In my last post, I wrote about The Diary of a Dr Who Addict by Paul Margs. In that book, the protagonist, David, mentions that his favourite of the Doctor Who novelisations (indeed, he says “Best book ever. No contest.”) is Doctor Who and the Daemons. So, of course, I had to re-read it… and tell you about it.
I used to read the Doctor Who novelisations all the time as a teenager — read and re-read and re-read — until my copies were tattered and dog-eared. Now, as an adult, I tend not to re-read books all that often. So it was rather nice to take a little nostalgic wander and re-read Doctor Who and the Daemons — my first novelisation re-read since Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth and Doctor Who and the Cave-monsters back in 2011 (see “Daleks and Cave-monsters”).
In this adventure, the third Doctor and his assistant, Jo Grant, head to the small town of Devil’s End, where an archaeological dig is about to unleash a demon. Of course it’s not really the occult at work — it’s an ancient alien science with the Doctor’s old enemy, the Master, at the helm.
The book is written by Barry Letts, one-time producer of the series and the co-scriptwriter of the televised story (using a pseudonym).
In all honesty, I don’t think this is the best of the novelisations. In fact, I thought it was a tad pedestrian, adding little to the on screen story (which I reviewed last year) beyond enhancing the spectacle of scenes that suffered from lack of special effects — the flying gargoyle chief amongst them. While I enjoyed reading the book, I much preferred Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth and Doctor Who and the Cave-monsters. All up, this book is not as good as the televised story, which has bucket-loads of atmosphere and visual style.
One of the charming things about the old Doctor Who novelisations is that some of them had black and white internal illustrations. Such is the case with Doctor Who and the Daemons, which has illustrations by Alan Willow.
Unfortunately Doctor Who and the Daemons is not currently in print. But fear not… because it is available as an audio book. And it’s read by Barry Letts! Now that I’ve re-read my print copy, I’m tempted to get a copy of the audio book to see how it compares.
Catch ya later, George
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