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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 23 October 2013
This is a reading of the novelisation (by Terrance Dicks) of the Third Doctor story, Planet of the Daleks. At the end of the previous story, Frontier in Space, the Doctor and Jo Grant have foiled another of the Master's plans, but the Doctor is wounded, and calls on his Timelord peers to help him and Jo in the Tardis to follow the Daleks. The Tardis travels to a planet where it lands, and where Jo, desperate to get help for the seemingly mortally ill Doctor leaves the Tardis to get help. But she is about to find more than she bargained for, for on Spiridon there are Thals and Daleks - many thousands of Daleks.

This is a great story, originally broadcast with the wonderful Jon Pertwee in top form as the suave and debonair dashing Doctor in the velvet smoking jacket, and Jo Grant as his UNIT assistant. The novelisation by Terrance Dicks is good, but this reading by Mark Gatiss really brings the story to an absolute top-notch experience for the listener. I don't think I've ever heard Mark Gatiss read one of the Doctor Who stories before, but he captures every voice and every nuance brilliantly. Even his characterisation of Jon Pertwee's Doctor is absolutely spot-on; brilliantly done.

The story is three hours long, and it never seems a minute too long - there is action aplenty, and plenty of story and scene shifts. The story moves from one where the Doctor is ill and Jo goes to get help, to one where there are conflicting ideas about who are the `goodies' and the `baddies', to trying to thwart the Daleks' latest masterplan to conquer the universe. The sound effects on this story are wonderfully subtle and appropriate - you can `feel' the desert, and you can `hear' and `see' the plants and wildlife on the primeval planet of Spiridon - even down to the movement of the ice shelves which are so pivotal to the story. This is an absolute winner of a story; as a story, as a Doctor Who story, and as an audio reading of the novelisation of this great 1973 story. Definitely recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2013
Like a Mini-Magnum ice cream lolly, AUDIOGO's release of Terrance Dicks' novelisation of DOCTOR WHO AND THE PLANET OF THE DALEKS is an ideal bite-sized three-disc audiobook that is wonderfully satisfying without being over indulgent and you can quite easily enjoy it twice-in-a-row without feeling too sickly or wasteful (a feeling you may have had if you had devoured two of the standard sized lollies. And, yes, we've all done that, haven't we? Or is it just me..?)

AUDIOGO's enduring commitment to scour the dust-laden TARGET novel archives is truly commendable and, as older fans would attest, guarantees that these most iconic of releases are enjoyed by a whole new array of fans who may have just discovered the Time Lord since it was re-imagined in 2005. And with over 160 novels (including the series spin-offs, such as HARRY SULLIVAN'S WAR and TURLOUGH AND THE EARTHLINK DILEMMA) this range is set to continues for many years to come.

Originally released in October 1976, Dick's DOCTOR WHO AND THE PLANET OF THE DALEKS novel is succinct when compared to the 1973 six-part televised overly long-and-drawn-out story but there lies its strength. Extraneous padding injected into the original Terry Nation broadcast is professionally exorcised by the author leaving a taut, character-focused thriller for the Third Doctor, and, in the audiobook format, Mark Gatiss certainly relishes the challenge in bringing it alive, and, surprisingly, creates an affectionate impersonation (or interpretation) of Pertwee's Third Doctor along the way.

More so, Gatiss is equally measured in his interpretation of Spiridon native, Wester, as he `channels' series stalwart, Roy Skelton with just a hint of salvia-challenged Ice Warrior with influenza.

As we have come to expect, the post-production is exemplary and, at times, is considerably more alien than those created (by Dick Mills) for the original broadcast. Spiridon's vast, hostile jungle is persistently aggressive as you would expect from it being the host to a myriad of carnivorous, fungus-spore ejaculating flora that indiscriminatingly pick-off the unwary, and Simon Power's sound treatment appropriately delivers this hidden threat in all its majestic gore glory. It makes your skin crawl.

Additionally, and as you'd expect, Nicholas Brigg's pitch-perfect manifestation of the Dalek voices is accurately delineated as the mid-1970's versions (the broadcast story's voices were supplied by Michael Wisher and Roy Skelton), embodying hate and distrust within an electronic staccato urgency that breeds fear and unswerving obedience from the subjugated.

Overall, as an audiobook, DOCTOR WHO AND THE PLANET OF THE DALEKS succeeds where the television story (mildly) failed. For the listener, the combination of Dicks' novelisation with AUDIOGO's collective talent (Gatiss' reading, Power's creative sound treatment and Briggs' canon Dalek voice treatment) delivers a meritorious and easily accessible release that warrants your attention without hesitation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In 1973 Doctor Who celebrated its 10th anniversary, and the Terry Nation scripted Planet of the Daleks was a nostalgic trip into the past. Reminiscent of the first Dalek story from 1963/64, it's a straightforward adventure yarn with several sequences lifted directly from that story.

