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on 22 June 2017
Just Finished this 50th anniversary story it was brilliant fast page turner read ironically I nearly did not purchase it because i was familiar with the story from TV but Glad I did .

For me Doctor Who is the classical series i did think Remembrance of the Daleks was a little bit childish compared to other Dalek stories,the author however is able to in very subtle ways give credibility to the story .Plan to watch the DVD again soon.
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on 10 September 2013
It seems an odd situation to select a novelisation of one of the television serials to represent the Seventh Doctor whilst choosing original novels to represent all the other Doctors; especially as the Seventh Doctor has probably featured in more original novels. This book is also the only former Target book to appear in this anniversary selection.

The above aside, `Remembrance of the Daleks' has probably always been considered the best of the Seventh Doctor's television adventures, and deservedly so. Much of what made the TV version great is lost, however. It was certainly one of the more visual Doctor Who serials. Although the author has added to the battle scenes little can be done to compensate for actually seeing Dalek's battling it out in civil war.

Opposed to this, the novelisation has allowed the author to build upon his characters and make them more fully rounded. There was very little time to devote to individuals and their motivations during the action of the televised version. There is a love affair sub plot between Gilmore and Rachel that was unapparent in the program (or at least it was to me) and much more is made of the attraction between Mike and Ace. Mike's character is given far more reasoning for his actions as well. Most interesting though is that AAronovitch has made individuals out of some of the Daleks. The Saucer Commander, the Dalek Supreme and the Special Weapons Dalek are all treated as individual characters. There is even a bit of previously undisclosed information concerning Davros' past. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is the way that the author has followed the Dalek Supreme and Davros in a parallel. Usually every insight into the motivations of Davros is followed by a small section doing the same for the Dalek Supreme. It creates a greater sense of these two foes battling against each other.

The writing is fairly basic throughout. But as the author states in his new introduction, that this was a very early attempt at being a novelist (a long time before the `Rivers of London' series). As a former Target publication, it is also a little short in length for the price.

The greatest strength of this novel is probably been in the influence it has exerted since, and that is probably why it was chosen for this series. There are plenty of little scenes dealing with Omega, Rassilon and the mysterious `other' concerning the birth of the Timelords' power. It has been an idea that filtered into the programme itself during the last two years of Silvester McCoy's tenure and through many of the books associated with the programme. The Dalek's referencing of the Doctor as a bringer of death have also carried over into the series during its return and many of the characters have continued in their own spin-off audio series, `Counter Measures'.

It is a shame the book didin't feature the red and blue Dalek factions that were first used in the script.
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on 17 March 2013
Hard to believe this is almost a quarter of a century old.
I picked this one up partly because it was one of my favourite Doctor Who periods and partly because of the books this author has gone onto write, specifically the Rivers series, beginning with: Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant).
The foreword was well worth reading, and pretty much gives the books strengths and weaknesses in a nutshell.
If I was reading it without the nostalgia and history of Doctor Who I might have rated it slightly lower, but I enjoyed it, and it was a good entertaining read. Thanks for the memories and a couple of hours of nostalgia fuelled fun.
If you like this Doctor and Ace then definitely recommended.
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on 7 August 2013
An odd choice for this anniversary series of reprinted novels featuring the various Doctors. The seventh is possibly the subject of more original novel length fiction than any of the others, so to find him the only Doctor represented in this run by a novelisation of a transmitted episode is rather baffling. The novelisation itself introduces a few elements not seen on screen, several of which entered the mythology of the character for a while, and this does make it an item of more interest than a straight translation of a screenplay, but these elements are all things which are better represented and expanded on in those (far, far superior) original novels (some of which the author wrote). In its own right, this is a quick dash through a fairly satisfying TV story that you can buy the DVD of, and are probably already familiar with if you're the type to be picking these books up in the first place. It does its job reasonably well as a novelisation, but doesn't come close to earning a slot in this run of reprints.
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This is the story chosen to represent the Seventh Doctor in the novelisations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who in 2013. Unusually for this series of novels, this story was actually a televised serial from the original series, played initially in 1988 as part of the 25th Season, and featuring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace, his feisty companion. This was only the second story to feature Ace, her character having been introduced in the last story to feature Mel Bush, Dragonfire.

In this story, the action takes place over just a few days, but the pace is rapid. The Doctor has returned to Totters Lane in November 1963, to resolve some unfinished business from when he left with Susan, Ian and Barbara. Unfortunately, he seems to have miscalculated somewhat and gets more than he bargained for when two groups of Daleks join in the action.

The story as it appeared on tv always seemed a bit confusing to me, with the scenes cutting ina and out so fast that it all became a bit of a blur. The book tidies that up quite a lot, with some background that helps build the characters better, and continuity that helps tie the storyline together into a coherent narrative. It is still a fast-paced story, and there are lots of action scenes, with Ace and her baseball bat getting involved early on. I really liked the character of Ace; she made a change from `girly' or `helpless' companions, and her rapport with the Doctor meant good exposition of the storylines they were in together. The Doctor is his usual seventh Doctor mysterious self, and the characters from the 1960s time period are well written and portrayed.

