Book Review: Doctor Who and the Daleks by David Whitaker

doctorwhoanddaleks1Title: Doctor Who and the Daleks

Author: David Whitaker

Year written: 1964

Publisher and year: BBC Books, 2011

ISBN Number: 978-1-849-90195-6

This is the first Doctor Who book and, although it’s renamed, is a reprint of the book Dr Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks. I’m not sure when it got renamed but I also have a copy of the 1965 version published by Armada Paperback. This book is one that I grew up loving but I haven’t read it in over ten years so I wanted to see if it would live up to how I remembered it. It was also probably the main thing that got me in Doctor Who originally as I grew up in the 90s and I don’t remember many reruns being on TV, though I did see the 8th Doctor movie.

The story this book is based on is the classic Doctor Who story Arc aired between 21 December 1963 and 1 February 1964, which is apparently the second story ever but I’m not sure I know that the first was as this introduces the Doctor and the original companions of Susan, Ian and Barbara. This copy includes a foreword, a section called The Changing Face of Doctor Who and some background on the author and notes on the original story and any changes made or things worth mentioning at the back of the book. I do like these little extras as they’re very short and help people who aren’t familiar with the characters or where this story fits within the timeline of the show to know who is involved and where the companions came from to understand their reactions to events. I am also including a bit of a comparison, or the differences, between this copy and the original that I have.

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Book Review: Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion by Terrance Dicks

autonsqTitle: Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion

Author: Terrance Dicks

Year written: 1974

Publisher and year: BBC Books, 2011

ISBN Number: 978-1-849-90193-2

This is another in the series of books BBC Books reprinted and released in 2011 from an old series written in the 1970s. These are all based on scripts for episodes that were aired, or rather groups of episodes that created a story arc. This book is written about the Third Doctor and is his first adventure after regenerating so you get to see the character getting used to his new body which hasn’t happened in any of the previous books I have read in the series. The episodes ran between 3 January and 24 January 1970 and includes as the ‘companions’ in this story Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Liz Shaw though neither are existing companions, one just met him and the other has met but never travelled with him. It’s the only one so far that has everything existing in video form and it’s one that I have actually seen recently, it was shown in the UK last year on the Drama channel, so I know myself whether it has had major changes rather than just relying on what the book says changed.

As with others in the series this book includes two extra bits at the beginning and another two at the end of the book. At the front is an introduction written by Russell T Davis which is nice to see as he’s the first of these introduction or foreword writers that I actually recognise. There’s also a short piece on the Third Doctor, UNIT and Dr Elizabeth Shaw to explain the previous interactions and who they are without having to go into a lot of detail in the story. At the end there’s a short piece about the authors and a Between the Lines segment that explains anything that may be outdated to a modern audience or any differences between the original script and the book version.

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Book Review: Doctor Who and the Cybermen by Gerry Davis

drwhocybermen1Title: Doctor Who and the Cybermen

Author: Gerry Davis

Year written: 1974

Publisher and year: BBC Books, 2011

ISBN Number: 978-1-849-90191-8

This is another book in the series that the BBC rereleased in 2011 from the original Target Books run first released in 1974. Like the others this has the additional parts of the Changes Face of the Doctor that explains the incarnation of the Doctor and a bit about each of his companions, a foreword by someone related to Doctor who written in 2011 and, at the end of the book, some information on the authors and a section that explains any differences between this and the original script shown on TV and anything that might need explaining to a modern audience.

This book is about the Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton and his companions Polly, Ben and Jami. As with the previous books I reviewed in this series this one was based on a serial from the TV series called The Moonbase, this time being four episodes long, it showed from 11 February – 4 March 1967. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page about it, don’t read it if you don’t want any spoilers for the book though! Two of the four episodes still exist on film, 1 and 3, but 2 and 4 have only got the audio recording available. This story is the second time that the Doctor has encountered the Cybermen on the TV show and the image on the front of the book isn’t the same as the ones that would have been on the screen at the time, these are later versions.

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Book Review: Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen by Terrance Dicks

frontcoverTitle: Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen

Author: Terrance Dicks

Year written: 1974

Publisher and year: BBC Books, 2011

ISBN Number: 978-1-849-90192-5

I ended up reading another Doctor Who book, I think I’m going to go through the whole set that I bought as I’m already half way through it. I bought these books on eBay and I think it was around £8 for the six of them. They’re all based on stories with the first three Doctors, this book is from a story shown in the TV with the Second Doctor played by Patrick Troughton and his companions Vitoria and Jamie. This edition is a reprint of the 1974 released in 2011 with a foreword from Stephen Baxter and a small explanation on who the Doctor and his companions are at the beginning and at the end there are short parts about the author and some additional notes about the book such as changes or things that are worth noticing.

Even though this is one of the books based on a story shown on TV the originals don’t exist any more as the BBC destroyed them. It was a six part story arc and the only part remaining is the second episode which is available on the Lost in Tome DVDs, there are also CDs with the story on but I’m not sure how much of the original is in there. I think the storyline is pretty true to the original though, having read a synopsis, there are a few changes.

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Book Review: Doctor Who and the Crusaders by David Whitaker

cover1Title: Doctor Who and the Crusaders

Author: David Whitaker

Year written: 1966

Publisher and year: BBC Books, 2011

ISBN Number: 978-1-849-90190-1

I haven’t been reading that much over the past month or so besides the Christmas Carol book which seemed a bit seasonal to review now, maybe I should anyway, would people want me to now it’s past Christmas? I’ve finally started on my pile of books I have bought and not read, the first lot being a set of Doctor Who ones based on the first three doctors that I got from eBay. This book is about the First Doctor as portrayed by William Hartnell and was published originally in 1966.

This book is based on a three episode story arc written by David Whitaker that was shown in 1965 though apparently there are a few alterations like giving lines to other characters, skipping some scenes and making alterations to others so it works better as a book rather than with a TV series. This copy of Doctor Who and the Crusaders is a reissue done in 2011 though it is true to the original with an additional foreword and a Between the Lines section at the back that explains some bits including some errors between this book and the original TV series, the best of which is probably saying that Susan left the Tardis to marry David Cameron rather than David Campbell.

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Book Review – Dracula by Bram Stoker

dracula1Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Year written: 1897

Publisher and year: Penguin Classics, 2011

ISBN Number: 978-0-141-19688-6

Another classic that’s been on my to read list for a while and I did start it around Halloween as another kind of spooky book, it’s just taken me a while to read it. This is another in the Penguin Clothbound Classics collection as I just love the covers on these. There’s so many editions of this so the actual story part of the review will be the same for all but some bits are reviews on this edition.

This edition has an RRP of £14.99 and it’s on sale in Waterstones with a small discount at £11.99. I bought this copy on Amazon and it cost less than half of the RRP here. I’d say if you want this exact edition then look around for the best price, though other versions will have varying prices and there’s probably copies available in second hand stores for a lot less.

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