March 17th, 2007


St Patrick's Day

Thannks to bellatrys, the Letter To Coroticus.

Am feeling better this morning than I have for the last three. I went to an early St Patrick's Day reception in Belfast on Tuesday night, and either I overdid the canapés or they overdid me; definite internal discomfort ever since. Presumably the saint was expressing his disapproval of untimely commemoration. Still, a quiet weekend is indicated.
doctor who

The Savages

Right, that's it decided: I very much prefer the audios with linking narration to the fan reconstructions of "lost" Doctor Who episodes. Especially (though not only) if Peter Purves is doing them. The Savages is a real little gem of a story, even if it does have one of the most amusing lines in the whole of Doctor Who. The incidental music is particularly impressive (which of course makes more of a difference for a story that's on audio only); it is by Raymond Jones, who also wrote the music for The Romans, and very little else (Wodehouse Playhouse, according to imdb).

The story itself is a clean and simple classic Who plot: the Doctor arrives in an apparent paradise, discovers the evil going on behind the scenes, and fixes it. No aliens, no monsters apart from the human beings and their misuse of their own powers, and indeed nobody dies; several important ethical themes are addressed (as explored by Fiona Moore in one of her excellent essays); and we have the first case of someone other than Hartnell playing the Doctor, or at least part of him, for the first time. Steven gets a decent farewell scene, rather unlike Dodo who lasted only two episodes into the next story.

Anyway, the audio CDs are strongly recommended.

March Books 4-9) The Dodo Sequence of Doctor Who novels

4) Doctor Who - The Massacre, by John Lucarotti
5) Doctor Who - The Ark, by Paul Erickson
6) Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker, by Gerry Davis and Alison Bingeman
7) Doctor Who - The Gunfighters, by Donald Cotton
8) Doctor Who - The Savages, by Ian Stuart Black
9) Doctor Who - The War Machines, by Ian Stuart Black

Feeding my unhealthy fascination with the First Doctor's companion Dodo, I borrowed wwhyte's copies of the Target novelisations of her stories and found them pretty easy to get through. They are all between 120 and 150 pages long, and not particularly taxing. I read them in sequence, but in fact there is little real sense of continuity between them; fans will find more to tickle their obsessions in the four spinoff novels featuring Dodo, whose collective pagecount certainly exceeds that of the six discussed here.

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In conclusion, I found these books a pretty easy read when feeling generally somewhat run down. They do feed into my thoughts on Dodo as a character, but I will save that for another day.