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Improves on the televised version in several ways
on 5 February 2014
I was never a fan of the televised version, finding the storyline disjointed and muddled. However, the novelisation improves vastly upon it. Novelised by the author of the original script, much more time is taken in telling the story and letting it develop. This provides better reasons for events and helps to explain the motivations and ideals of both individuals and societies. This is most apparent in the depth of detail offered concerning the two alien races and the background to their conflict. It enables both the Foamasi and the Argolin to appear as legitimate civilisations and gives weight to the events of the book.
The opening beach sequence is extended and has a clearer reason for being included. It feels more like part of the story than it did in the televised version. The whole fiasco of K-9 ending up in the sea actually makes a bit more sense as well. I could never work out why Romana appeared to be trying to kill K-9 and then got so upset about it in the televised version. I assume it was some bad editing.
The Argolins always looked quite good on the television. Some of their austere appearance and manner is lost in the novelisation. But his is more than compensated by the improvement of the Foamasi who are no longer the cumbersome, overweight chameleon looking creatures but more agile lizard like beings with functional tails. They also benefit highly from a better portrayal of their skin suits and an explanation of their history and usage in Foamasi civilisation. They are much more credibly realised in the book.
The story still tails off towards its conclusion but it is consistently more informative and detailed than its televised counterpart.