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The Daleks have their Day!,
This review is from: Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks (Mass Market Paperback)
Before videos came along, it was impossible to see certain episodes of your favourite TV shows. People watched an episode ONCE...and that was it. You would never see it again for (most likely) years, long before televised repeats, VHS releases or just taping off the telly.
Doctor Who was certainly not exempt from this back in the day. Fans who loved the old show were desperate to relive their favourite episodes, yet just couldn't. And that's when these novelizations (originally published by Target Books) came along.
Despite my feelings about novelizations, I can understand the point of these wonderful Doctor Who books (more so given the age they were first published in). And having had a chance to actually check this one out, I can safely say that Day of the Daleks is far more than just a straight-adaptation. Writer Terrance Dicks took the opportunity to expand upon Louis Marks' original multi-part episode through some absolutely brilliant prose.
The plot of the original TV serial focused on UNIT being called in to investigate reports of a failed assault on Sir Reginald Styles in his own home. Investigations from the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning) lead them to being captured by the attackers and accidentally time-travelling to the 22nd Century...where the Daleks have conquered the Earth.
Day of the Daleks itself is one of the most famous episodes in Doctor Who's history, as well as being one of the Daleks' most legendary exploits. The tale is multi-layered, intelligent, gripping and full of some really colourful characters and sub-plots. In this reprint of the Target novelization (under the BBC Books banner), Terrance Dicks inserts additional scenes that were cut from the original script/final broadcast due to time, as well as new changes to the dialogue/action to help refresh the plot for literary sake. The result is simply excellent, and it doesn't matter whether you've seen the televised serial on DVD, enjoyed reading this book as a kid, or haven't even heard of Day of the Daleks before. It all just works, thanks to Dicks' impeccable narrative.
The reprint is pretty much exactly how it was published back in 1974. The original typesetting, original font, Chris Achilleos' old illustrations; everything's here in its beautiful old glory. For the finishing touches on this 2012 edition, there's a brand new introduction from Doctor Who novelist Gary Russell (who reminisces about his own childhood experiences), "The Changing Face of Doctor Who" (which is a handy intro to the Third Doctor, UNIT and Jo Grant for new fans) & "About the Authors" supplied by Justin Richards, and finally "Between the Lines" (provided by Steve Tribe) to point out all the exact differences between the actual TV serial and its novelization. All this serves to make the experience one of great learning for new readers who wish to dive into Doctor Who's history, as well as remaining a splendid read for old fans.
Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks remains a fantastic story, as well as superb reading. Essential for all fans, including those who've been brought up watching the likes of David Tennant and Matt Smith. Highly recommended.