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The mysterious Doctor and his granddaughter Susan are joined by unwilling adventurers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright in an epic struggle for survival on an alien planet. In a vast metal city they discover the survivors of a terrible nuclear war - the Daleks. Held captive in the deepest levels of the city, can the Doctor and his new companions stop the Daleks' plan to totally exterminate their mortal enemies, the peace-loving Thals? More importantly, even if they can escape from the Daleks, will Ian and Barbara ever see their home planet Earth again? This novel is based on the second Doctor Who story which was originally broadcast from 21 December 1963 - 1 February 1964. Featuring the First Doctor as played by William Hartnell, and his companions Susan, Ian, and Barbara.

174 pages, Paperback

First published November 12, 1964

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About the author

David Whitaker

44 books22 followers
David Whitaker was an English screenwriter and novelist best known for his work in the early days of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He served as the series' first story editor working on the programme's first fifty one episodes in this capacity.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 168 reviews
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.6k followers
May 31, 2023
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Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,127 reviews3,551 followers
July 25, 2016
The Doctor meet his arch enemies for the first time!

This is a novelization of the serial of the same title. Based on the original script by Terry Nation (creator of The Daleks).


The Doctor:

The First Doctor


Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton & Barbara Wright


Planet: Skaro. Non-specified time.


This novelization of the second TV serial of Doctor Who is a good example of the importance of having here on Goodreads not only a rating system but also the chance of writing a review. Since my 3-star rate having taken alone, could mislead my reasons of that over the quality of the TV serial from what this book was written.

While this was the second TV serial of Doctor Who, this was the first authorized novelization ever made in the franchise. So, due that, the author had to write an explanation of how the main characters (The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara) encountered each other. Quite odd, but understandable. However, the bad part wasn't that but the even odder decision of making up a totally different situation of how the four characters met and how they began their travels in time. Fortunately I was aware about this inconsistency with the canon of the franchise, but this may confound some readers.

Also, the author did other even odder choice, using Ian Chesterton as the narrator of the book, so you get the story from his point of view that it's something really strange since none other Doctor Who novel has used this. And it was some limitant to get the whole picture of the story. And "Ian" isn't a very good narrator turning kinda tedious the story at some moments.

At some minor level, on the TV serial clearly it's spoken about radiation, even the topic of radiation seems to be big deal for the First Doctor since the first serial, checking always the levels of radiation of any place before of getting out of the TARDIS. However, in this novelization, it's only spoken about poisoning air instead of just using the issue of radiation.

And speaking of the TARDIS, it's odd that the author spells the time ship's as "Tardis" and not with full capitals since it's an acronym.

Getting into the story...

The First Doctor is still getting used to have companions and while he is nicer than in the first serial (An Unearthly Child), he is hardly a nice person, since Barbara has to fight with him to make him to feel some compasion for the Thals, and also, the First Doctor deceives the group to fulfill his selfish desires of exploring the city without thinking in the security of them.

Fifty years later, anybody knows that the Daleks are pure evil, but reading the way as the group met them, it was odd how they were pretty sure that they must be evil when they still hadn't do anything evil but just controling some unknown visitors of their city. But certainly, they know how to convince anybody how evil they can be, since without spoiling, the way that they deal with the original leader of the Thals... Geez!!!!

This is a strange story where you aren't sure how good are doing the group, since they teach the Thals encouraging them to fight back against the Daleks. A civilization that learned in the hard way their lesson of how terrible is making war and the group tell them that they should to make war yet again, since it seems that it's the only way to survive... mmh... and this makes them different from the Daleks in which way? And the way to deal with the Daleks is not only beaten them, no, they are looking to power down them and in that way, all the Daleks will die, (sure, we know that that didn't happen, The Daleks would be around the next 50 years) but again, how the Thals would be the "good guys" if they are doing whatever they can to exterminate the Daleks?

And again, this is some of the great points of sci-fi like Doctor Who that things aren't just white or black, but a large scale of grays, where each reader should take a time to think about.

