March Books 33-34) Two more Who novelisations
I’m fairly steaming through these; at my reading speed, I can basically get through half a Who book on each leg of my commute. (I’m not working tomorrow or Monday, though, so you will be spared for the next few days.)
33) Doctor Who – Marco Polo is certainly the best of John Lucarotti’s three Who books (the other two being Doctor Who – The Aztecs and Doctor Who – The Massacre). Possibly the need to be fairly concise – cutting down from a seven episode story, rather than writing up from four – made a difference. It’s a cracking good story anyway, and the fact that we have only sound rather than video records of it makes Lucarotti’s presentation all the more valuable. He has a rather peculiar fascination with detailing the various different Chinese prawn dishes that the Tardis crew consume en route, but this of course just adds to the depth of the setting. Really rather a good one.
34) Doctor Who and the Keys of Marinus, by Philip Hinchcliffe from Terry Nation’s script, was only the third new Target First Doctor story (after Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet, Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth, and the three 1960s ones) and only one more was published in the next four years. It seemed an odd choice at the time, and it seems an odd choice now; I can only assume that Hinchcliffe had some particular personal interest in the story (this was his third and last – so far – novelisation, the other two being the much more obvious choices of The Masque of Mandragora and The Seeds of Doom). It starts off somewhat juvenile in style, but picks up as Hinchcliffe gets into the story. The third episode (of six) drags a bit, but it’s a decent effort.
I’ve already read Doctor Who – The Aztecs, so next up is Doctor Who – The Sensorites. Next week.
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