Doctor Who Target Book Club Podcast discussion

Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen

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message 1: by Tony (new)

Tony Whitt (goodreadscomemperordalek) | 87 comments Mod
Here we are discussing Terrance Dicks' novelization of REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN! If you want to hear your review of or comments on this book read on the air, or you have a specific question about the book, please post it here by no later than 5pm CST on Friday, October 9!

message 2: by Dave (last edited Oct 11, 2020 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dave  Davis | 42 comments "Harry Sullivan is an imbecile!"
So says the Doctor, in the TV version. Which I found odd, watching it on first broadcast. Between "Robot" and "Genesis of the Daleks" Harry has been finding his feet, and earning the Doctor's respect, and now the Doctor is being insulting and dismissive. It's probably a result of this story being recorded before "Genesis...". All the clever byplay between the three main characters probably made sense in rehearsal.
Thankfully, Terrance Dicks fixes this in the book. An early scene, in which the Doctor glares at Harry, apparently blaming him, unjustly, for a door that the Doctor opened nearly taking his arm off, is completely removed. The "imbecile" line is softened, firstly by changing it to "idiot", which I think sounds a bit less aggressive, then adding a line about how, nevertheless, the Doctor is pleased to see him. In this version, it seems much more like banter than abuse.
The Cybermen are much improved on the page too. The very mechanical voices of the sixties (and the modern era) are gone, and the heavily distorted voices of the eighties are yet to come. Instead, though there's a little voice treatment, these Cybermen sound just like what they are - actors wearing masks - which spoils the illusion somewhat. Other small problems, like the tickertape being visible inside the Tardis prop long before it's needed are also fixed, but the book is essentially what you see on screen.
One other thing that is better on screen is the setting. Seen only a month or so after "Ark in Space", the serendipitous impact of seeing the same, cost-cutting, scenery of Nerva beacon is lost in the book. I can take or leave the scenes on Voga though - the location is visually impressive but the sound quality is a little grating.

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