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Doctor Who-The Edge of Destruction Paperback – 27 Oct 1988

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dr Who; New edition edition (27 Oct. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0426203275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0426203278
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 876,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Making the most of atmospheric music and sound effects to capture the sense of impending doom which builds throughout this story, and with Russell admirably stepping back into Ian’s shoes after almost 50 years, this is a remarkably successful adaptation... Highly recommended." (www.huntspost.co.uk) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

William Russell reads this exciting novelisation of a classic Doctor Who adventure. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I always enjoy stories being read by William Russell - even though his voice is so much older now, it's definitely Ian Chesterton who brings the story to life for the listener.

This is a great atmospheric story. Only the third of the original Doctor Who stories, this was originally broadcast in 1964 in the UK. The characters are still new to each other, and indeed to the audience. Susan and her grandfather are alien to Ian and Barbara, who have in turn thrust themselves upon the Doctor and Susan in their travels. The Doctor is of course unable to return them to England in 1963, much as he would like (generally) to get rid of them.

The story is also set entirely inside the Tardis, and it is this which gives so much of the atmosphere to the story. It's a psychological thriller, where all is not as it seems; are Barbara and Ian up to something? Are they right to mistrust the Doctor? And what about Susan's strange episodes? Why are such odd things happening to them inside the Tardis - how much of it is inside their own minds, and how much of it is imposed on them by something external? Could there be something in the Tardis with them?

Given the static environment in which the whole story is set, and the small core cast, this is the perfect opportunity to find out more about each of the characters. And that is what we, as the audience, get to do. Tempers flare, things get said - but in the end, the characters are reconciled to their journeying together and head off with renewed hope.

The novelisation which is read here of this story, is great. The plot is explained well for the listener; the sound effects in the Tardis are just right - not obtrusive, but certainly enhancing to the story and the atmosphere.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
‘Edge of Destruction’ is one of those Doctor Who serials that isn’t very well remembered or regarded, but does in fact contain some very important elements that shape what the programme becomes.

Until the end of this story the original Tardis team are a group of four almost flung together by circumstance; their relationships exhibiting mistrust and apprehension. ‘Edge of Destruction’ sees these feelings manifest into fear and paranoia, bring things from ‘An Unearthly Child’ and ‘The Daleks’ to a head. In doing so this also brings about their resolution and the four of them emerge from the Tardis in ‘Marco Polo’ as a united team that trust in and depend on each other. It is the blueprint for the Doctor and his companions from then on.

The novelisation, perhaps better than the programme, captures the tension, paranoia and distrust. This is partly because it is able to provide some of the internal musings and mind sets of the characters by alternating between their various perspectives. It is probably the type of story that lends itself better to a book than a television programme.

The extra space also helps with this; this being a two part serial accorded the same amount of pages often given to four, six and more episode stories. Although the novelisation occasionally drags a bit because of this most of the time the extra space allows for more suitable pacing and thus better atmosphere. It also means the author can include a couple of extra scenes not seen in the original but which benefit the story.

The story is also known as ‘Inside the Spaceship’ which pretty much sums up its other important role. For the first time and for one of the very few times we actually see a lot more of the Tardis than just the console room.
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Format: Audio CD
It's not often that these BBC Audio/AudioGo versions of Target novelisations better the stories they were based on, though many come close. However, here we have an example of one which exceeds above and beyond the quality of the TV version.

'The Edge of Destruction' was a 2-part 'filler' episode for Doctor Who, and its third ever story. Being so short, and set exclusively inside the TARDIS using only the regular time travellers as the cast, the original could at times become dull and at times confusing. In this version there is a far more leisurely pace and as such this enables the author to really get inside the heads of the people who are experiencing the bizarre and at times disturbing events within the TARDIS. The longer time also allows for a few extra scenes (such as Ian and the Doctor's trip to the TARDIS' engine rooms) to flesh out the story and add more meaning.

This audiobook is read by William Russell, who portrayed Ian in the original story. The inclusion of an actual cast member adds an air of authenticity to the whole piece, and the actor's reading is very impressive; he turns it right up for the dramatic parts, and drops down low for the more tense scenes.

Sound effects are, as ever, provided by Simon Power, and the results are - of course - excellent. Silence is at times a powerful tool in this (the normal background hum of the TARDIS being notably absent for most of the story), but extra sounds such as smashing glasses, the schoolroom noises of Ian and Barbara's hallucinations, and many more are added to good effect.

Overall this is a stellar release and well worth the relatively low price tag. I would really like to hear more of William Russell's readings, especially, as they greatly enhance this and make it feel just right. 10/10 all the way!
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