I only recently became aware of a short run series of books from the late 1980s-mid-1990s called Doctor Who: The Scripts. I was really pleased to be given a copy of The Daleks from this range. They’re readily available second-hand and none too expensive.
Doctor Who: The Daleks
Although notionally the script for Terry Nation’s seven-part story, editor John McElroy has tweaked here and there. The book start with some background and production details, then it’s straight to the story. Although The Daleks is a very familiar tale, I did find it intriguing to read the story just from a script. You get to focus on the core of events, see how Ian is really the moral heart of this story, and realise just how far the Doctor has evolved in nearly 55 years.
I still find it odd to tell a story in seven episodes. Invasion of Earth too me is overlong, yet The Daleks has never seemed so to me. There’s a whole chapter about the journey through the swamp / caves yet here the story allows the Thals to develop some character. You can find flaws a-plenty in the telling, and I don’t think a modern version would have such Aryan perfection in the Thals without them having a dark secret, but back in the 1960s it was all about the Daleks.
The writing for the Daleks is strong, they come across as alien, sinister and convincing. As I said I enjoyed reading this, and may pick up some more in the range, as some of my favourite stories were covered.