Profile Image for Craig.
4,991 reviews117 followers
July 29, 2021
This is an anomalous Doctor Who novelization, and the the first Doctor Who book that was published. It's based on the second Doctor Who story which was broadcast in late 1963 and early 1964, and was the serial in which the Daleks were introduced. It's arguably the most famous episode, led to the Peter Cushing films, and the success kept the show on the air in those early years. Terry Nation wrote the original teleplay. The novel appeared long before the Target series of books, as a kids' book under the title Doctor Who In An Exciting Adventure With The Daleks, and strong and long-lasting sales led to the Target series. There are several quite significant differences from the show and the book, which is written as a first-person story from Ian Chesterton's point of view. Ian is an unemployed scientist, and has never met the other characters, Barbara Wright, The Doctor, and his "granddaughter" Susan Foreman. It's a loose adaptation of the story, in which the crew travel to Thal and try to save them from the evil Dalek domination. The writing style seems a little more antiquated than in the more modern books, and perhaps geared to a younger reader. It's not a bad story, but is quite jarring in spots to one familiar with the televised version.
Profile Image for Michael.
423 reviews49 followers
July 6, 2011
This was the first ever novelisation of a Doctor Who tv story, first published in the mid 60s. To most fans of the show this book is all kinds of wonderful, being hugely nostalgic and a crackingly well written novel in its own right. Back then this was the only way to relive an episode. VCRs or DVDs were more far-fetched science fiction ideas than some ones in the show. David Whitaker was Story Editor on the original serial and here he takes Terry Nation's script and really adds life and depth. Told in the first person from the point of view of Ian Chesterton the story kicks off by choosing to replace the whole school scenario of the first episode of an Unearthly Child with characters meeting each other for the first time after a traffic accident on Barnes Common. It's a pretty atmospheric opening. The Doctor is hostile and sly, playing his mindgames with Ian. The psychology of walking through those police box doors is explored quite comprehensively by Whitaker. Due to the limited point of view some characters don't get as much of the limelight as they might have done, notably Susan. Her alien qualities get lost in retelling and her early baptism of fire, having to retrieve the radiation drugs alone through the petrified forest, is only briefly mentioned as she recounts the episode to her friends. It's also fun to learn a bit more about the Tardis facilities and I would like to know what Venusian Night Fish or Martian Summer berries taste like. Other additions to the script are a full description of a Dalek mutant, a Glass Dalek, Everlasting Matches, an amusing boxing match that Ian arranges to try to get the Thalls to regard fighting in the same way as other physical sports, the seeds of a romance between Ian and Barbara, an un-sonic buttonhook and Ian's smoking habit. Whitaker writes well and has a nice line in poetic phrasing but he also knows how to colour a story with little character points and humour. I have only fond memories of reading this book back in the 1970s and I greatly enjoyed the recent reread. I'd like to think that the new reprints of these books will inspire a new generation of children in the same way as they did me when I was a little boy wandering about that big building filled with books with orders from my mum to 'choose one'.
This new edition has an introduction by Neil Gaiman, an about the authors spotlight of David Whitaker and Terry Nation, original illustrations and a between the lines feature about the script to novelisation process.
Profile Image for Sarah.
269 reviews117 followers
November 20, 2022
I read the big new hardback, illustrated, edition of Doctor Who And The Daleks but I am yet to have found a listing for it anywhere on Goodreads.. please link me to it if you come across it and I will change my review to that version - thanks!
I hope more Doctor Who stories are released this way in the future.
Profile Image for Steve Payne.
337 reviews20 followers
January 28, 2022

The Doctor and his ‘granddaughter’ Susan, meet future travelling companions Barbara and Ian, and using his machine for travelling through time and space (the TARDIS) land on an apparently dead planet.

I re-read this purely for nostalgia and curiosity - to return to my childhood years of the 1970s and early 1980s when I first read this, and others books in the Target series. This was pre-video days and the only way of relive these adventures. This was the second story in the TV programme’s history, the first of the seven parts going out on 21st December 1963. The book itself was first published in November 1964.

