Top critical review
Something malicious lurks in Little Hodcombe
on 17 March 2016
The Doctor materialises the Tardis in the small English village of Little Hodcombe where Tegan intends to visit her grandfather. However, the village is not as quiet as expected and the Civil War re-enactment is getting out of hand. Furthermore, Tegan’s grandfather is missing. But there is something else that is in the village, something that shouldn’t be.
Considering that this novelisation is based upon a two episode serial it doesn’t make much constructive use of the extra length; which is actually somewhat longer than a lot of the novelisations based upon four part televised stories.
Rather than providing any extra content or building characterisation it just tends to be more drawn out. This makes for quite a laborious read; the novelisation lacking vitality until, perhaps, the latter stages.
Unfortunately the scenes featuring Kamelion that were cut from the televised version aren’t reinstalled in the novelisation; but they weren’t particularly relevant to the storyline anyway.
There isn’t really any elaboration on the Malus either which conceptually is quite intriguing but whose nature and where it comes from receives a rather bland description onscreen.
There are, however, quite a few references to a squidgy, metallic, black ball that doesn’t appear onscreen. It seems to be given a lot of importance in the early stages of the book but later appears to be forgotten about, probably because as a plot device it wasn’t really needed.
The idea of two time periods interacting, or at least one bleeding into the other one, certainly has some potential but it isn’t used to greatest effect in this story.