Tuesday, October 04, 2011

 

Doctor Who In Some Exciting Adventures With BBC Books

Now that Doctor Who has finished again – and started again, gloriously, with The Sarah Jane Adventures back – perhaps you’re in the mood for more Doctor Who? When I was a lad, the only way to get more (with no spin-off shows, DVDs or BBC3) was to read the thrilling Target Books novelisations, a series so successful they sold over six million books. And not all to me. Many are now selling as talking books for CD and download, and now six have been reprinted and relaunched by BBC Books as actual books (and downloads). Are they worth getting?

BASED ON THE POPULAR BBC TELEVISION SERIALS

Having been much too ill to get to most Doctor Who events in the last year, my first of 2011 was this July, when I managed to haul myself along to Forbidden Planet London for the launch of the BBC Books Classic Reprints line – and I’m very glad I did. With Terrance Dicks, who wrote more of the Target Books than anyone else, Chris Achilleos, whose stylish cover paintings I endlessly redrew, and Carole Ann Ford and Fraser Hines, who played perhaps the ’60s companions of whom the Doctor was fondest, it was a dream line-up from my childhood, and all on good form (despite one of them being as hay-feverish as I was, at which I gave him a little blue pill. No, not that little blue pill). All were enthusiastic about the well-loved old books being back in the shops, though none of them had any idea if more were planned – so I hope they’ve sold well.

The six books have been chosen carefully both for quality and nostalgia value: the first two books written for each of the first three Doctors, all amongst Target’s first printings in the mid-’70s (and two of those originally written in the ’60s, when the range stretched to three rather than climbing past 150), most given different, more exciting names to the TV versions. All were amongst the first to be released on CD, too, each read with verve by talented actors and accompanied by music and sound effects (though later releases have more of each, and more of Nick Briggs doing the monster voices). And, though all these books are too early to feature Sarah Jane Smith, it’s noticeable how resourceful – now we’d say proactive – the Doctor’s women companions are in most of these. No wonder I grew up thinking so highly of Barbara, even Polly, and particularly that Dr Liz Shaw was the business. And she still is. You might also notice that the “monsters” from four of these books have been back in Doctor Who on telly just in the last couple of years, and that you can even get some of their CDs with the action figures. And all were among the first ‘proper’ books I ever read, including the very first. But they’re not merely nostalgic reprints.

Each book has been carefully rejacketed with a stylish design complementing Chris Achilleos’ gorgeous original covers (though the Seal of Rassilon on the back’s a bit much), and they look terrific – though I suspect that the embossed soft covers may not stand up to batterings in the way the cheap old laminated ones did. And each has been given a number of DVD-style extra features: new introductions by today’s writers, and scene-setting notes about the characters, authors and background by Justin Richards and Steve Tribe (most notably on Doctor Who and the Daleks, with its very different opening to the TV version). Even a bit more proof-reading – no longer will I expect Channing to finish a paragraph with the stirring declaration, “We must find the swarm eader!” – and several touches of pedantry. Each has also reproduced the original interior illustrations at their proper size, a relief after the postage stamps in the CD booklets, though they’ve curiously omitted all the captions. So I’ve included below one original, captioned, illustration that was one of my favourites, despite the caption being both unfortunate and a spoiler for the climax (watch out).