We're obviously not talking any deep classic here, but nevertheless I did find myself enjoying the read. It's a good, straightforward adventure yarn that was probably aimed at the young teenager. Based on Terry Nation’s original scripts, David Whitaker, the show’s first script editor, ignores the original backstory from the TV series and has companions Barbara and Ian meeting here for the first time. Some will disagree, but I personally prefer deviations to the original as it brings an element of surprise. Whitaker also makes the bold decision to tell the story from Ian’s point of view. Bringing in his perspective on the other characters adds another dimension, even if it does have the minor drawback that a couple of events (which he wasn’t witness to) thus have to be told. This unfortunately includes Susan’s lonely and frightened journey through the dead forest in order to retrieve medicines from the TARDIS. In the televised episode it was a moment of great tension (providing one of the cliff-hangers), but here, it’s narrated by Susan to Ian after the event and obviously has no element of surprise or threat whatsoever. Despite this, I totally understand why Whitaker chose this method; it is not a simple retelling of the story as it appeared on screen.

I’m a little sorry I gave my complete (at the time) collection of these ‘Target’ books to a charity shop about fifteen years ago (my interest in the TV series evaporated in the mid-eighties when it turned into an unsubtle campy farce – devoid of atmosphere, and on its later return became an even less subtle PC soap opera), but I’ve downloaded the original novels now to my Kindle. So queue music, and bring on the Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Sea Devils, Silurians, and the giant maggots, and off we go.

Dudadudum…Dudadudum...Dudadudum…Dudadudum…WhoooHoooOoooo…OooAaOoo… [I put great thought into that, you know, and I could have gone on!]
Profile Image for Robert Davis.
726 reviews60 followers
September 26, 2018
LAST TIME: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

This was the very first Doctor Who story to be novelized and the author obviously didn't feel the need to observe continuity or cannon with the original television show. Whitaker has taken a LOT of liberties with the story. The first chapter completely reimagines the beginning of Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child and how Barbara & Ian encountered the Doctor and TARDIS. This reintroduction of the supporting companions is a little off putting. What is more, the narrative is in the first person, told from Ian Chestertons' POV, which I believe is the only Doctor Who novel to be written in this way. It is NOT badly written, in fact I would say that the style is more sophisticated than modern novelizations, and that is the reason for the four star rating.

Profile Image for Julie.
385 reviews4 followers
December 7, 2022
3.5 ⭐ =Quite Good.
This brought back memories! I love watching Doctor Who on the television and always have. 😁
An easy, fairly short read.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,164 reviews1,322 followers
May 1, 2018
It all started out as a mild curiosity in...
Barnes Common.

The first Doctor Who novelisation, clearly capitalising on Dalekmania at the time as we get a whole new introduction to how Ian and Barbara met the time traveling Doctor.

Target books were essential reading for those growing up at this time, it was the only chance to be able to enjoy an old story.
So inconsistencies will appear throughout the range, so it seems fitting that this trend started from the first published book.
I quite liked the differences. If it makes the storytelling easier and accessible for fans of any age then the author has succeeded.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,215 reviews114 followers
August 13, 2008
One of "Doctor Who"'s original leading men reads the first story novelization with "Doctor Who and the Daleks."

Written when audiences would rarely, if ever, have a chance to see the original seven-part story this was based on, author David Whitacker makes some interesting choices in the novelization of Terry Nation's original scripts. The first is to have the story told from the first person perspective of travelling companion, Ian Chesterton. This choice makes for some interesting moments in the story, such as seeing and hearing Ian's reaction to first finding the TARDIS and being inside a Dalek, but it also takes away one of the most iconic moments in television with Barbara's first encounter with a Dalek. (Perhaps Whitacker felt the scene couldn't be done justice on the printed page).

Whitacker also uses the story to introduce readers to the Doctor and the TARDIS, borrowing some of the elements of the first episode of "Doctor Who" in the first several chapters. This alternate look at how the TARDIS crew came together is interesting and I find it particularily fascinating that Ian and Barbara don't know each other before entering the TARDIS here.

