The Cosmic Hobo

Thoughts & reviews about the science fiction series Doctor Who.

Book Review: Target Novelizations – Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters by Malcolm Hulke

Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters by Malcolm Hulke
Target Novelizations #9 – Third Doctor
Featuring the Doctor, Liz, and the Silurians

Rating: B

After having seen the short documentary about Malcolm Hulke’s novelizations on the special features of the “The War Games” DVD, I thought I’d take a look at one of his novelizations. I think the praise heaped on him by the people who speak of Mr. Hulke in the documentary is merited; this novelization of his television serial “The Silurians” is the perfect example of what a novelization ought to be. It basically fixes all of the minor issues of the television story (like pacing) and adds a bit of depth to the characters that would have been hard to get across on the show.

“The Silurians” might be my favorite Doctor Who serial of all time, so it was lovely to re-visit the story in this form. Hulke writes very well, and I love the way he humanizes (for lack of better word) the reptilian people. Being a leftist myself, I think I have a general affinity for Hulke’s work in Doctor Who (having been a fervent atheist and leftist himself). This is a really excellent read, and I will definitely be taking a look at his other novelizations soon. I have greatly enjoyed every story that Malcolm Hulke has been involved in, with the exception of “The Ambassadors of Death.” I have to say that when that one hits DVD, I’m going to have to take a second look. He’s one of my favorite Doctor Who writers.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Target Novelizations – Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters by Malcolm Hulke

  1. I read that novelisation when I was very young. It’s a great one.

    I am not keen on Perwee, but I do like Ambassadors of Death. It is so different from other stories.

    • I really enjoy Pertwee. He’s not very Doctor-ish but I enjoy his Holmesian approach. I think five seasons was just right, and I don’t think they should ever try to go in the Pertwee direction again, but I love his era. Terrance Dicks was a great head writer.

  2. Ha, I just started re-reading this novelisation the other night!
    It’s superb.
    Even though I despised Pertwee’s Doctor at first, he has become one of my favorites in recent years. The dashing gadget-loving gentleman dandy. I really enjoy Hulke’s writing. Silurians is definitely his best script. He’s such an inspired author who combined his political leanings with science fiction elements. Though they are far from perfect, there are even brilliant notions in Frontier in Space (aka prisons in space) and Colony in Space.

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