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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who and the Visitation
Having just read the novelisation of this story, by Eric Saward, I have now received the audio reading of the novelisation released in October 2012. This novelisation is read by Matthew Waterhouse, who played Adric, companion to Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor in the 1980s. I was a little dubious, but Matthew Waterhouse reads this very well - his voice has matured, yet is...
Published 22 months ago by Keen Reader

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's something nasty cooking in Pudding Lane
The Doctor and his companions land in 17th Century England. Fear stalks a countryside ravaged by plague, but there's other dangers too. A small group of aliens have crash-landed in the vicinity, and they have a plan, which will involve the extermination of the entire human race ......

The Visitation, written by Eric Saward, was broadcast on BBC1 in 1982, and...
Published on 8 Oct 2012 by Mr. D. K. Smith


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terileptils In A Book!, 24 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who and the Visitation (Audio CD)
`Doctor Who and the Visitation' is a very enjoyable audiobook of the novelisation by Eric Saward on his first TV story for the series.

I enjoyed reading and listening to this story with the Target book in my hand and hearing Matthew Waterhouse's narration in the background. This is surprisingly a 3-disc set for the audiobook. This is unusual because `Doctor Who' Target novelisation audiobooks tend to be either 4 or 5 disc sets. But because Eric's novel is slim and not expansive as 'Doctor Who - Logopolis', 'Doctor Who - Castrovalva' or 'Doctor Who - Earthshock', the story fits in only on 3 discs.

This book is based on the original TV story, 'The Visitation' with Peter Davison's Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric. It's one of my favourite TV stories featuring the new monsters called the Terileptils and featuring a historical element in the plague and the Great Fire of London. I wanted to explore more of this story and hoped this Target novel/audiobook would provide just that.

I bought the Target novel at a convention in Weston-super-Mare back in July, 2012. But I didn't read the book until I bought the audiobook recently. Reading the book and listening to the audio at the same time is a real treat, and allows me to read and hear what differences were made to the book compared to what was done in the actual TV story.

The target novel is about 11 chapters long for the story. It was published in 1982, months after the story was first transmitted.

Eric Saward novelised his story for prose with very few changes. He more or less sticks to what was in the actual story with perhaps a few changes to characters and dialogue and making scenes more tighter and sharper throughout. He's compressed scenes to a minimum in each chapter and has removed all the cliff-hangers contained in the story. This is probably why this novel was so short that it made up for a 3-disc set than 4 discs for audio. Presumably Eric was writing this for a children's audience making his novel basic and also was pretty tied to work commitments as current script editor of `Doctor Who'. One wonders why he never novelised `Earthshock' and allowed Ian Marter to do it.

Eric does manage to add some additional descriptions including looking from a fox's perspective of when the Terileptil ship crash lands onto the planet. He also removes the 'Kinda' links added to the beginning of the story and gets on with Tegan's story of wanting to go back to Heathrow since he didn't like continuity crossover scenes in every story at the insistence of producer John Nathan-Turner. I liked the change Eric makes with the dialogue exchange between Nyssa and Adric when Adric insists on going out to look for Tegan and the Doctor. Nyssa provides Adric with a homing device before he goes, which I wish was put into the actual TV story.

Eric writes well for the four regulars - the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric. He writes them as they were in the TV story he wrote, balancing the action between them and also improving on some of the dialogue and character exchange between them.

Matthew Waterhouse, who plays Adric in the series, is a really good narrator on `Doctor Who and the Visitation'. I've had the pleasure of meeting Matthew four times at conventions. Matthew is no stranger to audio. He did a Big Finish play for the `Dark Shadows' range called `The Creeping Fog' and has recently reunited with Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding for a number of Big Finish `Doctor Who' audios in 'The Fifth Doctor Box Set'. Here, Matthew brings the story of `The Visitation' to life as well as the characters in it. Since Matthew knows Peter, Sarah and Janet so well, he's able to articulate their voices for their characters in the story as well as his own. He manages to keep the reader/listener engaged in the story throughout, especially for a 3-disc set and such a slim novelisation as this one.

