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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Competent novelisation of the first ever Dr Who story
In November 1963, this was the story that introduced the world to Dr Who.
Wisely, rather than begin with the alien Doctor, the story opens with the show's human characters: Ian and Barbara are two teachers at Coal Hill school who are concerned about their unusual pupil, Susan Foreman. The only address that they have for her leads to a junkyard in Totters Lane. One...
Published on 6 April 2005 by Ray Ellis

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Magic Mystery Tour Begins
Coalbridge School is just a normal type of school, and its kids are just normal Londoners - except for one. To be sure, Susan Foreman is not a problem - she's a clever girl but not above correcting her teachers if she thinks they are wrong and she seems a little, ah, vague about certain hitorical items, so her history and science teachers join forces and track her to her...
Published on 16 Sep 2004 by JA Fairhurst


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Competent novelisation of the first ever Dr Who story, 6 April 2005
By 
Ray Ellis (Nr Reading) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child (Mass Market Paperback)
In November 1963, this was the story that introduced the world to Dr Who.
Wisely, rather than begin with the alien Doctor, the story opens with the show's human characters: Ian and Barbara are two teachers at Coal Hill school who are concerned about their unusual pupil, Susan Foreman. The only address that they have for her leads to a junkyard in Totters Lane. One evening they follow her home and encounter her grandfather, the petulant, argumentative and mysterious Doctor. Against his protestations, they force their way into the police box that is standing in the yard and find themselves inside the Doctor's time and space ship, the TARDIS.
Fearing that they will tell others what they have seen, the Doctor hurls the machine back to the dawn of time. There a tribe of cave dwellers, who have lost the secret of fire, just as an ice age is dawning, captures them. The Doctor, Susan and her teachers are caught up in the rivalry between the tribal leader Za and his challenger, Kal, who has seen the Doctor make fire with his matches.
Australian, Anthony Coburn, originally wrote the television script in 1963. This novelisation, by the prolific Terrance Dicks (who authored some 63 of the 156 novelisations that appeared under WH Allen's Target imprint) appeared in 1981.
At 128 pages of relatively large print, the target novelisations were aimed at older primary and younger secondary school aged readers. Terrance Dicks stays faithful to the original script, with just a few amendments to make it work as a novel. There is not too much room for embellishment, but he does a good job of deftly adding brief descriptions that bring the action to life and make it feel more than just a black and white studio bound drama.
In the early days of Doctor Who each story led into the next and so Dicks preserves the lead in to 'The Daleks' that appeared at the end of this serial.
It seems odd that with so many Dr Who books in print by the end of the seventies that this first story should appear so late. It maybe that, as it was primarily an 'historical' story with no monsters, it was considered less interesting (and very different from the Dr Who that was being shown when most of the novelisations appeared). Or perhaps because, when 'Doctor Who and the Daleks' was novelised in the sixties by David Whitaker, its opening chapters were rewritten to give an alternative meeting of the Doctor and his companions; so the first story was seen as redundant.
The publication of 'Dr Who and an Unearthly Child' was timed to coincide with the first repeat showing of the original serial on BBC2, as part of 'The Five Faces Of Doctor Who' in November 1981 (the show's 18th anniversary). The original edition featured a cover illustration, by Andrew Skilleter, of the TARDIS in the junk yard. It was reprinted throughout the eighties and then again in 1990, with a new cover by Alister Pearson, to coincide with the first appearance of the serial on video.
Although chronologically the first story, later editions state that it was no.68 in the Doctor Who Library. This was because all novelisations up to the end of 1982 were numbered alphabetically. Thereafter new additions were numbered in order of publication (but still not chronologically).
In 1987, Titan books published the script on which this novelisation was based, as 'Dr Who The Scripts: The Tribe Of Gum' by Anthony Coburn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Magic Mystery Tour Begins, 16 Sep 2004
By 
JA Fairhurst "johnfair" (Edgeley, Stockport) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child (Mass Market Paperback)
Coalbridge School is just a normal type of school, and its kids are just normal Londoners - except for one. To be sure, Susan Foreman is not a problem - she's a clever girl but not above correcting her teachers if she thinks they are wrong and she seems a little, ah, vague about certain hitorical items, so her history and science teachers join forces and track her to her home in order to confront her family...
This is the opening story in the longest running science fiction in the world, where we are introduced to the Doctor and his granddaughter. In this book, the Doctor is treated as a grumpy, but human traveller in the Void of Space and Time. The historical elements that would feature in the first and second Doctor's storylines gets itheir first outing when the Doctor and his Companions help a Stone Age tribe regain the mysteries of Fire.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child, 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the book about the very first episode of Doctor Who. It is a good book for any new Doctor Who fans who don't know how it all started. It tells you what the TARDIS is and what each letter of its name stands for. It is a children's book but still good to read if you are an adult. Enjoy! Thank you.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TARGET Doctor Who Novelisation - An Unearthly Child, 10 Sep 2010
This review is from: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child (Mass Market Paperback)
Doctor Who's first ever episode novelised.

This book expands upon a few details from the shows debut story.

This is worth owning just because its a brilliant story.

Time Lords, Tardises and Teachers!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Of special interest to Doctor who collectors, 4 May 2008
By 
Richard Maple (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child (Mass Market Paperback)
The story starts off well but becomes quites drab once the Doctors, Susan and the "kidnapped" Susan and Ian arrive with a tribe of stoneage people.

Given that this was still the relatively early days of science fiction on television a fair amount of lassitude should be given.

In general would recommend it to only to Doctor Who fans who want to complete their collection or want to relive the first episode.
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Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child
Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child by Terrance Dicks (Mass Market Paperback - 15 Oct 1981)
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