The only thing I felt jarred somewhat was the `emotions' given to the Daleks; I've always thought that Daleks would not have anything like emotions, but were rather process and order driven; emotion would not have entered into their actions or motivations at all, I wouldn't have thought. But that's just my thought on the matter. Overall, a good story, made better by a good novelisation. Great stuff.
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on 24 December 2009
Ben Aaronovitch takes his already pretty brilliant t.v. script and gives it an extra dimension in prose, while also being free of BBC budgets constraints to stage epic Dalek battles against the backdrop of early 60's London. Perhaps the best indication of the quality of the novelisation is the amount of information introduced here; Ace's friend Manesha's being attacked by skin-heads (that found its way into Ghostlight), the flashback to Davros's crippling accident and the moment where he contemplates suicide to preserve Kaled racial purity (a central moment in the Big Finish audio CD Davros) and the Daleks refering to the Doctor as Ka Faraq Gatri (a title he uses throughout the Virgin New Adventures and is variously translated in the new series) and the infamous flasdhback to ancient Gallifrey that contains the first appearance of The Other. But on a basic level the book is extremely well written, particularly in the passages that describe the Daleks thought processes, which prefigure the equally brilliant passages desrcibing machine thought in Aaronovitch's The Also People. One of Target's best novelisations.
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on 4 January 2012
It has to be said that some of the Target novelisations of the Sylvester McCoy stories could be a bit hit an miss. Some were just basic retellings of the script with a little extra detail, and others which really fleshed out the stories and the characters wonderfully. This book falls into the latter category. Ben Aaronvitch was around the Doctor Who production office a lot during the two series he was there as a writer, and thus had insight into the character of Ace, and Andrew Cartmel's grander concepts of the Doctor. The story of Rassilon, Omega and The Other, the firebombing of Ace's friend Manisha's house, Davros' debates with himself about the racial purity fo the Kaled race, the exerpts from Kadiatu Lethbridge Stewart and Dalek name for the Doctor are all interwoven throughout Who continuity afterwards, in the books, audio and even in the new series.

That's before he gets to giving some of the characters real depth and backstory. The love affair between Group Captain Gilmour and Rachel Jensen is brought wonderflly to life here in a way that's barely hinted at on screen. The passage which describes the action from the internal point of view of the Daleks are very cleverly done, and Aaronvitch shows that he had a real understanding of the depth of characterisation of the Doctor that both Cartmell and McCoy were aiming for. Even the legendary Terence Dicks was never able to go this far.

In short one, of the finest novels in the Target range by the author that wrote the script for it in the first place.
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on 21 January 2015
I bought the original paperback release back in 1991 on the strength of Gary Russell's excellent review and I was not disappointed. Here was story that took you into the mind of the Dalek psyche. We learnt about their language, their tactics, their perceptions. We learnt what it meant to be a Dalek.
And then there was the Doctor himself, just how many games within games was he playing? Gone is the clown here and here is a being who is certainly more than just the sum of his parts.
Special mention must go to the idea of beginning some chapters with short extracts of books such as 'The Children of Davros' and 'The Zen Military - A History of UNIT' which is a brilliant idea that adds rich background to the story. And the scenes on Ancient Gallifrey? Far from being a distraction, they just add to the mystique around the device and add yet another rich ingredient into this fine broth of a story.

Aaronovich also captures the mood of the time with the casual racism and the Powellian fear of being overcome. All the characters are given colourful characterization and there is some sympathy even for those like Ratcliffe.

Aaronovich can paint such vivid pictures even of scenes not shown on TV. Consider this extract from when the Hand of Omega arrived at Skaro:

"Under the Plain of Swords, the beetles seemed to stir in their nests. In the sky above, the sun changed. One thousand million Daleks stopped. The rock leopards in the mountains howled in terror. The sky turned white hot. One thousand million Daleks cried out in defiance.
Then the seas boiled, the metal cities of the Daleks ran like wax, and the atmosphere was blown away into space.
Skaro died."

How this writer has not written for new Who yet is a crime. Back in 1991 Gary Russell, in his review, said that this was the first Target (as it was then) novelization that a non-fan could pick up and become engaged in without knowing anything of the back story of the show and he's right.
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VINE VOICEon 26 November 2013
In many ways, this is a perfect novelisation of a classic Doctor Who story to read at the 50th anniversary. It was the first story of the 25th anniversary season in 1988, and is better regarded than the actual 25th anniversary story, Silver Nemesis. It is also set in and around Coal Hill School in late November 1963 (thus giving rise to a self-referential in-joke in the TV broadcast that isn't depicted in this novelisation!). It is a very good Dalek story, with two factions battling over the ancient super-device, the Hand of Omega. This novelisation expands somewhat the TV version, with characters given additional backstory and motivation. It is the only novelisation to really try to get into Dalek thinking as well, exploring their half-organic, half-robotic essence in rather a disturbing way. The actual narrative isn't different from the TV version, with the same events taking place in the same order and the dialogue near identical - it is mostly very good and memorable dialogue, so that is fine. Good stuff.
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on 15 November 2012
A great novel based on the last dalek appearance in the original series back in 1988. The Doctor and Ace arrive in 1960's London where the daleks have secretly established themselves. The renegade daleks, Davros's original fleet from Skaro, are operating in a warehouse whilst the imperial daleks, the new fleet created on Necros, are operating in a local school using a transmat system from their mothership. They are both after the same device, the Hand of Omega, that will help them to master timetravel. The doctor allies himself with the army and has to resolve the situation, can he erase the dalek presence on Earth and stop them from capturing the Hand of Omega. One of the most popular dalek and dr.who stories of all time.
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