‘They lived by the inexorable laws of pure logic. Love, hate, anger, even fear, were eliminated from their lives when the last flesh was replaced by plastic.’
A new planet appears in the heavens, and threatens the safety of Earth. But it’s not new at all—it’s very, very old, and very familiar to the travelling Time Lord.
The text is a reprint of the original Target edition (Doctor Who Library #62) published in 1976, that was itself based on an actual four episode arc of the TV series originally broadcast in October 1966.
It’s notable for a number of reasons:
-It was the first Hartnell-era serial novelization ever commissioned by Target.
-It’s the final story to feature the first Doctor (not counting the cameo appearances and stock footage used in some later episodes).
-It’s the first story to feature Hartnell’s successor, Patrick Troughton.
-And finally, it’s the first time we encounter one of the Doctor’s most famous recurring foes (the shiny bondage people with the headlamp on the cover).
I’d like to say that it’s an exciting adventure worthy of all that but it’s lacking something crucial. The Doctor doesn't do very much because he’s hardly in it, even when he’s present in the room in which the action happens. It’s left to travelling companions Ben (the Cockney sailor) and occasionally Polly (the “Duchess”) to carry the story along to its inevitable conclusion.
The oddest thing happened while reading; I pictured it all happening in black and white because that’s how I remember the Hartnell years.
2½ energy drains out of 5