I like how Richard Mace is handled in this novelisation of the story. Eric didn't like how Michael Robbins portrayed Mace in the TV story because it wasn't how he originally intended when writing Mace for radio. But over the years Eric has changed his mind about Robbins' interpretation of Mace in the TV story and has grown to like his performance. So it's ironic that Eric writes Mace in the style Robbins played the character in the actual TV story with his traits and characteristics. I like how Matthew Waterhouse does the voice of Mace in the way Robbins did it since he remembers working with him so well and gives a fruity performance.

I was hoping to explore more of the Terileptils in this story and know about their background and history in terms of the Terileptil Empire and their planets like Terileptus and Raaga. Sadly this isn't provided in the novel since Eric does a slim novelisation of the story. It's a shame really since we could have been given more about them especially having names given to them rather just having the main Terileptil called `the Terileptil leader'. Eric does make them hiss a lot and goes into explaining about their soliton gas machines and their vintravic crystals providing the lighting. Matthew does well with the voices of the Terileptils in terms of their hissing and rasping tones. I liked it when the Terileptil leader taunts on the Doctor's hopes on there being only three Terileptils and that being enough to take over the Earth.

One notable change in the story is that the mansion's cellar is illuminated with bright light from vintravic crystal. This wasn't in the TV story as the cellar was gloomy compared to the Terileptils' control room inside the house. Also the dialogue where the Doctor describes vintravic crystal lighting to Mace is transferred in the cellar scene since in the TV story it was given in the escape pod sequence with the Doctor, Nyssa and Mace in it.

Eric's love for history is played out in his novelisation for `The Vistation', especially when describing the opening scenes with Sir John's family at his country house and also delving into the plague. His descriptions of the villagers' hostile reactions to strangers like the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric are well written and he knows who's who when writing the poacher, the headman, the miller, etc even if he doesn't give them proper names in the context of the story. Eric emphasises the urgency of threat regarding the plague, especially when the Terileptils enhance the rat's flea infection with genetic engineering.

The build-up and reveal of the Great Fire of London is well handled in this novelisation just as it was in the TV story. Eric doesn't reveal the location Pudding Lane until the very end, providing readers the hint that this is where the Great Fire started. Eric does well in terms of the final confrontation between the Doctor and friends against the Terileptils.

I enjoyed reading/listening to `Doctor Who and the Visitation'. It's a nice if slim novelisation of the TV story by Eric Saward. I wish more could be delved into the actual story and we have more in-depth character dialogue and development between the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric as well as learning more about the Terileptils. But Eric does well in keeping his writing sharp and straight to the point as well as Matthew providing very good narrating duties in the audio realm. A decent purchase and certainly worth adding to your collection of Target novelisation audiobooks.

If you want more of the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric in a novelisation/audiobook with more in-depth character development, check out `'Doctor Who - Black Orchid'. That audiobook's really good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who and the Visitation, 5 Mar 2013
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Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who and the Visitation (Audio CD)
Having just read the novelisation of this story, by Eric Saward, I have now received the audio reading of the novelisation released in October 2012. This novelisation is read by Matthew Waterhouse, who played Adric, companion to Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor in the 1980s. I was a little dubious, but Matthew Waterhouse reads this very well - his voice has matured, yet is still recognisable as `Adric'.

The reading of the voice of the actor, Richard Mace, to start with sounds a little over the top, but you soon get used to it, and I think he comes across, quite cleverly, as a rather `overwrought thespian' from the Stuart Age - used to projecting emotion and voice in a larger than life manner to a broad audience. As such, Matthew Waterhouse's characterisation of Mace is really quite enjoyable. His rendering of the Doctor and Tegan are quite spot on, and the remainder of the characters are also read very well.

In the story itself, the Doctor, attempting to return Tegan to her correct time and place (1980 at Heathrow Airport), finds that they have in fact landed in the right place, but not the right time. But someone else who should not be there has got there before them; and unless the Doctor and his companions can remove the threat, the Plague and the Great Fire of 1666 may not be the worst things to happen in London this year.