BBC Books On Target For Doctor Who
 
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Doctor Who and the Daleks

It had to be this one. The Doctor’s second ever adventure – the one where he first meets the Daleks, and the reason why the series is still going strong today (you can buy Doctor Who – The Daleks as part of the Doctor Who – The Beginning DVD Box Set). So, it’s the first monster; was the first novelisation (and becomes a different ‘first story’ in that, as you can read); the first feature-film adaptation; the first Target produced as a talking book on CD. And it was first published as Doctor Who In An Exciting Adventure With the Daleks – which, remarkably, it still is.
“I began to feel better. The Doctor had told me the wisest thing to do would be to open my mind and accept what had happened.
“I did.”
Author David Whitaker was one of Doctor Who’s founding geniuses; the series’ first lead writer, an excellent scriptwriter (later writing two of the best TV Dalek stories) and, here, the show’s first novelist. This book is still among the best, and almost the only one to use first-person narration, here by Ian Chesterton – one of the reasons why William Russell’s audiobook reading works so well, as he’s not just great at acting the other parts but is here given more to do with his own original role than any other Doctor Who actor. Chris Achilleos’ cover is very striking – not technically a great likeness of William Hartnell, with almost cartoonishly stylised Daleks and TARDIS… And yet that style is gripping, creating one of the most iconic covers in the series. Arnold Schwartzman’s internal illustrations are more detailed and ‘correct’, yet somehow less memorable: give me Mr Achilleos’ eye-catching style, flaming guns and a great picture of the Doctor if not the actor, making him mysterious, dangerous and unforgettable, rather than the neatly executed sketches inside the book that make him sometimes look more like a nice old lady (while if you ever find the ’60s Armada paperback, this is the only Who novel to have two completely different sets of illustrations rather than just different covers: Peter Archer offers a very buff Temmosus being shot, for example, and a memorable glass Dalek). On its first publication back in 1964, Kingsley Amis observed that “the kids should eat it,” while in his 2011 introduction Neil Gaiman, one of those 1964 kids, loves the food machine (I always wanted the shower) and is absolutely right for me about the power of books back in the day, even though I’m a decade younger than he is.

It’s difficult to over-praise David Whitaker here: he was script editor on Terry Nation’s original story which catapulted Doctor Who to success; in writing such a great first Doctor Who novel, he’s second only to Terrance Dicks in making the Target books such an incredibly successful series; and, perhaps most of all, he turns a story that’s far more powerful for its design than its words into an improbably terrific novel. On screen, this is a world of strange and brilliant invention, captured in Brian Hodgson and Tristram Cary’s eerie soundscapes and, above all, Ray Cusick’s fantastic designs both for the petrified jungle and metal city that make up the world of Skaro itself, but for creating the Daleks. And yet Mr Whitaker makes the story just as powerful without any of that, not just by giving us Ian’s compelling voice but by devising new elements which were so memorable they became part of the TV series decades later, such as that glass Dalek, or Ian and Barbara falling in love with each other (before we heard about them as a still-young married couple in The Sarah Jane Adventures last year, some grumbled this was just a fan invention; had they never read David Whitaker telling us, back in 1964?). Though these days no new Doctor Who book would include our heroes smoking, even to introduce the Doctor’s “everlasting matches”, and would think twice about making the Doctor such a git.

Doctor Who and the Crusaders

David Whitaker’s second novel is the most unadulterated work of his we have, and probably the best surviving version of his own rather fine script: Doctor Who – The Crusade was among the stories the BBC threw into a skip, though some of it’s been recovered since (you can buy the Doctor Who – Lost In Time DVD Box Set with two surviving episodes and the soundtracks of the two missing episodes, or a CD of the whole soundtrack with narration to make it easier to follow). It’s certainly the most old-fashioned of the books and an old-fashioned romance to boot, both in the sense of a ripping yarn and the burgeoning love story between Ian and Barbara. It could easily have been a fairly progressive ’60s take on a familiar historical adventure story – in fact, that’s exactly what it is – with a modern even-handedness between Crusaders and Saracens and its heart in the right place (if its terminology isn’t). And it has a very different view of time travel to modern Doctor Who
“‘Poor Sir Ian,’ he repeated. ‘What dreadful anguish and despair you must be suffering now.’”
The TARDIS crew land in Palestine amid the Crusades, and are caught up trying to survive the plotting on both sides; the most interesting characters here are the two leaders, Richard and Saladin, each very differently drawn but each displaying a mixture of dangerousness, nobility and moral ambiguity, and the best lines and the most gripping parts of the story are when these two are involved. Unfortunately, not wanting to get too involved in history, the story weakens towards the end when both Richard and Saladin’s parts have to reduce in favour of a key warlord serving under each of them, men who are fictional, potentially disposable, and – not to put too fine a point on it – utter bastards. So the latter part of the book both reads less lyrically and seems less ‘important’. And readers who grew up in the ’80s might enjoy a character called Thatcher performing some 12th-Century privatisations.

