4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy these old Target books now on Kindle
I used to collect all the "Target" Doctor Who novels when I was a kid. Before video recorders the novelizations of the TV stories was all we had if we wanted to experience the stories again. I used to buy every copy. My books have not stood the test of time, having experienced several years in my parents garage when I left home so I'm more than pleased to see them start...
Published on 25 Aug 2011 by Sean
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars doctor who
this book is different ,to other doctor who books i have got,
it is told by one of the passengers of ther tardis, ian chesterton,
allthough it is different it is ok.
Published on 19 Sep 2011 by Stephen Parry
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy these old Target books now on Kindle,
I used to collect all the "Target" Doctor Who novels when I was a kid. Before video recorders the novelizations of the TV stories was all we had if we wanted to experience the stories again. I used to buy every copy. My books have not stood the test of time, having experienced several years in my parents garage when I left home so I'm more than pleased to see them start appearing in Kindle form. I'd love to read them all again and with my Kindle I can. I can also share them with my young son who I'm sure will love them as much as I did all those years ago.
In some ways, these books are better than the original TV stories on which they're based as there are no dodgy special effects to contend with. Your imagination can provide the best special effects ever.
This story of course is the first Dalek story and the second ever Doctor Who story and what a story it is. Suspense, tension, excitement, action. Has it all in spades. Do yourself a favour and buy this and any and every original series Target novelization that gets released on Kindle.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic,
This review is from: Doctor Who and the Daleks (A Target book) (Mass Market Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book. I think that this book is worth reading if you have already watched the TV episode because of the way the story is told differently. At first I was put off by the fact it was in first person but when I came to reading it I found it made a wonderful effect. As a massive Dr. Who fan the Daleks being introduced for the first time is very exciting. Although it is different to that of the episode, the beginning is better, more fast moving than the episode. I am looking foreward to The End of Time...
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful beginning,
This was the first ever novelisation of a Doctor Who tv story, first published in the mid 60s. To most fans of the show this book is all kinds of wonderful, being hugely nostalgic and a crackingly well written novel in its own right. Back then this was the only way to relive an episode. VCRs or DVDs were more far-fetched science fiction ideas than some ones in the show. David Whitaker was Story Editor on the original serial and here he takes Terry Nation's script and really adds life and depth. Told in the first person from the point of view of Ian Chesterton the story kicks off by choosing to replace the whole school scenario of the first episode of an Unearthly Child with characters meeting each other for the first time after a traffic accident on Barnes Common. It's a pretty atmospheric opening. The Doctor is hostile and sly, playing his mindgames with Ian. The psychology of walking through those police box doors is explored quite comprehensively by Whitaker. Due to the limited point of view some characters don't get as much of the limelight as they might have done, notably Susan. Her alien qualities get lost in retelling and her early baptism of fire, having to retrieve the radiation drugs alone through the petrified forest, is only briefly mentioned as she recounts the episode to her friends. It's also fun to learn a bit more about the Tardis facilities and I would like to know what Venusian Night Fish or Martian Summer berries taste like. Other additions to the script are a full description of a Dalek mutant, a Glass Dalek, Everlasting Matches, an amusing boxing match that Ian arranges to try to get the Thalls to regard fighting in the same way as other physical sports, the seeds of a romance between Ian and Barbara, an un-sonic buttonhook and Ian's smoking habit. Whitaker writes well and has a nice line in poetic phrasing but he also knows how to colour a story with little character points and humour. I have only fond memories of reading this book back in the 1970s and I greatly enjoyed the recent reread. I'd like to think that the new reprints of these books will inspire a new generation of children in the same way as they did me when I was a little boy wandering about that big building filled with books with orders from my mum to 'choose one'.
This new edition has an introduction by Neil Gaiman, an about the authors spotlight of David Whitaker and Terry Nation, original illustrations and a between the lines feature about the script to novelisation process.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Whitaker's Classic, Back In Print,
It's wonderful to see David Whitaker's 'Doctor Who and the Daleks' (aka 'Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks' for readers of a certain age who remember its original publication in the 1960s) back in print after so long. It is, after all, the book that started a long and successful history of 'Doctor Who' in print form, and this new edition, whilst not an exact facsimile of the 1973 Target Books version, gets all the important bits right. The distinctive original Chris Achilleos artwork graces the cover, for instance, and the intention seems to be to present something which remains true to the spirit of the Target version, whilst offering new material to coax readers old and new into picking up this new version. These include some fascinating notes on the text and characters, and a heartfelt introduction from fantasy writer (and the man behind 2011 TV episode 'The Doctor's Wife') Neil Gaiman. These are all worthwhile additions which should help to put the novel in its original context, and provide a handy entry point for younger readers who may be less familiar with the early years of 'Doctor Who'.
