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3.0 out of 5 stars Completion of the Classic Dalek Masterplan Story, 14 Sep 2012
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who-The Daleks Masterplan: The Mutation of Time Bk. 2 (Target Doctor Who Library) (Paperback)
This book follows on from the first part of the story Doctor Who-Mission to the Unknown: Part 1 and completes the story of the Dalek Masterplan.

After the fast paced chase of the first part of the story, this book begins with a diversion. The reason for this is mainly so the novel remains true to the broadcast serial in which an episode was broadcast on Christmas Day. The BBC decided to provide some light relief and produced a one off interlude, which apparently ended with the Doctor played by William Hartnell wishing viewers a Happy Christmas. Daleks did not appear.

This last part does not happen in the book, but we do get the comic events from the episode, and it ends with the sound of though we hear of Christmas celebrations. Those events are effectively described by John Peel in this novelization, and amusing. But they rather stick out, not feeling right in the events of the main story.

Perhaps its right to include the interlude in this novelization so it reflects the original serial, but it does also detract from the story telling. This also applies though to a lesser extent, to the events immediately after in which the Daleks reappear. They involve another adversary, The Time Meddling Monk (who was the first Time Lord viewers met apart from the Doctor, and maybe Susan). These also have a comic side, with the Doctor being especially mischievous. Though considerably less distracting than than the Christmas episode these comic interludes dilute the pace of the story as a whole and take away some of the pace and suspension of disbelief needed for a fantasy like this. The pace of the story only resumes in the the final confrontation between the Tardis crew and Daleks.

Though well written for its kind, this second volume of the Dalek Masterplan is not the as good as the first one was. However, taking the complete story as a whole, the story does have an epic grandeur, which makes it special. This was perhaps not matched in the series until much much later with David Tennant's last Dalek story written by Russell T. Davis, though there are others I would rate above it, especially the first ever Dalek story ( see the novelization Doctor Who and the Daleks and/or on CD Doctor Who - The Beginning (An Unearthly Child [1963] / The Daleks [1963] / The Edge of Destruction [1964]) [DVD]), and Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks (2 Disc Set) [DVD] [1975].

That all said, The Dalek Masterplan remains a classic. It's been worth the wait to know the full story, even if I never do get to see the whole serial.
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