One of the delights of these readings of the novelisations of the `classic' Doctor Who stories, is that, while the novels themselves tend to be quite short (around 130 pages) and are a quick read, on listening to a trained actor's voice portraying the characters, and `emotionalising' the narrative, the story becomes hours of enjoyment, with subtle sound effects, and becomes much more than just a reading of a book, but a whole audio experience - the novels are lifted up beyond a quick read to a new realm and a new way of enjoying Doctor Who.

I thoroughly enjoyed this cd, and this story - totally recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's something nasty cooking in Pudding Lane, 8 Oct 2012
By 
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who and the Visitation (Audio CD)
The Doctor and his companions land in 17th Century England. Fear stalks a countryside ravaged by plague, but there's other dangers too. A small group of aliens have crash-landed in the vicinity, and they have a plan, which will involve the extermination of the entire human race ......

The Visitation, written by Eric Saward, was broadcast on BBC1 in 1982, and the Target novelisation followed some six months later. It's a pretty traditional tale of aliens interfering in Earth's past, which is a familiar scenario, and better examples can be found, like The Time Warrior or The Masque of Mandragora, but The Visitation is entertaining enough to pass a few hours.

The reader is Matthew Waterhouse, who played Adric between 1980 and 1982. Clearly an Australian accent isn't one of his strengths so Tegan sounds more like a Londoner than anything else. And his voice for Richard Mace, the main guest character, is ridiculously fruity, which does grate after a while.

A few dodgy voices apart, this is a good reading of a solid, but undemanding, story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Peregrinations on Pudding Lane, 18 Sep 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who and the Visitation (Audio CD)
As the supposedly `Artful Dodger-esque' space orphan Adric in the early 80s incarnation of Doctor Who, Matthew Waterhouse proved to be an acquired taste, with several colleagues and many fans of the show highlighting is inexplicably self-important attitude, wooden acting, and ability to run other cast members of the show firmly up the wrong way. However, as the narrator of this audio reading of the TARGET novelisation of Peter Davison's 1982 story (in which he himself also starred), Waterhouse is a calm revelation; his rich and plummy take on debauched thespian Richard Mace is brilliant, whilst his interpretation of Davison's brisk speech sounds incredibly like the real thing. Tegan's nasal Antipodean twang is also reassuringly familiar, and although harder to realise, Nyssa's gentle, lilting voice is also performed creditably.

Former script editor Eric Saward's story itself is pretty slight, and his interesting monsters - the Terileptils - underused, however the story moves along at a good pace throughout, and has enough going on to satisfy the listener.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good reading of an average book, 24 April 2013
By 
M. Hevingham "Mark Hevingham" (BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who and the Visitation (Audio CD)
Eric Seward novelised his own scripts very soon after their TV transmission and this story is a slightly expanded version of the 1982 TV show of the same name. The real draw to this audiobook is the reading by the actor who played Adric in the episodes, Matthew Waterhouse. He gives some good albeit unconventional traits to the characters and seems to have fun portraying his erstwhile co-stars.

Not a bad book, not a bad version, quite a good reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Waterhouse diligently delivers uncomplicated characterisations for this reading..., 16 Nov 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who and the Visitation (Audio CD)
Admittedly, Matthew Waterhouse reading Eric Saward's 1982 novelisation of the author's original television story, DOCTOR WHO - THE VISITATION may not be everyone's idea of a cosy & entertaining night at home sprawling on the sofa, tortilla chips in one hand and in the other a glass of wine but you should think again. It's not as `average' as other DOCTOR WHO critics may have lead you to believe.

Waterhouse, of course, infamous for his on-screen presence as the mathematical genius, Adric (1980-1982) with a wide-eyed naiveté and stilted gate, but, here, his realisation is genuinely honest, gentle and, to a point, simply elegant.