Chris Achilleos’ cover is pretty good, if a bit too busy (though I never say no to Julian Glover, who played King Richard), and the book’s illustrated generously by Henry Fox, whose picture of Ian duelling perfectly fits his place as the very definite hero of the novel. Again, and appropriately, this is one that William Russell reads aloud with gravitas for CD. Charlie Higson’s new introduction is merely OK (though you can tell he wasn’t as successful as Russell at relaunching a classic series). Possibly the most striking part of the book today is the Prologue, however, in which David Whitaker’s very authored, almost didactic view of time travel is far closer to predestination than the series has embraced ever since – and in which there’s a famous misprint, kept in for the new edition, that makes Susan’s partner at the end of The Dalek Invasion of Earth suddenly very disturbing indeed…

Doctor Who and the Cybermen

Gerry Davis was another Doctor Who script editor, co-creator of the Cybermen and co-author of this story when it was on TV as Doctor Who – The Moonbase; again, the BBC burnt some of it (and again, you can buy the two surviving episodes and the soundtracks of the two missing episodes on the Doctor Who – Lost In Time DVD Box Set, or a CD of the whole soundtrack with narration). And this is the book about which I have the most mixed feelings from this whole selection. With my critical brain switched on, this is clearly less inspired a script and a novel than the other five… But it was the first book I ever bought and the first book I ever read – in fact, the book that made me learn to read – and I can’t help but love it.
“‘Here’s our holy water,’ said Polly, holding up the small bottle of nail varnish remover. ‘I’m going to do an experiment… Voilà cocktail Polly!’”
The first Cyberman story so pleased the Doctor Who production team that they did it again right away – and this is it, with a lot less inspiration, but a far better part for the Doctor (including Patrick Troughton’s most defining ‘mission statement’). And Gerry Davis carries the plot along well with his functional but endearing prose, making the TARDIS a ship in a stormy sea, making her crew memorable throughout (particularly Polly, asking pointed questions about the Doctor’s qualifications and weaponising Clarins to stop any sexist comments dead in their tracks), making the Cybermen less B-Movie than they were on TV and making a right mess of their history, though also with the first outing for the iconic Prologue: The Creation of the Cybermen. The Doctor starts off here with the TARDIS out of control and finishes by slipping away quietly, which feels exactly like the way things should be. And the next story, though not the next book, was absolutely brilliant – if the book misses one thing, it’s ending with a giant claw.

Gareth Roberts – who just ten days ago brought Cyber-chops back to TV in Closing Time – captures the experience of reading in his Introduction, while the fabulous Anneke Wills, who played Polly on TV, is the main reader for this audiobook – with Nick Briggs on the Cybervoices – and is terrific at it. While this may be the weakest of the six books, it might be the strongest of the readings, and all the more so when almost all the voices Anneke does, as she pointed out rather witheringly, are for men. She’s got a lovely voice: quite deep, intimate and reassuring – great for a storyteller, and though not all her accents are spot-on, she does rather a good breathy Troughton, particularly capturing his determination near the end (though they should probably have gone for a second take when she creates a novel colour as a side-effect of a word being split across two lines: “red-
dish coloured lights”). A passage that stands out as really quite threatening is Ralph being stalked by the Cyberman in the food store, aided by the music, even if it doesn’t sustain the mood by being made the end of Disc One. Chris Achilleos’ cover is particularly fine as long as you’re not a Cyber-pedant, with a threatening monster, a thrilling fizz around the Moon and a great Patrick Troughton. The illustrations by Alan Willow are more serviceable than gifted, but I’ve always loved this one of the Cybermen lifting off from the surface of the Moon; but see if you can work out why, in this one instance, it might be better as reprinted, without the original caption I’ve shown here.


Rise of the Cybermen
 
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When I was five, I fell seriously ill and was hospitalised… Which turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. I’d just bought my first book – this book – at the school bookshop, and my Mum brought it into the hospital. The various primary school books I’d been meant to be learning to read on had been having precisely zero impact on me through their banal ‘narratives’ of going to school, sometimes by bus, sometimes in the rain; I did that. Why would I want to read about it? But when my Mum, who’s never loved Doctor Who, got half-way through reading Doctor Who and the Cybermen to her little invalid and could stand no more, she did something that changed my life (and, within a couple of months, changed my measurable reading age from ‘off the bottom of the scale’ to more than double my actual age). Thanks, Mum; thanks, Gerry Davis. Bored beyond the call of duty, she told me to read it myself.

I did.

Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen

Terrance Dicks, again a former lead writer on Doctor Who, wrote much of the Target range single-handed – ten times as many books as anyone else – and his deceptively simple prose is hard to beat for telling a cracking good story. This one is a cracking good story, from Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln’s script, surprisingly on TV as Doctor Who – The Abominable Snowmen, and sadly this time, the BBC burnt most of it (you can buy the sole surviving episode on the Doctor Who – Lost In Time DVD Box Set, or a CD of the whole narrated soundtrack).
“A vision of the cave on the mountain filled the Master’s mind. The glutinous living mass still seeped from the pyramid. More and more and more… it filled the cave… it was filling the tunnel. When would it stop? How much territory would it cover? ‘You said only the Mountain for your Experiment,’ shrieked Padmasambvha. ‘If you do not stop, you will cover the planet. You have lied to me… tricked me.’ The sound of hellish cosmic laughter seemed to fill his ears. The old Master slumped in his chair. In an appalled whisper, he said, ‘I have brought the world to its end!’”
The Doctor is commanding, Jamie heroic, and Victoria – not always one of the most memorable companions on screen – vividly naughty. No wonder I liked her; the ‘prim Victorian lady’ is the one who leads the prim monks into temptation and explores all the interesting places (the story has an interesting take on faith, treating Buddhism with respect not for the last time in Who, but also showing up superstitious misogyny – perhaps it’s an appropriately split response when one of the key characters spends most of his time arguing with himself in something eerily between schizophrenia and prayer). And Victoria is certainly more appealing than the typical ‘lost British explorer’ who, refreshingly, is a bit of a git. Like the other Second Doctor book in this line-up, it’s often called a ‘base under siege’ plot – but it’s really rather more interesting than that. It’s a ghost story, and as for the purpose of a siege… I suspect one of the reasons it was such a strong childhood favourite of mine, too, is that I liked my Doctor Who scary. I started watching in the early Tom Baker Years, of cold science and gothic horror, and this book and the next two below have something in common that struck a chord: they are almost the only three Doctor Who stories in which someone is so terrified that they lose their reason. Scary enough to turn you into a dribbling wreck? I want to read that! So here, particularly, what Travers discovers on the mountain and the effect it has on him is easily the closest to Lovecraftian cosmic horror in all of Doctor Who. Oh, and watch out, retrospective readers: not for the only time in the ’60s, one of the main characters in this story is the Master, but not the Master.

Terrance Dicks’ solid storytelling lifts an already strong script, giving it clarity, pace, and added detail from the vivid opening backstory dream, to actual snow, to making the pyramid’s gloop terrifying instead of stubble-reducing (even if he loses the TV’s meanest but funniest joke). It’s always fired my imagination with horrifying evil, sweeping landscapes and unsettling special effects; perhaps even more than The Evil of the Daleks, if a Doctor Who story were ever to be remade for the big screen as a modern answer to the ’60s movies, this should be it. On a less spectacular budget, David Troughton does a great job in bringing the audiobook to life – to the extent that it might just be my favourite version of the story. I’ve often heard people say that he sounds just like his father and thought it nonsense, because though his voice as he’s got older has gained something of the same husky quality, it’s very much his own. But just this once, the first word the Doctor says is “Marvellous!” and a shiver went down my spine. On that, and tantalising other snatches of dialogue, he’s clearly doing an eerily close impersonation of Pat. For the story itself, perhaps it reaches its peak – unexpectedly – on the third disc of the four, with the plot thickening, Padmasambvha’s appalled realisation and Travers’ horror in the cave, atmospherically read and scored. Chris Achilleos’ cover is an excellent companion piece to his Doctor Who and the Cybermen, with the Earth rather than the Moon, Pat Troughton, a monster and a vignette of Jamie and Victoria. Again, it’s plainly illustrated by Alan Willow. Stephen Baxter takes you back, excitedly, to watching the story – if only we could, too – but he shows us how evocative the book can be. I bought this book, as well, from the racks they used to keep in the St Simon’s RC Primary School entrance hall, with my saved-up 5p tokens on the card from the “Wise Owl Book Club”. Awwhh. And not only does my timing for this piece tie in with a new series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, but (I note thanks to Newsround before today’s episode) with the start of the biggest expedition to find the Yeti for half a century – let’s hope they have better luck than Professor Travers, eh?


