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Doctor Who: The Myth Makers [1965](Original BBC Television Soundtrack) Audio CD – Audiobook, 8 Jan 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 8 Jan 2001
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (8 Jan. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563477776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563477778
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 14.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 908,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

While Dr. Who is often fondly remembered for its slipshod production values (disused quarries as barren planets etc.), it's worth remembering that the show featured its fair share of cracking storylines. One of Dr. Who's infamous "lost" episodes, with only the soundtrack remaining, Myth Makers allows a wonderfully inventive take on Greek myths to shine through (aided by Peter Purves' scene-setting narration), without the distraction of dodgy sets. When the TARDIS lands in ancient Greece, the original Doctor (William Hartnell) and his companions get mixed up with Greek Gods and the Trojan War. Mistaken for the great god Zeus by Achilles, Agamemnon and Odysseus, the Doctor is forced is to come up with a plan to defeat the Trojans--in just two days. Meanwhile, companions Steven and Vicky have been taken prisoner by the Trojans. To prove her loyalty, Vicky must come up with a plan to defeat the Greeks in the same time. However, for the Doctor, a certain plan involving a giant wooden horse may save him, but doom the others. Mixing the staples of historical adventure with farce, bolstered with a literate, witty script makes Myth Makers hugely enjoyable, a must for fans and excellent reminder of the series' early inventiveness. --Danny Graydon

Review

"Though the reader, Stephen Thorne, has no direct connection with the original serial... his boisterous tones are perfect for relating this tale of overblown legendary heroes and villains." (Richard McGinlay http://www.sci-fi-online.com) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Homer's `The Iliad' breaks off his epic tale of the Trojan War, abruptly and annoyingly, soon after the death of Hector, Prince of Troy, at the hands of Achilles. Now we know why. Even an audience accustomed to stories about all the gods and goddesses of Olympus simply wouldn't have believed what happened next ...

Donald Cotton's superb novelisation of his story `The Myth Makers' brings William Hartnell's Doctor to Troy for a brilliantly entertaining, mostly comic conclusion to the war, with the Wooden Horse and all that ... and some rather confused Greeks and Trojans confronted with a magical blue box and its three occupants, one of whom may or may not be Zeus, but who claim to be travellers in Time and Space. No wonder Homer left that part out!

Sadly, the television episodes are mysteriously `lost', I assume since Odysseus and his Ithacan horde stormed Television Centre, because obviously nobody would just wipe the tapes of these classics, would they? (!) The soundtrack exists and tells an excellent and (in part 4 especially) different and far more serious story than the novel, but having now heard the two surviving versions I prefer the novelisation and it's the wonderful Audiobook of that which is reviewed here.

Donald Cotton's sparkling 1985 novelisation of his scripts turns the original story into a `Homer's-eye view' account of the closing events of the Trojan War, as witnessed by the poet as a young man and now told by him, in old age, to a visitor to his olive grove. There, Homer sits in the sun among ancient ruins, eating goats' cheese and recounting his astonishing adventure.

And he does so, splendidly, in a literary voice somewhere between P.G. Wodehouse and Jerome K.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Myth Makers was always a great slightly left field story for the Police Box Show (try out the soundtrack CD and you'll also be wishing they had all the episodes intact). The tardis is dumped on the plains of ancient Troy as Achilles fights Hector and the emerging Doctor is taken for Zeus. He and Steven get 48 hours to devise a way to defeat the Trojans, while Vicki emerging from the Tardis later as it is taken to the city of Troy by Paris is taken as a prophetess and tasked to defeat the Greeks.

For the novelisation, Donald Cotton put in the famous classic writer Homer (Iliad, Oddysey) as narrator. This works even better than Ned Buntline in the Gunfighters because Homer is put into the story. in fact he becomes the main character (which may upset some purists), regaling a visitor with his tale of what happened at the siege of Troy, the strange people he met who came out of a blue box & how he lost his sight.

Just as in the original, here are mythical figures of legend, portrayed as real people, fed up to the back teeth with an interminable war. Oddyseus fears his wife will never believe the war has gone on this long and Paris is certain that if he could have just talked to Menelaus about stealing his wife Helen then it could all have been sorted out.
Menelaus for his part is actually glad to see the back of her and not at all interested in his brother's insistence that he ought retrieve her or die trying!

Homer provides a commentary on events e.g. observing that the Doctor did not know when to leave well alone as he asks Odysseus what will happen if they fail in their task.

There's a great deal of humour and wit plus some anachronistic references-e.g. Homeer describing the Hartnell Doctor as a "superannuated Flying Dutchman!
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‘The Myth Makers’ sees the Tardis dematerialise upon the plains of ancient Asia thrusting the Doctor and his companions into one of the most pivotal periods of human history, the Trojan War.

In terms of quality of text this is often superbly written. There are some wonderful turns of phrase, a keen wit throughout the writing, some amusingly clever chapter titles, virtual paraphrasing of Classical texts and even a little bit of toying with Iambics. The characterisation of Homeric/historical figures is frequently delightful in the way it mocks their flaws and weaknesses rendering them more human than heroic and thus making them more realistic.

Unlike the usual Target novelisations it is written in the first person from the perspective of Homer. This places the author of the foremost work concerning the Trojan War, the Iliad (albeit only concerned with a brief period during said war), at the heart of the action. This involves his interaction with events not just with the Greeks and Trojans but also with the Tardis crew. There is a satirical edge that runs throughout the narration and brings the historical figure of Homer to life.

Of course this approach does come with a few problems. Ostensibly the author of the Iliad (and ‘The Odyssey’ if you hold to the view that the two great epics were written by one and the same author) wouldn’t have recounted such events until several centuries after which the time they were set. Furthermore, this is something unique to the novelisation, Homer not appearing in the televised serial. It also makes this quite a Doctor light adventure. The Doctor is featured very little as the plot follows Homer’s movements throughout the Greek encampment and the city of Troy. He becomes more of a background figure.
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