Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

June Books 15) Doctor Who: The Masters of Luxor

15) Doctor Who: The Scripts: The Masters of Luxor, by Anthony Coburn, edited by John McElroy

Well, here is an oddity, the rejected script for the second ever Doctor Who story, written by the same guy who wrote the first, and published almost thirty years later as one of a short lived series of TV scripts.

Like The Daleks, which was the story used instead of The Masters of Luxor, we start with the Tardis crew exploring a mysterious abandoned city and encountering its robotic inhabitants; they find a more human ally outside the city and re-infiltrate it via a secret route through the mountains, before destroying the evil robot creatures.

There are significant differences though. The robots are more standard robots, human creations whose leader, the Perfect One, seeks to become human itself. The human ally is Tabon of Luxor, the robots' creator, roused from hibernation by the arrival of the Doctor and Ian. These are the only two significant guest roles, though a couple of the junior robots would have had speaking parts.

It's a slow starting six-part story - the robots don't appear until half way through part two, and Tabon not until part four. Our heroes spend a lot of time held prisoner or exploring new corridors, with the Tardis swooping around in part one rather like it does in The Runaway Bride, and Susan and Barbara in the grips of the robots (who have not previously encountered humans) for most of the story. Coburn does not seem to have been briefed about the desirability of cliff-hanger endings either, let alone a reprise for the start of the next episode.

The central plot - helping Tabon to destroy his own robotic creations - is similar to various other Who stories, but Tabon is interesting because of his early repentance, and one can even feel some sympathy for the Perfect One in its doomed quest to become human. Of the main characters, perhaps Ian is the furthest from the TV character we came to know, much more slangy in his vocabulary; the others seem fairly close to canon, though there is more explicit reference to the Doctor and Susan's off-Earth origins.

Anyway, this is an interesting alternate-history read, and frankly better than some stories that made it to the screen.
Tags: bookblog 2007, doctor who, doctor who: 01

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