Book Review: Target Novelizations – The Daleks by David Whitaker
Doctor Who and the Daleks is a strange novelization in that it deviates from the source episode pretty significantly, including treating the novel as though it were the earliest story in the series. It is complete with the introductions of Ian and Barbara, as they arrive at the junkyard to meet the Doctor under similar but different circumstances. Rather than being transported to pre-historic Earth, they find themselves on Skaro, and then essentially go through the events of the television serial.
The strangest part of all is that the novel is entirely from first person perspective, told from the point of view of Ian Chesterton as he and Barbara travel with the Doctor. It is interesting in theory; there aren’t a lot of Doctor Who stories written from a particular character’s perspective, but once the novelty of that wears off, this novel is actually pretty weak. Whitaker isn’t a bad writer, but nothing about the prose or dialogue really impressed me.
Whereas Terrance Dicks’ An Unearthly Child helped the televised story by providing a bit of depth to the characters while maintaining the feel of the serial, Doctor Who and the Daleks muddies things up a bit while failing to recapture the spirit or general feeling of the story. It is a total failure, as far as I’m concerned. Without the interesting choice in narration, it would be a big stinkin’ F. As it is, its not much better than that.