Moonbase under siege ‘There are some corners of the universe… which have bred the most terrible things. Things which are against everything we have ever believed in. They…’ he shivered in spite of himself,’… must be fought. To the death.’I do like it when the Cybermen are sneaky. They really can be quite creepy as they infiltrate their targets, keeping hidden as they undermine and convert. All this stomping about in formation they do nowadays just doesn’t have the same scare factor. But I’m a long way from nine years old now… so what do I know?Script Editor Gerry Davis on the 1967 story transcribes the Kit Pedlar script to novel pretty much word for word. He does add a strong narrative though and there are also a few references to the real moon landing which hadn’t taken place when the episodes were first shown but revisiting the script in 1975 gave him the chance to arm Ben and Polly with knowledge that would back up their new 1970s origins overwriting their 1960s one from debut story ‘The War Machines’. It’s a nice touch. The story relies on the often used ‘base under siege’ story template so often employed during Pat Troughton’s era, though there’s little attempt to keep the Cybermen under wraps as the tv episodes did. No mystery threat here. It’s the Cybermen – woo-hoo. They’re on the cover and we get a little origin prologue to kick off. With half of the serial missing reading this rereleased novelisation is probably the best way to either relive the adventure or discover it for the first time. Great stuff.This new edition includes an introduction by Gareth Roberts, the original illustrations by Alan Willow, profiles of gerry Davis and Kit Pedlar and a look at the changes made to the tv script and the novelisation.
A classic novel comes to audio Over a twenty period Target books realised novelisations of nearly all the original Doctor Who stories. The only ones that were not released were due to right issues with the original writer. All the Cybermen serials were adapted, and the novel version of The Moonbase, confusingly renamed Doctor Who and The Cybermen as a book, even though it was not the original television story to feature the Cybermen, now comes to audio CD.The early days of the target novels was the golden period for the book range, and this actually matched a great period for the programme on tv, with the early Tom Baker serials generating huge audience figures, and this audience then hunted down the books available. With no videos or DVDs back in the mid 70s, for many fans the closest they good get to seeing the earlier serials was to read the novels. This novel featured the Second Doctor, alongside companions Ben,Polly and Jamie – who had just joined the crew. It was originally on tv in 1967 some 8 years earlier.In the early days the novel size was not restricted so here we have Gerry Davies giving an indepth description of a moonbase in 2070 coming under attack from Cybermen. All the characters are well developed and the novel really keeps your attention. I am also pleased that the original superior cover is kept on the CD, even if it does feature an incorrectly designed Cyberman. This type of Cyberman not coming into the series until the end of the 60s.Anneke Wills proves to be an excellent reader, and it was an inspired idea to get the voice of the Doctor Who monsters from the current stories, Nicholas Briggs, to come in and do the Cybermen voices.This is very hghly recommended.
Shame the TV version was ‘deleted’ If you can get past Anneke Wills’ atrocious attempt at replicating the voice of Jamie McCrimmon then this is another highly impressive audio reading of a classic Target Doctor Who novelisation.In this story we get a prologue recounting the rise of the Cybermen and how they began as ordinary humanoids. I always found these additions to the televised stories fascinating, and although Gerry Davis is no Malcolm Hulke he still creates a novel that is both faithful to its TV original and pleasingly beefed up.Another interesting reminder of old Doctor Who is that Patrick Troughton played the Time Lord as very alien – initially unconcerned by his companions’ injuries when the TARDIS has a ‘wobble’, he is far more interested in the cause than its effect. This is very much the pattern followed by all of the first four Doctors, as well as Colin Baker, Chris Eccleston and Sylvester McCoy, and is a welcome reminder that this is indeed an alien being and not a jovial uncle.
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