AUDIOGO's commitment continues in delving through the dusty TARGET novelisation archive and retrieves Sward's four-part tale that delivered our bulging-at-the-seams TARDIS occupants to a 17th century pivotal point in British history, in addition to killing off a `friend' of the Doctor at the hands of escaped prisoner. Sadly, the novel was a perfunctory affair, written as an identical copy of the televised version without any substantial exposition or expanded backstory (such as the escape of the Terileptil prisoners from the Raaga Tinclavic Mines, or just how the mining process takes place if the Terileptil appendages can just about hold a laser blaster let alone a pick-axe). With that said, as a 16 year-old, back in the distant time of 1982 DOCTOR WHO - THE VISITATION was thoroughly impressive (a new, youthful Doctor with companions that your associate and believe in, substantial location filming directed in a workman-like manner by Peter Moffatt, and a wholly, even for the teenager, believable dénouement) and, some 30 years later, remains somewhat magical.

Reliant on his fortysomething maturity, Waterhouse diligently delivers uncomplicated characterisations for this reading as opposed to a failed attempt to provide a set of impersonations (of the actors from the original broadcast), and here lies his success. It's restrained, and unhurriedly unfurls like a Magnolia bloom following a mid-winter's sun traverse through the day until it is safe to fully open once the day's warmth has reached its zenith.

"For the first time in her life she thought that she might die"

Whilst Waterhouse's Fifth Doctor persona is subtle with a hint of maturity, his Nyssa is represented by a deftness of a butterfly, his Tegan brusque not brash, it is his realisation of errant & itinerant actor, Richard Mace that is projected as a tour de force; its perfect given that character's colourful background and current circumstances. He's blustering, magnificently self-assured yet vulnerable and dependent.

"I feel that you've just killed an old friend"

Equally important to the success of DOCTOR WHO - THE VISITATION is the attribution of special sound effects contributed that lack a much needed texture and depth to Saward's (sometimes) pedestrian plotting. Simon Power (Meon Productions) has created a raft of `period' sound dressing from the innocuous (and virtually impossible to conceive) "...candle rolling across the flag-stones..." , to "...genetically modified rats...", to "...a pulsating alien gas-emitting device...", to "...the burning of London...". All in a day's work for an aural genius but there were a number of sound effects that failed to gender any appreciation; being punched in the stomach does not sound like a sack of milled flour being dropped 10 feet onto a stone floor. It's a very minor error but, like that fist being thrust into the mid-drift, it's not very pleasant. And then there's the number of footfall sound effect of the characters walking sometimes do not correspond with the number of individuals walking. If three people are walking on gravel then, whilst it may seem `messy', we should here three sets of feet not just one.

However, the additional sound treatment is key to the novelisation readings' success, and without it they would be as dull and soporific as watching paint dry.

Sadly, the cover - a new painting - by Nick Spender is poor (sorry, why are there rats amid the top of the TARDIS? And white window frames on the Davison TARDIS? Plainly, no). My nine-year old Son's attempt, with a pack of Crayola on the back of a Cornflake box, is far better. AUDIOGO should reconsider reverting back to the original TARGET covers no matter how idiosyncratic (or photographic) they may be, or enagage illustrator Anthony Dry (his work is on display as part of the Cardiff-based, DOCTOR WHO EXPERIENCE) for a more contemporary approach.

Overall, DOCTOR WHO - THE VISITATION may not the be the most accomplished novelisation and, therefore, must have been a Herculean effort for Waterhouse (under the guidance of AUDIOGO's Lyndsey Melling studio production), however the outcome is a purposeful, entertaining reading that will encourage those fans whose cynicism (about Waterhouse's acting abilities) remains faithfully entrenched in 1982 as a `badge of honour' to re-evaluate Waterhouse's own commitment to the programme's enduring legacy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising delight, 3 Jan 2013
By 
Mark J. Heckford (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who and the Visitation (Audio CD)
The Visitation is by no means the strongest of the Target novels, but it does have one of the most enjoyable, well performed readings in the series of talking book versions of Doctor Who. Matthew. For anyone who, like me, was unsure what a Matthew Waterhouse reading would be like, it's first rate. Share the surprise, treat yourself to a copy.
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Doctor Who and the Visitation
Doctor Who and the Visitation by Eric Saward (Audio CD - 4 Oct 2012)
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