Also of interest is the final stages when the Daleks are clearly controlled by a glass Dalek, something that would have been nearly impossible to achieve on the budget of the 60s, though it was attempted years later during Colin Baker's reign. Not sure if this was meant to tie into Whitacker's two Dalek stories during the Troughton era with the Emperor Dalek, though I did find msyelf thinking of Davros when we first met the mysterious force behind the Daleks.

Differences aside, this is a nice telling of the orignal adventures with the Daleks. Some portions of the story are truncated, some expanded, but for the most part it works. Whitacker's storytelling is well done, though Ian does seem to be a bit focused on looking into the eyes of his travelling companions.

As read by William Russell, the man who brought Ian to life on the small screen, the audio book is a treat. Definitely a must-hear if you're a fan of "Doctor Who."
Profile Image for Phil.
3 reviews4 followers
September 12, 2011
Most of my experience with the Doctor started in 2005 with the 9th Doctor (and I'll admit that at first I was intrigued by a time-traveling madman that looked, sounded, and acted like a British version of a good friend of mine). I've had sporadic run-ins with prior incarnations since I was a small child, but they were solitary episodes with no background to what was going on. When I did find them, I mainly watched them because of the simplistic set designs.

Now that I'm several decades older and my tastes have evolved concurrently with the 'Grim Meat-hook Future' paradigm of science-fiction, it was an absolute pleasure to start re-familiarizing myself with the introduction of the First Doctor (in all of his malicious glory) to the Kaleds.

A fairly straight-forward plot, told from the point-of-view of one of the Doctor's new companions and adapted from an early serial, Doctor Who's Exciting Adventures with the Daleks seems to be broken into 3 main acts. The Doctor seems to be more the central pivot of the plot than a full-blown character in and of himself. This is both good (in that from Ian's perspective, the Doctor is shown to be more than a bit of a dick) and bad (I always feel a little disappointed when a titular character is reduced to co-starring status).

I did enjoy the descriptions of a war-torn Skaro and the early limitations placed on the Daleks (they can't move off of metal floors or their casings stop receiving power, little technological marvels beyond [presumably] atomic warheads and using static electricity for power generation). The descriptions of the Thals were bland in a "noble savage reclaiming their societal heritage" way, and the telegraphing of Barbara's feelings towards an oblivious Ian could have used some work but I will admit that their may be some temporal prejudice on my part in terms of reading a 50 year old story.

Overall it was a fun, quick read and I'm interested in checking out both the original serial that this was taken from and the rest of the reprints of the Target Dr. Who books.
Profile Image for Kieran McAndrew.
1,799 reviews11 followers
August 19, 2021
A car crash causes out of work scientist Ian Chesterton to jump to Barbara Wright's rescue. Helping her to find her missing pupil, Susan English, he stumbles into a police box and is kidnapped by Susan's grandfather, the mysterious Doctor, who whisks them into the next universe but one to stumble across the evil Daleks.

Originally released as a "tie in" novel, rather than a novelisation, Whitaker's novel strays from the script in some respects, but still captures the intrigue and excitement of 'Doctor Who'.
Profile Image for Sharanya Mukherji.
65 reviews1 follower
March 21, 2021
Ian Chesterson was an out of work scientist, Barbara Wright was a history teacher of an unusual child named Susan. It was Susan who made them meet with an unusual man, who opened to them and this reader a world of possibilities and they meet a seminal foe, The Daleks...

I must admit that I haven't seen a single episode of this series but when I got my hands on this book written by David Whitaker based on the first and second episode of the series that was aired in the early 60s, I was like, "Why not give it a try?". And man oh man did I enjoy it thoroughly. The whole story was an experience of child like joy and everything that you expect from a good sci - fi adventure.

