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4.8 out of 5 stars
12

VINE VOICEon 29 November 2009
Originally published in 1977, Terrance Dicks's novelisation of the 1964 serial Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion Of Earth [1964] [DVD] [1963] was the first Target Book since the company's initial batch of three reprints in 1973 to return to the era of the First Doctor (William Hartnell).

Dicks, writing for Hartnell's Doctor for the first time (barring a few scenes in Doctor Who - The Three Doctors [1972] [DVD] [1963], which he script-edited), perfectly captures the character's mixture of irritability and kindliness, strong will and frailty. Depicting the TARDIS crew members' thought processes, he also plays upon the antagonism between Ian and the Doctor, which had all but disappeared by this point in the television series. The Doctor gets a few additional lines of dialogue during chapters adapted from the fourth episode (in which Hartnell did not appear due to ill health). Susan frequently refers to the Time Lord as "Doctor" rather than "grandfather", playing down this familial aspect of the show's mythology. Dicks also removes the Doctor's assertion that the events of this story take place "a million years" before The Daleks (Doctor Who - The Beginning (An Unearthly Child [1963] / The Daleks [1963] / The Edge of Destruction [1964]) [DVD]), in light of continuity references made in Planet of the Daleks (Doctor Who - Dalek War [DVD] [1973]).

The cover art is notable as Chris Achilleos's final contribution to the range. Due to a lack of suitably dramatic reference material from the original 1964 serial made available to the artist, the illustration features a Dalek, Dalek spaceships and a Roboman from the 1966 movie Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD (Dr Who: The Dalek Collection (Dr Who And The Daleks & Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150AD + Dalekmania documentary) [DVD] [1965]). This clashes somewhat with descriptions of the Robomen and the Dalek "saucers" within the narrative - the Dalek vessels in the movie look more like teapots than saucers!

William Russell, who played Ian in the television serial, reads this unabridged novelisation, stepping back into the world of Doctor Who with apparent ease. As ever, his delivery of the Doctor's lines gives an impression rather than an impersonation of Hartnell, though when Russell speaks as Ian, it's remarkable how the years sometimes seem to drop away from his vocal qualities.

His reading is supplemented by Dalek voices provided by Nicholas Briggs. These lend great drama to the Dalek scenes, though the voices aren't quite authentic, sounding as they do in the new television series and in the Big Finish audio plays, rather than the lower-pitched modulation heard in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

The Daleks are the masters of audio! Surrender now and you will listen to this enjoyable talking book!
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on 17 March 2013
Originally published in 1977, Terrance Dicks' novelisation of Terry Nation's 1964 tv script is a solid adaptation. He seems to have worked from Terry Nation's draft scripts, as he reintroduces various scenes that were cut from the transmitted programme.

The story, thanks in no small part to its adaptation as the second Peter Cushing Dalek movie, is one of the most familiar in the Doctor Who canon. The Daleks have invaded and subjugated the Earth. But the reasons why are more puzzling. The Doctor and his companions land in a ruined London, but the presence of the Daleks mean that they soon have to flee the capital. The centre of activity seems to be in the countryside, which the Daleks have turned into a giant mine. But what are they mining for, and how can the Doctor defeat them?

Read by William Russell, with Dalek voices by Nicholas Briggs, this a cracking entry in the Doctor Who Classic Novels series. Anything read by Russell is well worth a listen, and although the story is familiar, William Russell still manages to hold the listeners attention really well.

For anybody who's looking to cherry pick some of these releases, The Dalek Invasion of Earth is well worth picking up.
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on 30 November 2009
Another good choice by the BBC, a great original story, very well realised on TV, but the novelisation brings more depth to the story and allows the imagination to cover for some of the 1960s BBC special effect's shortcomings. And William Russell reads this brilliantly - I love the fact that they've added little sound effects and touches such as when the characters are in a warehouse or metallic cell their voices have a slight echo. Nichols Briggs doing the daleks is also very good and gives it another dimension again.

With 4 more confirmed already for next year, the BBC is doing great work issuing these titles - keep 'em coming please.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 16 June 2016
This is a review of the audio reading of the original Doctor Who novel, written by Terrance Dicks, of the tv story The Dalek Invasion of Earth, which aired on tv in the classic Doctor Who series in 1964. The novel was published in 1977, and this audio reading of the novelisation was released in 2009. The novel is here performed by William Russell, who played the character of Ian Chesterton in the tv story.

The story follows on from Planet of Giants; the First Doctor (as played by William Hartnell) is sure he has at last managed to bring his companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright (as played by Jacqueline Hill) home to 1960s Earth; to London, in fact, as he delightedly points out to them. But it doesn’t take the Tardis crew long to realise that while this may be London, and this may be Earth, it’s not Ian and Barbara’s time. And Earth is under attack – from the Daleks which the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan first encountered in the second-ever televised story, The Daleks, on their home planet of Skaro. Little did the Tardis travellers realise that there were more Daleks in the universe, and that they would next encounter them on Earth.