The novel itself is an adaptation of Terry Nation's scripts for the very first Dalek serial, with a few notable alterations to smooth over the transition into printed form. Author David Whitaker memorably re-tells and condenses the events of the very first episode of 'Doctor Who', 1963's 'An Unearthly Child', as a way of introducing readers to our central characters - and none more central than Ian Chesterton. In the TV series, he was a school science teacher who accompanied fellow teacher Barbara Wright to investigate their mysterious pupil Susan Foreman, whom they discovered lived in a blue box in a junkyard with her grandfather, the mysterious Doctor. Here, he is a research scientist trying - and failing - to get a break in the aeronautical industry, who stumbles across a horrific car crash on Barnes Common one foggy night, and finds himself stumbling into a remarkable adventure with three complete strangers. Uniquely for the novelisations, Ian is also our narrator, and it's a hugely effective way of making all the things he sees - from the Doctor and his TARDIS to the planet Skaro, home of the Daleks - even more strange and alien. The story of the travellers' escapades battling the Daleks is not one of my favourites in all honesty, but David Whitaker's adaptation does bring out the strengths in the narrative, as well as banishing memories of the good, but sadly somewhat budget-starved, television production.
'Doctor Who and the Daleks' is great fun, be it as a nostalgic reminder of a childhood in the 1970s reading Target novelisations, or as an introduction to the world of the original Doctor for a generation of young fans familiar with David Tennant or Matt Smith. And it's great to see this volume, which so many fans remember so fondly from their childhoods, being given such treatment on its republication after many years out of print.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first Doctor Who novel,
Long before the influx of the Target novelisations the original publication of this story (formally titled `Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Daleks', which is thankfully reprinted on the first page of this edition) was the first ever Doctor Who novel. It is still one of the best.
Unlike the majority of the Target books this is not only a novelisation of the televised serial. It is more of a re-imagining of how the programme begins. As such it encapsulates the first two stories into one. Much is the same in attitude and outlook but the events of `An Unearthly Child' are reduced and re-jigged to form the start of the Dalek story. Ian doesn't previously know Barbara and neither work at Cole Hill School. Instead he meets her, Susan and the Doctor as a consequence of coming across the scene of a car crash. This may seem very different in terms of events but the story maintains the same essence (and indeed many of the same lines of the script from `An Unearthly Child'). All the cavemen/Tribe of Gum stuff is dropped. In this way the Doctor and the Daleks both come into Doctor Who's first ever story.
There are many other changes throughout the book but these generally lessen as the story progresses, usually coming more in line with the televised version of `The Daleks'. Many of the differences are outlined and considered in the appendices to this novelisation which is a worthwhile and useful addition to the book. Neil Gaiman's modern introduction, although at times heart-warming to read, isn't quite so informative.
The introduction of a Dalek leader is worth pointing out, however. The televised version of this story appeared to lack one but virtually every story since, including the AAru movie adaption of this story, gives the Daleks a leader in some form or another, whether Emperor, Supreme, Prime Minister, Davros or Time Controller. This novel, published before the `Dalek Chronicles' or the showing of `The Dalek Invasion of Earth', gives the Daleks a leader first.
The other major difference in this novelisation from the Target series is that it is written utterly from the viewpoint of Ian. Other Doctor Who novelisations often make use of showing things from the companion's perspective but this novel is written entirely in the first person so that the reader is always seeing things through Ian's eyes. Admittedly this means a certain amount of material is lost as it is difficult to include any scenes in which Ian didn't feature. But on the plus side it does offer an insight into the development of the romantic side to his and Barbara's relationship and provides a differing approach to getting to know the Doctor. Whether this first person perspective is a reflection of ideas of where the show might have gone, with the possibility of the character of Ian being more the leading role than that of the Doctor, makes this a very intriguing read. It is an example of what might have been.
