2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2012
The Doctor, Sarah and Harry find themselves on a seemingly deserted space station countless years in the future. They soon discover that they are far from being alone.
If Terrance Dicks was the workhorse of the Target Doctor Who novelisations then I'd have to say that Ian Marter was one the best actual writers. Of all the regular Target writers I found Ian's prose to be one of the best. Some of his descriptions of the Wirrn larva are absolutely alive with bubbling sizzling threat. To be honest as an eight year old I was petrified of the green bubble-wrap bits of the mutating commander Noah so I'm pretty thankful that they didn't achieve the seething monstrosity that Marter delivers. The action scenes are particularly well done. Libri's comedy tv death becomes something quite brutal and vicious. Looking back at the book now I do miss some of the funnier lines, probably mainly Robert Holmes at his witty best. Whether Marter actively took them out or more likely they were late script editions that weren't in Marter's research material, I don't know. It's easy to drop them back in from memory though, so the witty little knitter and naval jokes can live again for those that really care. Script differences aside Marter has a lot of fun with the space station Nerva's on board technology eg moving walkways and mentally activated hatchways etc. Great stuff from one of the all time classic Doctor Who seasons and come on... who doesn't adore Harry Sullivan? And all written by the man himself.
Original artwork , features on script to novel, Ian Marter, Robert Holmes and a new introduction by Steven Moffat.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2012
These are books where the 2-3 page introductions are what really matters now, sadly. Most old series fans and collectors are likely to already have a set, and in some cases, many doubles reflecting the different editions done over the years. These are very nice reprints with the essence of the original cover captured and "packaged" with a fabulous gold McGann logo. Very attractive indeed.
Steven Moffat accurately depicts the experience of a serious proper Whovian, and good on him for doing so. The anticipation and expectation that many fans would have themselves been through is captured.
The Ark in Space is easily one of the best if not the very best Doctor Who script we have ever seen. Coupled with the fact that the story is written by the fabulous Ian Marter; one of the few instances in Doctor Who where the narrative is written by someone who was actually there (Ian Marter acting companion Harry Sullivan.)
A great product even if you have got the text itself in several forms already.
on 26 November 2013
I imagine that to many viewers Harry Sullivan was a very likeable but quite under-utilised companion of the Doctor. So, perhaps, Ian Marter's greater contribution to the world of Doctor Who could be his Target novelisations. Certainly on the strength of this book that could easily seem so. This is an exceedingly good novelisation in that it keeps the feel and sense of the programme, doesn't alter the storyline significantly but also manages to provide more depth and realism at certain times. This last point is mainly apparent when Marter's writing turns to the Wirrn. Each stage of their lifecycle; the larvae, the grubs, the human metamorphosis and the finally developed creature; are all given hugely detailed descriptions that are so engaging written that there are no thoughts of green coloured bubble wrap. His Wirrn are gruesome and disturbing without being gratuitous. This helps to add to the menace of their threat. Though I am not sure why there is a variation in the spelling of Wirrn/Wirrrn.
Even though it might have been tempting to give Harry a somewhat larger role or offer more from his perspective, Marter is very restrained in giving Harry little extra bar a Morse code message to Sarah Jane. Harry remains true to the original and the Doctor and Sarah Jane are spot on.
Marter easily captures the claustrophobic unease that permeated the atmosphere of the televised version. This is a strong novelisation and well worth reading if you're a fan of the programme.
on 23 March 2013
This is a well written novelisation of one of the best ever Doctor Who stories from the original series. It reflects a time when the chemistry between the Doctor/Companion team in front of the camera and the Writing/Production team behind the camera was exceptionally good. Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen were undoubtedly brilliant together on screen as the Doctor and Sarah, while for a time, Ian Marter as Harry was a good additional foil for the two. Here, as Author, Ian Marter's affectionate novelisation of Robert Holmes clever television script brings out both the warmth of the central characters and the chilling horror of the tale set in a clinical futuristic environment. Some of Marter's changes to the original dialogue did not set the right tone but overall his narrative creates atmosphere and superbly emphasises the tension present in the original plot. Steven Moffat's new introduction adds a perspective that modern day fans of the show will appreciate.