on 7 April 2011
The biggest issues with this release are almost 30 years old, in that the original script was simply a two parter and to get a novelisation up to a decent length the author had to pad out the plot. This creates - certainly in the first chapters - a sense that this is a first time author who is attempting to add as much flowery wording as he can. (He wasn't, by the way a one shot wonder - he wrote several books with a fantasy theme for kids. His other books are aimed at younger children thanthis book, whilst his most recent work has been adapting classics for radio.) However, it is The Awakening that we want to review so here goes;
The opening scene, which lasts less than a minute on screen, is laboured and over written and the desire to shout "oh get on with the story" crept in almost straight away. The plot - as previously stated - is padded out but not always with interesting new events merely waffle. Like Black Orchid, and The Edge of Destruction, brief two parters sometimes become new creatures in printed form, and this novel is no exception. (Hopefully Ian Marter's superb retelling of The Sontaran Experiment will be brought to audio as *he* knew how to add to a story!) And so the book is somewhat of a mishmash - where the characters think and feel about doing things that took seconds on screen but here stretch out like a chasm of boredom.
The reader for this book is Nerys Huges, whose two links to the series are that her co star of the Liver Birds played Jane in the original episodes, and she herself was in Kinda two years prior to this story. To be honest I wasn't looking forward to her reading. However I think that she is responsible for two of the three stars I've awarded the release. She does wonders with some - lets be honest - poor text and really brings the characters to life, whilst her reading voice is very pleasant.
Whilst not a disaster this was never going to be the best ofthe range. As it is it will slot on neatly once more novels from that era appear (although help us all when the flimsy Kinda and Warriors of the Deep come out - probably on a single disc!!)
on 17 March 2016
The Doctor materialises the Tardis in the small English village of Little Hodcombe where Tegan intends to visit her grandfather. However, the village is not as quiet as expected and the Civil War re-enactment is getting out of hand. Furthermore, Tegan’s grandfather is missing. But there is something else that is in the village, something that shouldn’t be.
Considering that this novelisation is based upon a two episode serial it doesn’t make much constructive use of the extra length; which is actually somewhat longer than a lot of the novelisations based upon four part televised stories.
Rather than providing any extra content or building characterisation it just tends to be more drawn out. This makes for quite a laborious read; the novelisation lacking vitality until, perhaps, the latter stages.
Unfortunately the scenes featuring Kamelion that were cut from the televised version aren’t reinstalled in the novelisation; but they weren’t particularly relevant to the storyline anyway.
There isn’t really any elaboration on the Malus either which conceptually is quite intriguing but whose nature and where it comes from receives a rather bland description onscreen.
There are, however, quite a few references to a squidgy, metallic, black ball that doesn’t appear onscreen. It seems to be given a lot of importance in the early stages of the book but later appears to be forgotten about, probably because as a plot device it wasn’t really needed.
The idea of two time periods interacting, or at least one bleeding into the other one, certainly has some potential but it isn’t used to greatest effect in this story.
on 27 September 2010
The BBC are doing such a good job releasing these classic stories it feels a little churlish to not give a 5-star review, but this release falls flat sadly. It wasn't a brilliant story from the start, and unlike so many of the novelisations this one doesn't add much to the original story and is rather uninteresting.
Nerys Hughes, stalwart though she is, is also not a great choice to read the story, as she doesn't distinguish particularly well between the different characters and doesn't give it the necessary pep other readers do.
So many of this range are genuine 5-star releases that when one comes along that isn't it really stands out. Hopefully 2011 will see many more of this excellent series (more of the early stories please).