Thread: Book Me, Dano.
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Old 2014-12-15, 09:37 PM   #33
inflatable dalek
Duke of Kidderminster
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Kidderminster UK

Not a book as such, but an unabridged audio book reading of Terry Nation's Survivors novel!

First up, Carolyn Seymour does a very good job on reading duties, in particular capturing Lucy Fleming surprisingly well.

The first segment is basically a straightforward adaptation of the first two episodes, and as this some of the best material Nation ever wrote it's impressively strong and makes for a gripping listen, especially with all the little details that they couldn't have afforded on TV.

The rest of the book- with one odd exception- sees Nation strike out on his own and it's hard not to read it as his rebuttal of what Terrance Dudley did to the first season as it went on. The most obvious dig at the show's producer is that the central dilemma of the first episode Nation didn't write (with Charles trying to get all the women to set up with multiple partners) is casually adopted by one of the characters here with no problem or comment from anybody else as if it's the most insignificant thing in the world.

(And yes, it's only characters created by Nation, there's a Ruth but she's so unlike the Doctor from year 2 it could just be a coincidence).

So the scale is not only bigger- with a quick side visit to those holed up in Piccadilly- but Nation's firm ideas of where the series should have gone and what it should have done are extremely to the fore. It's nice that George Baker's group are a recurring background threat as well, the series seemed to set him up as a main baddy and then he was only mentioned once afterwards (Dudley's influence again?).

Mind, that plot doesn't get any real sort of payoff, and the ending is clearly trying so hard to be shocking but instead just feels like Nation ran out of space (the "Twist" is also really obvious, hmmmm, I wonder why one of the four people following them is very carefully not named?), it's also ironic the book finishes at the point it was really venturing into territory the show couldn't have afforded. Mind, it's also territory Brian Clemens wanted to do with his original idea for a post plague series he claims Nation stole, if he'd have read the book he'd have had an aneurysm.

Still, the main weakness of the book is the random decision-amidst the new material- to devote an entire chapter to adapting Garland's War (on run time, it's twice as long a chapter as any of the others as well). Which feels a bit pointless, especially as Garland is then killed off-page later anyway.

Also, "Suddenly she realised she was masturbating" is probably the last sentence I would ever have expected to appear in a Terry Nation novel.
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