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Title: Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks (#1) by Terrance Dicks
The Doctor and Jo Grant find themselves caught up in an assassination attempt when men from the future come back in time to kill Sir Reginald Styles. The earth’s future is destined for domination and ruination by the Daleks, and the guerrilla group hopes to stop that from every happening. Can The Doctor set earth back on its proper course of history before it’s too late?
I found this book and most of the rest of my Doctor Who collection one day while browsing at Goodwill. Apparently somebody had offloaded a whole Doctor Who collection at the thrift store. I was over the moon! There were several of these early Doctor who novelizations, but I just now got to reading one of them. So many books, so little time…
Now, let’s be real here. Anything featuring Doctor Who automatically has a soft spot in my heart. That doesn’t mean that I would read drivel if it had The Doctor’s name on it, but it does give me warm fuzzies just seeing his name. When I picked up this book I thought that it might be one of those sloppily produced fan fiction books. I was very pleasantly surprised, however, to discover that the story was very well written. It’s not that the plot is amazingly complex (it follows the typical action sequence of a Doctor Who episode), but the writing itself was really well executed. That was refreshing and gratifying. Thank you, Mr. Dicks, for your writing talents.
This story features a dystopian future earth, which is always a fun concept to explore. In this case, it is the Daleks who have taken advantage of the earth’s misfortunes and exploited it for its resources. Their flunkies, the Ogrons, are an impressive, if intellectually uninteresting species. They’re the ultimate henchmen, really.
There is one issue with the book, which I could probably figure out if I did some research on the evolution of the Doctor Who story. In the beginning of the book it is stated that The Doctor stole the Tardis from the Time Lords because he was no longer content to sit around and watch injustice played out across the galaxy. Apparently when this book was written the story was that the Time Lords were still alive and that The Doctor was a sort of renegade Time Lord. We know that later in the series the story changes to the annihilation of the Time Lords in the Time Wars with the Daleks. In that version The Doctor is an unwitting survivor who no longer has a home or people to call his own. That’s quite a difference in story and I’ll have to figure out when it changed, but right now I need to go take a shower. 😉
Update: I have since figured out the explanation for the change in story and it all worked itself out. 🙂
I recommend Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks to all of you Doctor Who fans out there. If you’re a fan, I’d say that these classic novelizations are a must-read. If you’re not a fan, you probably won’t see the merit in this book.
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Until next time…