- Audio CD: 5 pages
- Publisher: BBC Physical Audio; Unabridged edition edition (6 May 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408409984
- ISBN-13: 978-1408409985
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 14 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Doctor Who Daleks: Mission To The Unknown (Doctor Who Classics) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Peter Purves and Jean Marsh read this exciting novelisation of a classic Doctor Who adventure, with Dalek voices by Nicholas Briggs.
About the Author
John Peel was born in Nottingham in the UK in 1954 and moved to America, where he still lives, in 1981. Shortly after that he became the editor of Fantasy Empire magazine and his first novel, Uptime, Downtime, was published in 1992. Peel was friends with writer Terry Nation, and this resulted in their co-written The Official Doctor Who & The Daleks Book, published in America in 1988. Peel then gained agreement from Nation to novelise his Doctor Who stories 'The Chase' and 'The Daleks' Master Plan' for the Target range. He subsequently penned novelisations of David Whitaker's two Dalek stories, 'The Power of the Daleks' and 'The Evil of the Daleks', which were both published in 1993. During the 1990s, he built a reputation as the author of cult TV tie-in novels, penning books based on Doctor Who (four titles, 1991-1998), The Avengers (1990), James Bond Jr (six books, 1992), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993; 1997), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (three books, 1994-1996), Quantum Leap (1996), The Outer Limits (12 books, 1997-1999) and Eerie, Indiana (two books, 1997; 1999). He has also written many original novels, including the Carmen Sandiego series (nine books, 1991-1994), the Shockers series (six books, 1992-93), the Books of Diadem series (ten books, 1997, 2005-6) and the 2009 series (six books, 1999).
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The story is a cracker though; slightly revised from the original Terry Nation script by novelist John Peel in 1989, the story is much more taut and less flabby than that televised. Peter Purves and Jean Marsh alternate narrative duties here, and for me Purves makes a much better fist of it than Marsh. Apart from anything else he manages a creditable impersonation of Bill Hartnell, and this coupled with his own cultured but distinctive tones, make for a great listening experience.
The artwork survives from the original Target novelisation, and with five discs inside, this is a highly impressive package all round.
The second half of the serial is available as a separate audio book.
The reading is wonderful and has been divided between Peter Purves (who played the Doctor's companion Steven) and Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom). At first it seems strange that there should be two readers as they have very different styles but you quickly get used to this and it works well, they are both excellent and Purves in particular does a very good first Doctor.
For me this is one of the very best releases in this series so far. I can't recommend it highly enough!
However it is worth it because this is a very strong retelling of one of the finer epics of the early years of the TV series and the lengthy running time of the original tale means that some very strong characterisations are possible and that the tragedy of the story of Space Security Agents Sara Kingdom and Bret Vyon and the machinations of the wicked and treacherous Mavic Chen, the Guardian of the Solar System no less, both unfold on a rather epic scale.
This half of the story starts with a retelling of the events of the TV episode MISSION TO THE UNKNOWN the only TV episode not to feature either the Doctor or any of his companions which acted largely as a teaser for the epic tale to follow. We are transported to the planet Kembel where a veritable menagerie of aliens are gathering in an evil alliance and the seeds of a most despicable Dalek plot where the stakes are as high as the destruction of time itself are sown.
The rest of this volume retells the story told in episodes 1-6 of the television story which is something of a journey through space (whereas the second half is more of a journey through time). For once the TARDIS is all but abandoned and yet the story manages to encompass galaxy wide locations such as a future Earth, the prison planet Desperus, Kembel and Mira, and the Doctor and Steven experience more than one significant loss as they struggle to keep one step ahead of the Doctor's oldest and deadliest of foes.
This volume actually manages to be quite successfully self contained as a story in itself because the televised version did have a rather natural break at that point with the first DOCTOR WHO "Special Christmas Episode" which was a bit of light-hearted fun that didn't really progress the plot. The natural end that this volume reaches could quite naturally complete the story, if you didn't know there was more to come, and I think it is the slightly stronger of the two volumes in terms of its dramatic tone and storyline.
Reading duties are shared between actors Peter Purves (companion Steven Taylor in the original) and Jean Marsh (who played Sara Kingdom) and whilst they both have very distinct styles, both read the story very well, each doing a couple of chapters at a time presumably because it would have been rather difficult on both them and the listener to have the same voices throughout. The transitions between the blocks they read are unannounced and can take a moment or two to adjust to, but the story is told in dramatic terms and holds the attention very well. Dalek voices are provided by current TV series Dalek voice Nicholas Briggs which probably avoids a lot of general embarrassment all round. The story is enhanced by some subtle but effective sound effects and music all of which makes for a rather impressive package.
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