This is a wonderful story; looking back on it now, as it would have been shown on tv in 1964, it is still an unbelievably grim and terrible story, showing a devasated Earth, with people being abused and maltreated by alien invaders intent on their own evil plans. The Doctor and Susan face their own adventures, as Barbara, separated from her companions also faces her own trials. Ian, also separated from the others, finds himself in some terribly deadly situations. There are many threads which are cleverly and carefully pulled together over the course of the story, as our friends struggle to find each other, and to save the world. Each of the individual characters in the story really gets a chance to shine as individuals in this story, as they must endeavour to survive on their own. At the end, there is one more shock in store for the Tardis crew, before they head off to the next story which was televised, The Rescue.

The televised story, set across 6 episodes, was novelised by Terrance Dicks as part of the Target novelisations of the tv stories. Here, it is read by William Russell, who performs the story brilliantly, over 4 cds, running for 4 hours 10 minutes.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 October 2015
Invasion, destruction, treachery and oppression – but also hope, heroism and victory against terrible odds. Set in the future but rooted in an alternative past, this is one of the bleakest ‘Doctor Who’ stories yet also one of the most inspiring and ‘human’. 5* (4 CDs, 4 hours 10 minutes)

It was the only early ‘Doctor Who’ I’d seen. There were no DVDs, no VHS tapes – but there was a film starring Peter Cushing shown on the BBC one Saturday morning in the 1970s. So that’s what the First Doctor was like in his prime!

Err… no, not really. It took the ‘Target’ books to show me the real First Doctor and this is the darkest of them all; a tale of ruined lives, death and destruction set not on Skaro or some other alien world, but right here in Britain. A few centuries in the future, it’s true, but still much too close for comfort.

Terrance Dicks’ novelisation is excellent, from the quietly mysterious opening in ruined, deserted London through full scale Dalek battles and the courage of the human Resistance, to the final dramatic defeat of the Dalek plan - in rural Bedfordshire of all places. It’s a disturbing story of a post-invasion Britain where heroes and villains are not always obvious, reflecting of course the trauma of Nazi-occupied Europe and what might have been here too, but for courage, luck and leadership. Reading the novel decades after that war, but in the Cold War 1970s with the Soviet Red Army massed halfway across Europe, it was, as I’ve said, still much too close for comfort…

The story is told clearly but never simplistically, with its fair share of exciting set-piece scenes and character moments, but for me the very best parts are some of the descriptive passages, where Terrance Dicks evokes pictures of post-apocalypse Earth and the struggles of the last of our people against the invaders. His opening line would do credit to any classic work of literature for concisely setting place, mood and tension and I never forgot it: “Through the ruin of a city, stalked the ruin of a man…”

William Russell reads and performs the Audiobook superbly. It’s very special to hear this story told by “Ian Chesterton” himself, in many ways the central hero of this tale, while also giving his excellent interpretation of William Hartnell’s First Doctor and providing clearly defined voices and accents for all the other characters. Well, almost all… listening with headphones, it was quite a jolt when the first Dalek spoke and William Russell’s English tones were replaced by the harsh alien voice grating in my ears!

Nicholas Briggs’ voicing of the invaders adds significantly to this production, as do the sound effects of battle and alien machinery and atmospheric echoes when characters speak in tunnels and metal-walled Dalek corridors. Combined with the incidental music and above all, William Russell’s performance, the whole effect is ‘visual’, tense and exciting and does full justice to this classic, epic tale. And the ending still carries that mixture of hope and quiet sadness that it must have done for television viewers back in the 1960s, as Susan begins her new life and the Doctor loses his last link with family and home.

The artwork for this Target book was a departure from that of the earlier titles and it’s good to see it used here in all its colourful glory – though as I later discovered, it depicts the film version of the story. Artwork from later editions is shown inside the CD case and alternative artwork (also by Chris Achilleos, in 2007) faithful to the Hartnell-era original story is on the back of the enclosed booklet; a nice touch.

This is a classic in every sense; the original story, the novelisation and this Audiobook. Highly recommended. 5*
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on 29 March 2010
Coming at the end of the 70s, this novelisation of the TV scripts is a rather simplistic affair, which some now cliched descriptions and short cuts. However the reader - one of the original stars - manages to elevate it considerably. William Russell, TVs Ian Chesterton, gives a dramatic and very entertaining narration. This is bolstered by (very authentic sounding) 60s style Dalek voices provided by Nick Briggs. THis element was of concern when I saw it was happening and yet the brash electronic voices blend brilliantly into the soundscape created for the book.

Following the plot but simplified for younger readers and now listeners, this slice of nostalgia is highly recommended to all potential buyers.
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on 12 April 2010
Having bought most of the BBC audio books,this has to be one of the very best releases so far.To start with it was one of Terrance Dicks earlier novels,before he started churning them out nearly every month.Dicks does a great job of condensing the six part story into a well written and very entertaining novelization.The other great thing about this audio book is that William Russell is reading it and he does a fantastic job doing so.One other thing I like is that Nicholas Briggs is supplying the Dalek voices,so William Russell is free to just voicing the human characters,which he does extremely well.this release is well worth buying!So what are you waiting for ! go buy it!!
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on 3 June 2013
William Russell reads the book so well, he is the best reader of any of the books. The music could do with being turned down a bit, as it can be a bit loud sometimes.
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on 26 October 2012
one of the best doctor who storeys ever written, mostly set in london in the future.

the daleks in very good form ,
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on 12 December 2013
I think that this audio is worth the cost as it is a long story and it is a 4 cd set, it is over 4 hours long.
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