And it has fed my curiosity on the entire franchise, yet it might not be possible for me to buy every book in these series and there's 100 of them out there, I have also heard that the title charector regenerates in form and shape after certain number of books and I may never be able to buy them in order but to be fair the way the stories have been formulated I would say that I think that would be not much of a problem for me, as the 11th regeneration of the Doctor once said,"After all we are just stories in the end, so let's make it a good one..." So for me Dr. Who is not just a charector, he is an attitude, a mind set, as long there is a lust to explore the world, the desire to know and the humility to understand others who might not be in our own shoes there is a Dr. Who in each one of us, so I might encounter a different person in each book but what I know will drive me through in enjoying all the narratives that I might get my hands on, is this commendable spirit that is present in the person of Dr. Who and the companions who he or she is with. They are the spirits we see in a great individual. But I would definitely try to get atleast one good book from each regeneration of the Doctor, I've started with the first and now I'll look for the second...

But to the people who are reading my review please do get this book and treat it as a singular novel if you can because trust me reading it does make one nostalgic for the various imaginary adventures that we knit in our brains and makes it come alive infront of us. David Whitaker's writing is so picturesque that each incident does come alive in the mind of our eyes, as if I'm reading a Tintin or a Golden Age Super Hero comic and it should be read in that spirit only...

Some of you might say is reading series or movie novelisations similar to reading an original novel? I would say definitely because what we can't express fully on a 35mm screen can be expressed through the words that projects an image in our mind. And let me tell you good movie novelisations are always a treat to read if it's in the hands of a good writer like David Whitaker, also they are highly collectible for the Bibleophile in me...
Profile Image for Tony.
645 reviews9 followers
January 6, 2023
This is one of the earliest - if not the first - Doctor Who novelisations ever published back in 1964. It also remains one of the best. And one of the most unusual.

It is narrated by Ian Chesterton, who we first meet driving on a foggy Barnes Common. There is no Unearthly Child in this alternative Whoniverse. Barbara and Ian are not colleagues at Coal Hill School but strangers who meet here and now on Barnes Common after Barbara has been involved in a car accident whilst taking Susan home. Barbara isn't a teacher, she's a tutor. Her story is pretty similar to the TV version. She's spotted certain gaps in Susan's knowledge. She's found Susan evasive about her grandfather and where she lives. The fog gave Barbara an excuse to take Susan home, but an army lorry intervened.

The whole set up is more dramatic than the first episode of An Unearthly Child in many ways, but actually less atmospheric. However it plays out to its end the same way. Ian and Barbara force their way into the TARDIS and the Doctor whisks them off into time and space. Next stop...Skaro.

The rest of the story plays out pretty much as the TV version, although there is extra information added and the Whitaker gets to enjoy adding unaffordable monsters to the Lakes as Ian, Barbara and the Thals make their way to the inside of the Dalek City. Also as this is Ian's story we only hear what happened to the Doctor and Susan second hand. They are secondary characters in this story.

The main difference though between the TV and book is that there's a strong element of romance between Barbara and Ian. We all know that Barbara and Ian were clearly a thing by the time they got back to London 1965 but this explicitly has them go through a not quite enemies to lovers arc. Although being Doctor Who and being 1964 it is more of a misunderstanding to handholding arc. This is trying to be a proper novel and not just a Doctor Who book.

Whitaker's writing is pretty solid. The pacing is good, even with the occasional Barbara/Ian will they/won't they moment. It's not quite peak Terrance Dicks but it is close.

The book comes with illustrations - sketches - by Arnold Schwartzman, which are a nice touch even if they are taken pretty unimaginatively from shots from the TV episode.

All in all you'd not go wrong starting your Target novelisation reading with this one. It serves as a introduction to the whole thing, even if it isn't quite the same story. 1964 and Doctor Who was already serving up alternative timelines.
63 reviews2 followers
June 29, 2021
Published back in 1964, this was the first Doctor Who story to be novelized and it stands alone among all of the many subsequent novels as it was written in the first person from the point of view of one of the Doctor's companions - Ian Chesterton. Rather than being a faithful adaptation of The Daleks, the second ever Doctor Who serial, the book integrates elements of the first story into an introduction which diverges substantially from that of the TV series. Naturally, it omits a detailed account of the parts of the story where Ian Chesterton was not present, but what it lacks in terms of plot it more than makes up for in presenting the thoughts, reactions and emotions of a character plunged headlong into a fantastical situation. It is well written and fast-paced, if a little too short. Although it feels somewhat dated, that reflects the TV show on which it is based, and it holds up much better than the second novelisation: Doctor Who and the Zarbi.
180 reviews3 followers
May 29, 2017
Very enjoyable and easy to read. I didn't like how different it was from the original episode. Why change it?
Profile Image for April Mccaffrey.
505 reviews44 followers
January 15, 2019
An exciting adventure with the daleks by david whiatker has been a joy to read.

