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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old March 12 2013, 09:56 PM   #31
Christopher
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Nagisa Furukawa wrote: View Post
The beginning and end of the novelization range were excellent. At the beginning, writers like Malcolm Hulke (whose novelization Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters is better than his TV story Doctor Who and the Silurians) and even Dicks were genuinely trying, and then towards the end, the actual writers of the Seventh Doctor stories were doing their own novelizations and were treated seriously again.
On the other hand, Pip and Jane Baker did their own novelizations, and they sucked.

And I have a certain fondness for Dicks's novelizations. They weren't great literature, but they were nice, straightforward, accessible adaptations, and they had a comforting familiarity to them. I mean, it was Dicks who gave us the archetypal description of the "peculiar wheezing, groaning sound" of the TARDIS. And then there was the Third Doctor's "young-old face," and other such recurring descriptive phrases.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:28 PM   #32
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

I dislike Dicks' straightforward and cosy style. The two things Doctor Who should never be.

Also, I can't believe Nagisa forgot to mention Faction Paradox in his post detailing Doctor Who literature.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:36 PM   #33
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Dicks's work falls into two periods. His earlier novelizations are pretty decent - DIoE memorably has the opening line "Through the ruin of a city stalked the ruin of a man" - but latterly he was effectively chained to a desk by Target and had to pump out volume after volume to fill the gaps of stories not yet covered. These books, the like of Planet of Giants and The Space Pirates, are very bare bones, mechanistic efforts. Nothing he wrote came close to having the literate qualities of a Hulke or an Aaronovitch, but there is a very tangible difference between his early and later work.

I agree with DalekJim about Ghost Light incidentally. If it wasn't for The Curse of Fenric it would be the greatest McCoy story, and is a very, very close second.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:39 PM   #34
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Somehow I never much cared for Malcolm Hulke's novelizations.

I quite liked Barry Letts's novelization of "The Daemons," though. Very literate and lovely prose. And I remember being quite impressed by the writing in Graham Williams's novelization of "The Nightmare Fair," particularly since I was not at all impressed with him as a producer.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:39 PM   #35
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Also, I can't believe Nagisa forgot to mention Faction Paradox in his post detailing Doctor Who literature.
Nah, I just consider them mostly separate things.

It's sorta like Cheers to Frasier. Yeah, they're both sitcoms, yeah, Fraiser came from Cheers and yeah, some Cheers people showed up every now and then, but they're really pretty different things.
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Old March 12 2013, 11:01 PM   #36
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Atticus wrote: View Post
I agree with DalekJim about Ghost Light incidentally. If it wasn't for The Curse of Fenric it would be the greatest McCoy story, and is a very, very close second.
Fenric made my Top 10 TV Who Stories in that thread I made a few weeks back. Both Fenric and Ghost Light are very complex, multi-faceted stories. I find them a real antidote to a lot of the modern sci-fi out there that is practically screaming with pride about how dumb, cookie cutter and simplistic it is (Hi, Jar Jar Abrams!).
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Old March 13 2013, 12:20 AM   #37
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

The problem with McCoys era is that it stumbled pretty badly his first season, started to get back on its feet the next, and it wasn't until his last few stories that things started to improve. And by then it was too late to save.
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Old March 13 2013, 01:15 AM   #38
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Nagisa Furukawa wrote: View Post
writers like Malcolm Hulke (whose novelization Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters is better than his TV story Doctor Who and the Silurians)
Totally. I read The Cave Monsters before I saw The Silurians. The Cave Monsters was a really good, really cool book. Not to mention the backstory provided for the mine's security officer was pretty dark. That was material you certainly wouldn't see on the show back in the 70s, and I'd be surprised to see something like that even today. By comparison, when I watched The Silurians (yes, I just call it "The Silurians," deal with it) I was disappointed by what I felt was only a half-assed job compared to the novelization.
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Old March 13 2013, 01:24 AM   #39
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Christopher wrote: View Post

On the other hand, Pip and Jane Baker did their own novelizations, and they sucked.
As the various editors of the range explained in the Telos book about the history of the range, they were in a hole if the original author wanted to write the book, but delivered late, or delivered trash: normally you could cancel the contract or send it back for a rewrite, but in this case, if the script writer took that badly, they could simply withdraw permission to novelise the script at all, leaving the poor editor facing all the hate mail from fans who wanted every story novelised.
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Old March 13 2013, 04:23 AM   #40
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Fenric made my Top 10 TV Who Stories in that thread I made a few weeks back. Both Fenric and Ghost Light are very complex, multi-faceted stories. I find them a real antidote to a lot of the modern sci-fi out there that is practically screaming with pride about how dumb, cookie cutter and simplistic it is (Hi, Jar Jar Abrams!).
There is nothing "very complex" or "multi-faceted" about "The Curse of Fenric". It is, like "Star Trek", a straightforward, well-told story. And the only reason "Ghost Light" is "very complex" is because it's just not very good, and people mistake that for deliberate sophistication.
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Old March 13 2013, 09:57 AM   #41
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
DalekJim wrote: View Post
Fenric made my Top 10 TV Who Stories in that thread I made a few weeks back. Both Fenric and Ghost Light are very complex, multi-faceted stories. I find them a real antidote to a lot of the modern sci-fi out there that is practically screaming with pride about how dumb, cookie cutter and simplistic it is (Hi, Jar Jar Abrams!).
There is nothing "very complex" or "multi-faceted" about "The Curse of Fenric". It is, like "Star Trek", a straightforward, well-told story. And the only reason "Ghost Light" is "very complex" is because it's just not very good, and people mistake that for deliberate sophistication.
Yeah I kinda agree, although I do think there are deeper ideas at play behind Fenric, the difference is one is a story that wants to be deep and meaningful yet still realises it needs to tell a story, the other is Ghostlight....
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Old March 13 2013, 03:38 PM   #42
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

There are moments in Fenric which only make sense on a metaphorical level - which is a fault, as that should be subtest below a surface explanation. But it's still in that top three of the era, and maybe the top 20/30 of the series.
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