Of course `An Unearthly Child' as per the televised version was eventually novelised. How the canonicity of that works I'm not sure, but it doesn't really matter. This book is its own take on the beginning of Doctor Who.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian Chesterton is back... and it's about Daleks!,
This review is from: Doctor Who and the Daleks (BBC Radio Collection: Sci-fi and Fantasy) (MP3 CD)
A thick fog and a girl in distress are just the things that Ian Chesterton needs to escape from a life of dull routine. He has no idea that this is merely a prelude to an adventure quite beyond any normal conception of the word. Or that Barnes Common on a foggy autumn night is the last view of Earth he may ever have.
Both he and the girl he tries to help, Barbara Wright, are transported to a distant planet named Skaro by a mysterious old man known to them as the Doctor. With his granddaughter Susan, the Doctor sets them down in a world all but destroyed by atomic warfare, the only survivors being a peace-loving and cultured people called the Thals and their bitter enemies the Daleks, horribly mutated both in mind and body.
Thrust into constant danger, his courage and determination tested almost beyond endurance, Ian is forced to struggle against alien creatures and superior enemies with no other weapons than surprise and ingenuity.
The rewards of victory are life for Ian and his new friends... but life where? Can the Doctor return him and Barbara to Earth again?
So went the back blurb to the Frederick Muller Hardback edition of Doctor Who (in an exciting adventure with The Daleks)when first printed in 1964. This is truly a special MP-3 audiobook release. Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Daleks is probably the greatest novelisation of a Doctor Who TV story in part because it is not just a presentation of just what was onscreen.
It starts with a totally new meeting between the Doctor (already accompanied by grand-daughter Susan as on TV) and his first TV companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. Instead on meeting in a junkyard in Totter's lane and going back to 100,000 B.C. they meet on a foggy night on Barnes Common and go to Skaro - The Planet of the Daleks!
From the first Target Novelisation backblurb:
This is Doctor Who's first exciting adventure - with the Daleks! Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright travel with the mysterious Doctor Who and his grand-daughter, Susan, to the planet of Skaro in the space-time machine, Tardis. There they strive to save the peace-loving Thals from the evil intentions of the hideous Daleks. Can they succeed? And what is more important, will they ever again see their native Earth?
It's fascinating to see a version of Doctor Who's beginnings that is at once different but so familiar. If this was the beginning on TV Doctor Who still would have run 26 years regardless.
The major attraction of this release besides the story itself being complete and unabridged on MP-3 CD is to actually hear William Russell (who played Ian Chesterton on the series) read the story which is doubly satisfying because the story itself is written in the first-person as narrated by Ian. At first this would seem to be a severe restriction to be able to tell the story but Whitaker masterfully is able to make it the book's greatest strength.
If I had to recommend to someone unfamiliar with Doctor Who one book to read to get the flavour of the series this would be the one.
Kudos to BBC Audio for making this release, which had been suggested for years, finally happen.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who and the Daleks [Kindle Edition],
This is a mainly-technical review of version 1.0 for the Kindle.
Firstly, it is great to see what I hope is a long line of reprints of the classic Doctor Who target novels. I never read many of them when I was young so what better way to do it now in electronic format. So, onto the important stuff:
The formatting is generally good. It replicates the print-edition nicely, including all the illustrations. Thankfully (and this is a big "thankfully"!) the book includes navigation points along the progress bar, something which is often missed even by mainstream publishers. There is a linked Table of Contents; it's a bit spaced out and runs across two pages, but that's incidental.
The title page takes the form of an image rather than sizeable text, which is a little puzzling when you consider that it's actually very easy to replicate that page's layout on the Kindle, right down to the iconic horizontal lines that encase the author and TV serial credits. In fact, the Kindle version of Doctor Who and the Crusaders does just this.
Now onto some gripes:
*UPDATED* - "Page Numbers" are now set for this book on my Kindle a couple of days after downloading. This is probably because this feature is not built into the actual book files but relies on communicating with the ISBN number of the print edition.
There is a misplacement of the "Beginning" (#start) tag which knocks out the heading formatting of Neil Gaiman's introduction. If selected though normal navigation or the TOC, it's fine. It's a basic error which a lot of publishers make and is easy to fix (are you reading this, BBC Books?).