Doctor Who Audiobooks
 
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Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion

Terrance Dicks script-edited the original version of this Robert Holmes story, Doctor Who – Spearhead From Space, a terrific tale that’s just been re-released on DVD (as part of the Doctor Who – Mannequin Mania DVD Box Set, labelled a “Special Edition”… But it’s wrong. This book is the special edition), and you can tell that he loves it. Of all his many books, this was his first, and it still shines as perhaps his best. I grew up reading the novels of the Pertwee Doctor first, and was inevitably disappointed when I got to see what I could only think of as the TV adaptations; just this week, the far-inferior TV version of a fantastic book is out on DVD to illustrate that Pertwee gap like no other. But not here. In picking Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion and Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, this series cannily chooses probably the best two Third Doctor books, inspired by probably the best two Third Doctor TV adventures.
“‘We are the Nestenes. We have been colonising other planets for a thousand million years. Now we have come to take Earth.’
“‘But what’s going to happen to us—to Man?’ The full horror of it suddenly came over Hibbert. ‘You’ll destroy us.’
“Channing’s voice was soothing. ‘Not you, Hibbert. You are our ally. You have helped us.’
“Hibbert said dully: ‘And you… you’re not human.’
“‘I am part of the whole, Hibbert. Nestenes have no individual existence. This body is merely a container, Hibbert. You should know that. You made me.’
“And Channing smiled a terrible smile.”
That always gave me a thrill of horror when I was a boy, but there are many other memorable moments: the extended Prologue with the Doctor’s trial; the nurse’s down-to-Earth “pure terror” at Dr Lomax; “Now I don’t know whether that makes me a doctor, a vet or a raving lunatic, but as far as I’m concerned those are the facts”; “…and there were no fingernails”; “A sizzling bolt of energy whizzed past Ransome’s head”; the Nestene itself, so perfectly described that readers and artists knew exactly what it looked like, and could forget what they’d seen on TV; a stunning tour-de-force action sequence taking the Auton invasion from the high street, to ordinary people, to orders going mysteriously wrong and ending in “a curious pointing gesture” on Whitehall. Like the similarly outstanding novel of Remembrance of the Daleks, it makes even the series’ most lavish action sequences seem broader, bigger-budget, and more compelling. On screen, Channing is an excellent performance by a top guest star, and the Autons impressive – but on the page, his “burning eyes” are far more charismatic, and the Autons far more odd. There are certainly things about the TV version that the book lacks – superb direction, three outstanding leads (particularly the Brigadier), the music, memorable sound design for the Autons (shame it’s not used in the audiobook), making the word “facsimile” scary before Yuppies did, Liz being hilariously embarrassed by the Doctor in Madame Tussauds, the much-copied Auton invasion itself – and it’s probably right to lose the visual pun of a ‘hand-gun’ for the book. But great as the TV serial is, this book still tops it.

Caroline John seems more comfortable with her second CD reading, so she improves on her performance from Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters – it rattles along with great energy. These CDs always lack the Doctor Who theme, and this time the sound effects are a bit disappointing – though the combination of music and sound as Meg confronts the Auton are really quite chilling – so hurrah for Caroline really finding her voice, and doing justice to the massive final battle. Chris Achilleos’ excitable cover has Nick Courtney’s Brigadier (his only appearance in the original range until right at the end), meteorites and a hideous alien monstrosity – one that really doesn’t look great on TV, but for Terrance’s evocative description here has inspired many, many artworks – and here he does the illustrations, too, with the Auton blasting at Ransome, Scobie’s revelation (nothing like that on telly, but a terrifically ominous smile) and that huge, many-tentacled Nestene that’s something between spider, crab and octopus bursting out again of particular note. Russell T Davies writes perhaps the most telling Introduction, growing into a concept of “fandom” and picking out his favourite bit – a chilling moment that’s always been mine, too. And, of course, this story was the one he borrowed from to relaunch Doctor Who, brilliantly, six years ago – not just staging an Auton invasion on a bigger budget, but lifting details directly from this book (“Students, he thought vaguely” – and the bits that Russell didn’t use in Rose, Steven Moffat borrowed for The Eleventh Hour).

Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters

The last of these six books – only so far, I hope – for me vies with the other Pertwee novelisation as the best of the six, and was the best of the TV serials on which they were based, too. Ironically, the “Cave Monsters” is an even less appropriate title for the original ‘green scaly rubber people are people too’ story than TV’s Doctor Who and the Silurians (available to buy in the Doctor Who – Beneath the Surface DVD Box Set, and with an atypically spoiler-filled review from me). I’ve even said that this is probably the book that turned me into a Liberal. Malcolm Hulke wrote several of the hugely influential early Doctor Who novelisations, and it’s fair to say that his are probably the most loved.
“She realised how terribly fond she was of Dr Quinn, even if she had started to doubt whether he was at all fond of her.”
Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters is one of the series’ most passionate moral fables, and the one closest to my heart – literally, indeed, on the day I bought my first copy, as pictures of little curly blond me clasping it excitedly to my little bosom on the way home from Blackpool will testify. It ranges from a terrifyingly apocalyptic sequence in which the population of London start dropping from plague, through off-kilter office romance and spy drama, to making the viewer take the viewpoint of a reptile person who’s slept for 65 million years and is none too impressed with their planet now being overrun with ape-descended upstarts (and “reptile people” is a far simpler, more accurate name than “Silurians”; Millennium has an excellent theory on how Dr Quinn may have named them, and suggests the alternative Prehistoric Indigenous Xenomorphs Interred Entire Species). There are few Doctor Who stories about which I have such a wealth of feeling and which have had such profound effects on me, and Malcolm Hulke’s prose and extraordinary boldness in reworking his own original script had almost as much to do with that as the central story: of all of these novels, even including the first, it’s the one that makes the most striking changes, discarding much of the plot in favour of adding much greater depth to the characters and drawing the reader into their lives, fears and ambitions. So it really doesn’t matter that, on top of some scientific howlers that you can ignore for the sake of the parable, he adds a particular political one in the book. The fatal flaws in the characters are far more interesting than the minor factual ones. I’ve raved about how the TV version of this story was why Doctor Who was brilliant in 1970, and recommended the novel for “Bloggers’ Summer Reading” in 2008 (with tongue in cheek only in how I was writing, and not what I was writing about).

This time, Chris Achilleos pulls out all the stops for his cover, with Silurians, a T-Rex and even volcanoes, going back in time to the book’s prologue, while his illustrations (one rather badly reprinted, but the rest nicely cleaned up) are a superb range: a map; Okdel’s chat show; figures in the dark moving toward Major Barker; a letter from a Chief Constable; and my very favourite, for the chapter Goodbye, Dr Quinn, which is such a brilliant spoiler that you’ll have to buy the book to see it. Terrance Dicks’ Introduction is quite different in tone from all the others; a voice from the time, written for his old friend. Caroline John was terrific as – and very proud of playing – Doctor Elizabeth Shaw, and is a good choice to read her stories on CD, where she’s brilliant again as Liz four decades later (particularly when she comes close to murdering the Doctor in his smugger moments) and has fun with her pompous Doctor and Brigadier voices, but is slightly uncertain as a narrator, though noticeably gaining confidence as she goes along. One of the things that may have thrown her balance was having to do a Scots accent when, like that other fine actor Derek Jacobi on his reading of Doctor Who – The Mind Robber, she comes a cropper with it, and greatly improves in the telling once the character involves departs the story! She’s a pleasure to listen to in the DVD commentary on the TV version of this adventure, too, where (if you skip to Episode 5, the one after where Terrance Dicks sums up the story’s attitude by calling the Doctor “an incorrigible liberal”) she not only involves the other actors in discussing the story’s politics but delightfully fills them in on the extra characterisation each of their roles have in the book: Geoffrey Palmer is particularly amused by his character stiffing another over their old school ties. The CDs, incidentally, offer the original back cover blurb, but these new paperback editions write their own: wisely, in this case, in not reproducing the infamous “…and a 40 ft high Tyrannosaurus Rex, the biggest, most savage mammal which ever trod the earth!”


For more about the Target Book series that was – and, hopefully, the expanding BBC Books Classic Reprint line that is to come – two of the authors here have rather fine features about their novels as part of the DVD range. The War Games DVD has On Target – Malcolm Hulke, while On Target –Terrance Dicks is part of the Peladon Tales DVD box set.

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Comments:
I demand to see that picture of a curly blond haired Alex with his book.
 
I've had a look, and tragically that one's not among the few I've scanned in (so it'll be somewhere in my parents' loft 200 miles away). I have a couple of little me blond and curly aged about 5, and others of slightly less little me clutching Doctor Who books and grinning horribly, but no crossover to hand!
 
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