Some might call this homage, others might less charitably conclude that Terry Nation had run out of original ideas a long time previously, but whilst the story isn't particularly innovative it is a rattling good yarn.

Terrance Dicks' novelisation compressed the six part story into a book of 120 pages - on audio this lasts for around three hours, so there's little time to be bored as the story moves at quite a pace.

Mark Gatiss is the reader. A fan of the story, he asked to read this book and does a great job - his love for the material shines through. One slight downside is that the music and effects do verge on overkill at times (sadly this is not the only release in the series where this happens).

Although it's not one of the best Doctor Who novels, it is a very good reading from Gatiss and therefore is definitely worth a listen.
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on 11 February 2015
This story follows on from ‘Frontier in Space’ (novelised as ‘The Space War’). The two stories don’t really have a great deal to do with one another however. ‘Frontier in Space’ merely brings the Daleks’ plans to the Doctor’s attention and enables him, with the help of the Time Lords, to track them to Spiridon. Of course, Spiridon isn’t really the planet of the Daleks at all. It transpires that it is merely a base of operations where there is a massive Dalek army in hibernation. Working on the assumption that this army is ready to be activated and sweep across the universe once war has broken out between Earth and Draconia, it seems odd, considering the failure of this plan in ‘Frontier in Space’, that the Daleks seem to be carrying on with it. Surely there needs to be a rethink now that the Master and the Ogrons have failed. That this isn’t acknowledged in ‘The Planet of the Daleks’ lessens the relationship between the two stories.

This is a pretty standard novelisation of the serial. There isn’t much that hasn’t really been seen before in other Dalek stories. Why the Thals are even included is a bit debatable. It might have been more interesting, and more in keeping with ‘‘Frontier in Space’, if a team of either Draconians or humans (or better both) had accompanied the Doctor to Spiridon and fulfilled the roles played by the Thals.

Some of the visual impact can’t help but be lost. The arrival and onscreen presence of the Dalek Supreme doesn’t make the same dramatic impression and the invisibility of the Spiridons or their purple cloaks aren’t as effective. As a trade-off though, the ranks of the Dalek army don’t come across as toys.

Even so, this is still an exciting and enjoyable story written with plenty of pace and action.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2013
This audiobook is nothing like the traditional old single voice talking books of the past. With added music & sound FX by gifted sound designer Simon Power it becomes an entirely new & modern type of listening experience. The hot, sticky atmosphere of the planet's jungle. The hollow, metallic echo of The Dalek's hideout. Even the creepy, lurking invisible sounds of the Spiridons. Every detail is meticulously targeted to enhance Mark Gatiss's excellent reading.

It is truly amazing how far the genre has moved in in just a few short years. This is more like a feature film or a slickly produced radio drama than a talking book, and Planet of The Daleks is the best so far - let's have more like this please!
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on 16 February 2015
Can't wait listen to this DrWho cd. If you seen on TVs and brought in DVDs when listen again story comes alive you are the Doctor
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2013
The rating i gave this audio book was purely for Mark Gatiss' excellent reading of a brilliant tv adventure of 1973, his Third Doctor vocalisation is ofset by Nick Briggs ably performed Dalek voices.

Of the many Target novelisations i have come across in this format, i highly recommed any Doctor Who fan to add this to their collection.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2013
Planet of the Daleks is typical later Pertwee era fare; a six part story from his penultimate season, the adventure takes place on the jungle planet of Spiridon, where invisible inhabitants have become the subject of study for everyone's favourite motorised distbins, the Daleks.

Its no great secret that Terrance Docks was under a huge workload at the time he wrote some of these books and managing to condense each episode into around 20 pages of text robs the story of the opportunity to expand on the backstory, and chooses instead to hit the ground running and sprint all the way to the end. As it is, its somewhat basic, but the simpified story is still a good listen. This is due almost entirely to the absolutely superb reading by Mark Gatiss, who apparently asked to read this particular tale.

Mr Gatiss performs each character with a different voice (save the Daleks who are voiced by Nick Briggs in a very Michael Wisher-esque way) and embues the story with impetus, whilst never allowing it to appear rushed.

The shortest yet of audio - go's adaptations, running to 180 minutes, the story is good value based on the reading itself. On one minus point the sound FX are a little silly in places with "feet on gravel" being used to illustrate people working in the verdant jungles!
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on 4 August 2014
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2013
Jo peered through the panel and saw - nothing. Yet someone had entered the cabin. She could hear hoarse breathing and stealthy padding footsteps. A beaker rose in the air of its own accord, then dropped to the floor...' After pursuing the Daleks through space, Doctor Who lands on the planet of Spiridon, in the midst of a tropical jungle...and finds more than Daleks. Vicious plants spitting deadly poison, invisible Spiridons attacking from all sides and, in hiding, a vast army waits...for the moment to mobilise and conquer. Mark Gatiss, who has written and appeared in several Doctor Who episodes, reads Terrance Dicks' complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1976.
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