A very differ alternative to an unearthly child but i love Ian and Barbara so stories involving them are always good and a lot of good quotes in this which made me love it even more.

An enjoyable reaf.
Profile Image for Andy Hickman.
4,757 reviews36 followers
September 2, 2016
David Whitaker, “Doctor Who and the Daleks” (Reading, UK: Random, 2011; originally published as 'Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Daleks' in 1964)

The first novelisation of Doctor Who. Writing in the first person narrative of Ian Chesterton, he describes the journey of the Doctor, Susan, Barbara and himself in encountering the Daleks on the planet Skaros and their enmity against the peaceful indigenous Thals.
- - -

Neil Gaiman, “An Exciting Introduction with the Daleks”
“There was no way of seeing an episode of a show you had missed. There was no way of re-experiencing a television show you had enjoyed.” (p.vii)

“Each episode was precious. It could not be revisited.” (p.viii)
- - -
Ch.1 - A Meeting on the Common
“A warm fire and the supper my landlady would have waiting for me seemed as far away as New Zealand.” (p1)

“... all I could think about was that whatever it might look like from the outside, I knew perfectly well that this was no ordinary police box on Barnes Common.”
“The first real shock was the immense size of the room.” (p13)

Ch.2 - Prisoners in Space
“You can't experience too many things outside normal explanation without thinking you're either dreaming or insane.” (p20)

Barbara on Susan: “... 'On the other hand, she made the most terrible mistakes.'
Ian: 'Such as?'
Barbara: 'She thought Australia was in the Atlantic Ocean.'” (p26)

“I had to admit there were some strange things to explain away. None of it made me change my opinion that the old man was either very eccentric or a lunatic.” (p27)

“Superciliousness” = Feeling or showing haughty disdain. (p30)

Doctor: “... 'It's not a form of mental torture but a privilege to step out on to new soil and see an alien sun wheeling above you in another sky.'” (p33)

Ch.3 - The Dead Planet
“There was a short silence. I said, 'Perhaps that's what we ought to call him – 'Doctor Who?'.” (p49, 168)

Ch.4 - The Power of the Daleks
“The voice was all on one level, without any expression at all, a dull monotone that still managed to convey a terrible sense of evil.” (p58)

Ch.5 - Escape into Danger
“Barbara said, 'Then there's that slight, electric smell they have about them. … Dodgem cars!'” (p75)

Ch.6 - The Will to Survive
“He folded his arms and gave every impression of confidence and authority. Here he was, unprotected and unarmed, defenceless in a ring of dangerous enemies and yet there was no suggestion of pleading in his voice, no hint of fear or cowardice. More than that, he was making his authority felt. … It was absolutely magnificent and for sheer, naked courage I have never seen anything like it.” (p93)

Ch.7 - The Lake of Mutations
Doctor: “'You'd be surprised what happens when you learn to control your emotions, my friend. It's the quickest way to learn the truth.'” (p103)

Alydon (a Thal): “'So I say this to you. There is no dishonour in dying but there is a terrible shame in giving up life.'” (p115)

Ch.8 - The Last Despairing Try

Ch.9 - The End of the Power
“My brain refused to work. I was like a man half asleep and half awake, caught in a kind of no-man's-land where the best course seemed to be indecision and inactivity.” (p137)

Ch.10 - A New Life
“... I turned and faced the Doctor with a smile. 'We stay with you,' I said.” (last line, p162)
- - -

Epilogue: About the Authors
“... {Terry Nation's} writing was influenced by his memories of growing up during the Second World War – as he pointed out, the Daleks are based very much on Nazis.” (p163-164).

