Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book Review: Destiny of the Daleks

I hope you guys are keeping warm. With the winter snow I've at least been catching up with my reading, so here's a review of one of the books I've been digging into.

Landing on what appears to be a bombed out planet, the Doctor and his traveling companion Romana find themselves in the midst of a war between the Movallans and the Doctor's old foes, the Daleks. Eventually the Doctor discovers that he is on the birth planet of the Daleks, Skaro, and their plan-to resurrect their fallen creator Davros in the hope that he will lead them to victory. The Doctor must put his wits to the test to stop them, but with his new allies also have their own agenda, one that puts the Doctor and Romana in the hot seat.

One of the series of novelizations of the classic Doctor Who television series, Destiny of the Daleks doesn't have much of a good reputation among fans, mostly due to the script and the production's low budget. So in that respect the book by former Who script editor and writer Terrance Dicks probably has an advantage of letting the reader fill in the images and create a more elaborate story than what the TV show could do. The book itself is pretty brisk at a 110 pages and moves quickly, establishing the plot and the characters without much meat or back story but that could be the fault of the script Dicks was adapting more than his own work.

That being said it was still a fun read, thanks to Dicks' ability to capture the personality of Tom Baker's Doctor-from his usual humorous quips to his quick-minded resolve-as well as bringing Davros to life, even if he gets little to do than boss around Daleks and make idle threats against the Doctor. The late twist revelation of the Movallans and their identities also brings a good twist to the story, resulting in a nice final resolution.

It's not the best Dalek story-or for that matter Doctor Who story-but if you can find a copy it's a good tale to pass the time, especially if you're stuck in a house with snow outside. Rating: *** out of 4.

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