in this novelisation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This story is the pits 26 Dec. 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
When Romana installs a TARDIS component that the Doctor has been ignoring, a distress signal is picked up and the TARDIS materialises on the planet Chloris, a planet on which metal is in short supply. As they try to find the being who set up the distress signal, they fall foul of Chloris' ruler, the Lady Adrasta, who will do anything to retain her ruthless grip on the planet...
Season seventeen of Doctor Who seems to be one in which the show lost its way. As a rule, the stories were less well thought out than they should have been, and contained somewhat ludicrous elements. 'The Creature from the Pit' is one of the worst offenders - science that it would be generous to describe as half-baked, unlikely cultures, and strange creatures all conspire to drown any good points which the story has.
If you aren't a Doctor Who completist, look elsewhere.
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