Doctor Who and the Sea-ocenes

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Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils, original episode caption card.

Title: Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils
Televised as: The Sea Devils
Written by: Malcolm Hulke
Teleplay by: Malcolm Hulke
Televised in: February through April 1972
Published in: October 1974
Chapters: Ten through Thirteen

True story, courtesy of the text commentary notes on the DVD release of The Sea Devils.  This story was originally to be called The Sea Silurians.  Except, of course, Malcolm Hulke and the production team quickly realized that the Silurians themselves, even if they had been real, could not possibly have existed during the actual Silurian era.  So, during Part Two of The Sea Devils, Hulke has the Doctor explain to us that the Silurians should properly have been called the Eocenes.

Which leads us to the two biggest problems with the naming of this sequel story.  First, instead of “Sea Silurians”, why not just call them “Sea-lurians”?  And, once Hulke decided that the Silurians really were Eocenes, why not call their aquatic version the Sea-ocenes?

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Visitors for Governor Trenchard

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Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils, 1980s Target reprint cover.  The edition I own.

Title: Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils
Televised as: The Sea Devils
Written by: Malcolm Hulke
Teleplay by: Malcolm Hulke
Televised in: February through April 1972
Published in: October 1974
Chapters: Four through Nine

Last time, we talked about the superlative first three chapters of Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils.  As great as these chapters were, though, they had very little to do with the actual TV serial itself.

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Little Boats Like Men

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Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils.  Original 1974 cover.

Title: Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils
Televised as: The Sea Devils
Written by: Malcolm Hulke
Teleplay by: Malcolm Hulke
Televised in: February through April 1972
Published in: October 1974
Chapters: One through Three

With the release of Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils, Malcolm Hulke becomes the undisputed king of the Doctor Who novelization. With his third book (and that’s just in 1974 alone), he surpasses both David Whitaker (two in the 1960s) and Terrance Dicks (two in 1974), as the most prolific novelization author of all time.  For now.  Dicks will catch up with Hulke courtesy of the following month’s release of Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen, and will overtake him for good when Doctor Who and the Giant Robot hits the shelves in early 1975.  And, after that… well, nobody’s ever catching up with Terrance again.

But Sea-Devils is a very fitting jewel in the crown for Hulke’s brief reign as king of the novelization.  Continue reading

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Stan Wilkins and the Daemons

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Doctor Who and the Daemons, 1980s Target reprint.  The edition I own.

Title: Doctor Who and the Daemons
Televised as: The Daemons
Written by: Barry Letts
Teleplay by: Barry Letts & Robert Sloman
Screen Credit to: Guy Leopold
Televised in: May/June 1971
Published in: October 1974
Chapters: Eight through Thirteen

 

[An earlier version of this post was published on drwhonovels on September 21, 2011]

Last time, we talked about the first half of Barry Letts’ sublime novelization of The Daemons, and how the most interesting character in it, hardly featured in the original TV story at all.  And how that most interesting character was killed off at the book’s halfway point.

But that doesn’t mean the second half of the novelization is any less marvelous than the first half. Continue reading

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Squire Winstanley and the Daemons

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Doctor Who and the Daemons.  Original 1974 cover art.

Title: Doctor Who and the Daemons
Televised as: The Daemons
Written by: Barry Letts
Teleplay by: Barry Letts & Robert Sloman
Screen Credit to: Guy Leopold
Televised in: May/June 1971
Published in: October 1974
Chapters: One through Seven

[An earlier version of this post was published on drwhonovels on September 21, 2011]

Here we are with Barry Letts’ first Target novelization, published in their first year with the Who license; it would be about 20 years later before he closed out the novelization line, in publication order and symbolically, with the execrable The Paradise of Death.  Let’s just pretend that later book never happened, and spend a couple of days celebrating this earlier effort. Continue reading

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Running Through Corridors, Volume 2

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Running Through Corridors, Vol. 2.

I discovered the first volume of Running Through Corridors in 2011. This for me was pretty much a change-your-life book. Before the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, I’d heard stories about people who tried to do “the pilgrimage” – watch the entire series in order, all the way through from 1963 through whenever. I’d rarely if ever, however, heard of anyone who’d done it successfully. By the time the 50th anniversary year arrived, several blogs popped up (including this one) with people trying to achieve the same feat. Well, within 13 months of January 1, 2013, which many of us chose as the start date for our pilgrimage, I’d made it only as far as The Enemy of the World Episode 3, and there I remain.

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Guerillas in the Midst

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Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks.  Original 1974 cover.

Title: Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks
Televised as: Day of the Daleks
Written by: Terrance Dicks
Teleplay by: Louis Marks
Televised in: January 1972
Published in: March 1974

[An earlier version of this post was published on drwhonovels on October 9, 2011]

After having finished the back-to-back publications of Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters and Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon, I realized that it had been nearly two weeks since I last read a Terrance Dicks book. And, after finishing Day of the Daleks, I looked up and saw that the next two books after that weren’t by Terrance either. That’s only four days of Terrance out of a stretch of 27 days of reading.  Going forward, this will not be the norm.

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