Steve Tribe, “Doctor Who and the Daleks: Between the Lines.”
“'Doctor Who and the Daleks' can lay claim to the first regular use of the Dalek's battle-cry: 'Exterminate!'” (p174)
Profile Image for Mary.
131 reviews15 followers
August 26, 2011
This is a read-along with Paul's Target blogging. It is also the first of the re-released Target novels. It's teh only one I've bought so far but I'll probably pick more up in time. Paul gives a good overview of the new editions here.

I remember the weird feeling I had when I first saw the Dr Who story The Daleks. A strange sense of deja vu. It took my weak brain a while to figure out why this was. then it dawned on me. My childhood viewings of the Cushing films. I hadn't realised they were lifted from original, unseen by me, scripts.

I was wary of what I would make of the book from the dual viewing of one story already. I am a fan of teh second Cushing film but not so much the first. Even the foreword by Neil Gaiman couldn't ready me for what I found between the pages. I found the rewriting of the opening scenes off-putting enough. The real killer for me though was the new Ian Chesterton. I love Ian Chesterton I don't want him changed by an annoying Roy Castle or a writer who's fiddling. The revamped Ian and especially his 'will they, won't they?' with a temperamental Barbara was very distracting throughout the tale. It did neither character any favours if you ask me. I couldn't understand why the Doctor was sidelined for Ian. It was a bit like a prior Rose Tyler Show.

The Daleks story is quite long and drawn out. The 'journey' parts do quite well here, better than the tv or film, at making it seem like a journey. I just couldn't get into the story though. The narrative from Ian put me off as well. I can't understand the Thals reasoning for not taking a stand. I'm surprised they've evolved at all if that's their viewpoint. This book is not a highpoint in the Target universe for me.

As for this edition. It does add something to the books when you get to read about famous DW fans for the Target novels. I am immensely fond of them and I like to see them praised. Although Gaiman's intro was hardly going to win over new readers on its own. I couldn't think what was missing from my copy. Until I read Paul's blog, it was the Target logo. I imagine no-one wants to put a defunct and not their own logo on a book. It would have been nice to see it though :-( The explanation of the story at the end was useful. How it put into perspective the aired version vs the novel. Unfortunately it was a bit of a grind finishing the story so I was weary by the time I got to that.

All in all, I'm glad teh books have been reprinted. I won't be reading this one again any time soon though. I wonder what they've done with Doctor Who and the Cybermen.......
Profile Image for Aman Mittal.
Author 1 book66 followers
January 22, 2015
My past reading experience with Doctor Who books hasn’t been good. Doctor Who and The Daleks by David Whitaker is not one of them. I recently found a copy of this book, residing in the last row of my book shelf. I don’t remember when did I buy it but I feel happy that I have one.

Doctor Who and the Daleks by David Whitaker is the fist ever novelisation of a Doctor Who television story, first published in 1964, original script written by Terry Nation. I consider myself a Whovian and I my favourite Doctor is the tenth one.

This book is written in first person, narrated through out by Ian Chesterton who with Barbara Wright accompanies Doctor Who ad his granddaughter, Susan, to the planet Skaro, unknowingly, in a time machine and spacecraft called the TARDIS which stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space. The first person narration is what that will attract a reader and worked for me as well. I am not that well-versed in early Doctors but I felt comfortable with the characters. All characters are well-written.

The character of Doctor Who is portrayed quite mysterious and completely unpredictable and most of the times, he is like that. He’s presented as even more devious as the events unfold from Ian’s point-of-view. Moreover, the book turns out to be well-paced novel due to the narration.

The edition I am having has an introduction by Neil Gaiman— a pleasant surprise for me, written in his own style, not spoiling anything for those who haven't been exposed, and very nostalgic, an about the authors spotlight and original illustrations by Arnold Schwartzman.

I am looking forward to read more of the Doctor Who books this year. This one is a day read, and recommended to every Whovian.

