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Doctor Who The Scream Of The Shalka Paperback – 11 Apr 2013

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849906475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849906470
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 870,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

An unabridged reading of Paul Cornell's novelisation based on his animated drama of the same name. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Paul Cornell is a writer of science fiction and fantasy in prose, comics and TV, one of only two people to be Hugo Award-nominated for all three media. He’s written Doctor Who for the BBC, Action Comics for DC, and Wolverine for Marvel. He’s won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, an Eagle Award for his comics, and shares in a Writer’s Guild Award for his television.

His latest urban fantasy novel is The Severed Streets from Tor. [source: paulcornell.com]

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


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An alternate official ninth Doctor, played by Richard E. Grant, was launched online and then almost immediately cancelled with the relaunch of the BBC series on the tellybox with Mr Ecclestone in he role. This is the novelisation of that animated adventure, and incredibly refreshing it is too. Most interesting is that writer Paul Cornell makes very similar decisions on how to relaunch the character as Russell Davies did for the television. Forget about regenerating the character, and have him turn up well settled in his new body? Check. Give him a dark secret, a tragedy we don't know about, to drive his initial development? Check. Give him a companion who will show him how to be himself again, and make her the (seemingly) most ordinary person possible? Check. It's both very familiar, and very new. The story itself is a traditional 'base under siege' scenario given a global climax, and is perhaps darker and more drastic than the television series would dare for some time. It's recognisably the best of Who though, and an intriguing alternate reality for an enduring character. One of the most entertaining bits of Who fiction I've read this anniversary year.
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Format: Paperback
Coming from the same author who scripted the original animation this novelisation is pretty much as might be expected. It deviates very little in plot or content.

The storyline involves an alternative Ninth Doctor arriving on earth during an attempted invasion by a serpent like species named the Shalka, who appear to be imbued with multiple sonic abilities that are linked with their technology. The Shalka themselves are fairly good as an alien menace. They are very well thought out, detailed and imaginative. And there is certainly potential for them to be re-used.

However, much like the animated version, the Doctor is generally quite unlikeable, condescending and pretentious. He does improve as the story developments (often during his interactions with de-facto companion Alison) but he is till hard to warm to even by the close of the book.

Alison is very much companion material but without the life that Sophie Okonedo brought to the part she feels very generic. The relationship between Joe and her is given a little more depth in the novelisation after it was quite difficult to believe in during the animation. This helps to make the story feel a little more human.

There is also more time spent on the other areas of the world where the Shalka are attacking. In the Webcast these were usually just random shots that didn't always seem to make sense. In the book they come together much more as whole.

Unfortunately there is no more information provided about what the Master might be doing with the Doctor. It was a bit that never really made sense in the Webcast and still fails to make satisfactory sense in the novelisation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not bad, but not the best.
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