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Doctor Who : Prisoner of the Daleks (RRP: £6.99)
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Title: Doctor Who : Prisoner of the Daleks (RRP: £6.99) Binding: Paperback Publication date: 2010 Condition: GUARANTEED BRAND NEW, WELL-PACKAGED. QUICK DIsPATCH
Top customer reviews
The Doctor doesn't do anything particularly clever throughout, whilst people around him drop like flies.
The story is very simplistic and the worst sin is the Dalek dialogue, which sounds like an argumentative teenager having a tantrum, but in CAPS.
In fact the "lingo" throughout is 21st century teenager, especially from the Doctor..and then we have the shoe-horning in of old favourites like "I'm Sorry. I'm so very sorry."
A lazy, uninteresting, affair.
the story involves the doctor finding himself in a time somewhen before the time war, with humans and daleks in the middle of an intergalactic war. he finds himself stranded with a group of humans who hunt daleks for a living. and they find themselves caught up in a dalek plot that places the future of the space time continuum at risk. literally.
long term fans may find the style of this familiar as it contains a lot of the elements that dalek creator terry nation would have in his stories. a group of tough humans and a humanoid alien. desolate planets. space battles. humans becoming prisoners of the daleks. cunning dalek plans. dalek spaceships. lots of explosions. and a chilling coda that suggests the daleks arent gone for good.
this book contains all of those, and yet it's done so well it's never cliched and that's all part of the charm. the human and humanoid characters are all quite well rounded and have believable motivations. it also brings in the moral questions that the show would often raise, not least whether killing or torturing daleks makes you any better than them.
all of this makes it a real page turner. and the daleks are also done very well. they do some very nasty things that are well in keeping with their character. and in a nice touch the book uses a different typeset for their dialogue.
those familiar with terry nations work will also spot a sneaky reference to a planet from his other show blake's 7. which was a nice touch.
a hugely enjoyable read.
It has all the usual elements of a good Who story - seemingly unstoppable enemies, sonic screwdrivering aplenty, quirky lines & the Doctor preaching morality to his allies as they go about killing & torturing the creatures who slaughtered their families. Yet it doesn't seem clichéd or repetitive at all. It's actually very compelling & adds a lot of background to the Daleks, while remaining completely faithful to the Whoniverse. For instance, we are told that at full power, a Daleks' gun can atomise a human instantly but instead they use just enough energy to kill them over a couple of seconds, inflaming the nervous system & inflicting the maximum amount of pain on their victims. Social workers they ain't. However, its main strength has to be the continual battle of wits between The Doctor & his plunger-bearing foes as they lay subtle traps for each other like chess grandmasters, where you're never quite sure who's fooling who. Forget sci-fi shows from times gone by where supposedly intelligent characters do incredibly daft things to enable the hero to win - here the Daleks represent a believable threat.
Trevor Baxendale's writing is superb. I've tried a few Doctor Who audiobooks & much as I hate to say it, most seem to be derivative cash-ins, nowhere near up to the standard of the TV series. But this tears strips off the awful Winston Churchill episodes with the Alpha Romeo Dalek Mark II's - what a pity they didn't film this instead.
I listened to the audiobook version (which is unabridged BTW, running to approx. 5 hours) & Nicholas Briggs' voice is spot on. As the voice of the Daleks in the TV series, here he really brings them to life, their loud, imperious screech making me jump every time it came through my speakers. Not only that but being the producer of all the Doctor Who audio output, he knows a few things about narration, perfectly capturing David Tennant's speech patterns. In this case, I would definitely recommend the audio version over the text - it really adds something quite special.
This is an extremely enjoyable, faithful Doctor Who story, with action & moral questions aplenty. If you're looking to get into the Doctor Who books & audiobooks, start here - with the best.
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