4 out of 5!
Profile Image for Lee.
226 reviews58 followers
November 27, 2012
This is a mostly faithful novelization of the second Doctor Who serial, The Daleks. The biggest change comes about because there is no novelization of the first serial, and so the story of how Ian and Barbara first met the Doctor, and his kidnapping them, is instead adapted and crammed into the first couple of chapters here. The other alterations are mostly small omissions as a result of the story being told from Ian's perspective rather than the shifting perspective of the show.

Thus, if you're particularly fond of the aforementioned serial, or if you've never seen it and want to see how the Dalek story began, then you'll probably enjoy this book. I agree with something Neil Gaiman alludes to in his introduction: that the novel is more interesting from a cultural history perspective than as a story in its own right. Back in 1964 if you missed a show then you had missed the show. There were no second chances. The novelizations, when they began to appear, were the first chance many people had to catch up on missed episodes. In this age of DVD boxsets and iPlayer and Sky+ and VCRs and the like it's a nice reminder of the impermanence of things. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the kitchen before my flatmate decides to remind me of the impermanence of cake.
Profile Image for Iona.
61 reviews3 followers
November 13, 2014
Chronologically the first official Doctor Who novelisation, published in 1964. An interesting insight into how it all began - The Doctor and his granddauter, Susan, *ahem* kidnap Barbara, Susan's history tutor, and Ian, some man fortunate enough to have been in the right place at the right time, and they fly off to Skaro. They soon discover the Daleks and the Thals, who share the planet. The Daleks wish to eradicate the Thals, yet the Thals have no concept of conflict in their perfect world and have simply been allowing the Daleks to destroy them. The Doctor must then teach the Thals that fighting for your life and the lives of those you love is important. Battle ensues.

I disliked the fact that the story was told from Ian Chesterton's perspective (and that said narrator was incredibly chauvanistic - welome to the 1960s). I also felt that more emphasis was placed on describing what was, in effect, a camping trip by a lake, and some silly love story than descriptions of the Daleks themselves - which, I'll be honest, was a little disappointing. The Doctor sounds great though, a real character. Like a true whovian, I will soldier on in the hope that the perspective in the next book changes.
Profile Image for Christian Petrie.
245 reviews2 followers
June 26, 2011
David Whitaker takes an episode that was padded too much into a tight story that moves along at a healthy pace. To do this, it takes a lot of liberties with the continuity of Doctor Who. Since this was the first Doctor Who book, it is no surprised a new opening had to be created, but from this allows to open up the story.
An Unearthly Child is dumped from having existed. This does cause a small problem with reading them in order. However, with Ian telling the story in the first person, it allows the characters to expand and learn with their situation. How to work together.
Two details that help to flesh the story is describing the inside of the Dalek case from how Ian sees it. He also adds a Glass Dalek as the leader. Which allows to see there is a structure to the Daleks. As the books can do, expand the encounter by the lake to have the giant lake monsters appear.
One side note is that Whitaker titles a chapter called The Power of the Daleks. Interesting as he uses it for his own Dalek story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for stormhawk.
1,384 reviews30 followers
January 14, 2011
Dr Who: The Daleks represents a real departure from what I'm used to in Doctor Who book ... first that the book is told entirely in the first person, from Ian's viewpoint, and second that the author has chosen to rewrite the story of how Barbara and Ian came to be companions.

It is interesting to learn the first Dalek story, but with the major changes mentioned above, I wonder how faithful the rest of the adaptation is.
Profile Image for C.J. Wright.
Author 11 books209 followers
January 23, 2019
Great novelisation. There's a different beginning than the TV story, making it easy to read without any previous knowledge of Doctor Who, and is still in keeping with the characters in the show.

It is told entirely from Ian's perspective, but nothing is missed out from what was on screen, and the flow of the story does not suffer in the slightest.

Brilliant introduction to the Doctor and his adventures in time and space.
Profile Image for Benjamin Torres.
242 reviews21 followers
September 25, 2015
Being borned some 40 years late to watch the first Doctor's adventures (Not to mention in the wrong country) it was really nice to read the first novelization of this iconic show.
Although I have to say that I probably wouldn't have liked this first Doctor, who is not nearly as caring, and compassionate as the Doctors of the new Era.
All in all I found the story very entertaining.
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