For some reason, the book's default font has been forced-down by one size so that the font size on screen does not match the size-options on the Kindle's font menu. The standard font size of any book released on the Kindle should match the default size, which is the third option of nine. The font size in this book (and the others it seems) matches the second-smallest option. This means that, in most cases, the sizes that appear on the font menu will always be one size higher than what you see on-screen. This is a sloppy oversight; the Kindle is designed for users to select the most comfortable font-size themselves.
Even sloppier is that someone has made the decision to reformat the cover image to fit the dimensions of the Kindle screen exactly. What we are left with is a distorted image of the classic cover we all know and love. Kindles are designed to manualy zoom images to a "best fit", either horizontally or vertically. It's clear that this is a conscious decision rather than a mistake because the Kindle simply does not automatically resize/skew images. Ultimately, this was the wrong decision to make.
Overall, Doctor Who and the Daleks is one of the better-formatted books for your Kindle, but there are some wildly glaring errors and poor decisions that deserve to be addressed for an updated version.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic,
I remember reading this when I was young and I loved it.
Not a straight novelisation of the series - far more interesting than that.
Everlasting matches and other interesting touches.
5.0 out of 5 stars A new beginning...,
This novelisation by David Whitaker, of the second ever Doctor Who tv adventure, is something of a curiosity and a gem.
It was the first ever Doctor Who story to be published as a novel, and as such had to give a beginning for those who had never seen the original tv stories.
It wanted to go straight in to the Dalek adventure without first visiting the junkyard revealed in “The Unearthly Child” or the quick swing back to prehistory in the adventure that immediately led to. But it also had backstory to give to launch new readers into the world of Who.
And so it created an alternative beginning, where Ina Chesterton, on his way back from a job interview in Reigate, chances on a fatal road accident featuring a dead soldier, an injured woman (Barbara) and a lost girl (Susan), with the Doctor appearing looking for both of them. To those familiar with the Who’s origins this is disorientating and exciting. It’s like finding a new release of one of your favourite films with an alternative opening restored to the cut, and one that works.
This is darker than the original, with the presence of death, and the Doctor himself even more of an unknowable presence, a cranky old man with a malicious twinkle in his eye.
The group repair back to the Tardis and from then on the story begins to segue back into the outlines of the original, but there are continuing creative differences, including a burgeoning romance between Ian and Barbara, and a glass ‘Emperor’ Dalek at the end.
For those of you who don’t know the original, it’s a story that uses familiar 60’s SF tropes including an irradiated war torn planet, a pacifist race being hunted to extinction by an aggressive warlike race, robotic dehumanisation, allegories to fascism, and a debate on the limits of pacifism. Well, not a debate, pacifism is simply shown not to work, with the Doctor and his friends’ basic message to the peace loving Thals being, “sometimes you just gotta FIGHT!”
It’s the uniqueness of the Doctor and the famous Daleks that lift this above the level of cliché. Even in this simpler form (they can’t move off metal floors as they need magnetic propulsion) they remain a chilling representation of deliberate, implacable hate, with the shrivelled creatures inside seeming to represent their shrivelled souls.
The writing is clear and it barrels quickly along, as you would expect from a novel written for the younger end of the market, but it has been and will continue to be enjoyed by all ages. It’s fascinating to see the original illustrations, simple black and white drawings that nevertheless are supremely evocative of the original tv story. There’s an introduction by Neil Gaiman (who recently joined the ranks of Dr Who writers with a Cyberman story for Matt Smith) who tells what the book meant to him. He underscores that this was an age when everything was much more vulnerable and subject to loss in terms of film. If you missed a story you may have been forgiven in thinking that it would never be repeated and you would never see it again, which is the case for a lot of the ‘lost’ adventures. So, novelisations were a vital bridge back to the original.
At the end there are “between the lines” extras on the history of the story and background on the writers and scriptwriters, and a good analysis of the differences between the novelisation and the tv original.
A genuinely enjoyable read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start,
Kindle version so unable to comment on the quality of the physical copy, however really enjoyed reading this book.
It is different from the actual first story, however there are enough similarities for fans to recognise the original premise.
If you are a fan of Doctor Who and have never really bothered with the prose, this is a great place to start
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Doctor Who and the Daleks (A Target book) by David Whitaker (Mass Market Paperback - 16 Jan 1992)
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