To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
3.0 out of 5 starsEnjoyable
Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2019
I enjoyed it as I am a lifelong fan, but it really did not read well.
Oh dear, what a great disappointment this book is. Eric Saward has written some Doctor novels before that I had really enjoy and I had high hopes for 'Resurrection', as it was being written not just by the original author of the story but also the script editor for most of Peter Davison tenure as the Doctor. I had hoped that Eric, given the chance, would have expanded on what was seen on screen, adding depth and insights that would put this novel up among the best Doctor Who adaptations . Unfortunately this has not turned out to be the case. Written with extremely board strokes. With occasional, and sometimes bizarre, additions to the tale and odd characterisation this was not the book I was expecting at all. The TARDIS team come off particularly badly; it's like the novel was written by a guest author who has only the vaguest knowledge or insight into the TARDIS occupants rather than the someone who worked closely on the series. Eric has referenced his pervious scripts and novelisations throughout the novel. Which would not normally be a problem, but his Terileptils (from 'The Vistation') are mentioned at least six times (a bit of overkill for me as they do not appear in the story) and he names the prison ship, unfortunately, 'The Vipod Mor' the same name he used for the space ship in his story 'Slipback' (although it can not be the same vessel as -SPOILER - both get destroyed at the end of their respective tales) which just adds to the confusion. The novel, 'Slaughterhouse Five' by Kurt Vonnegut, is mentioned in the book and the phase 'So it goes' from it is used a few times. So Eric might be trying to emulate that novel here, in the Doctor Who Universe (like 'The Androids of Tara' was David Fishers take on "The Prisoner of Zenda'). I can not say whether he is successful or not on that count as I have not read 'Slaughterhouse Five' but of 'Resurrection' I can say I found this book quite jarring and difficult to get into. Not an easy read but that might have been Eric's intentions considering the subject matter . So not Mr.Saward's best book. Fingers crossed that 'Revelation' turns out better.
Disappointed. Saward’s prose style is all over the place. It’s self-aware and self-indulgent: I had expected an author of his experience to remember that the story must always take priority. If the reader is constantly being reminded of how clever and witty the author is then the author has failed.
Douglas Adams knew how to get the balance right. ‘The Hitch-Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy’ was structured around interruptions and asides and this purposely developed the narrative. But Saward’s jarring phrases and ‘fan pleasing’ repartee does nothing for plot development or dramatic tension. He throws in sci-fi technobabble to illustrate a character’s familiarity with the hardware and context but it falls flat if the reader doesn’t know what it’s about. And don’t get me started on the obsessive references to Terileptils! This, to some extent, is the failing of the editor, whose job it is to keep the text sharp and relevant. Why did he let Saward get away with so much?
Saward's characters are a long way off their TV counterparts, especially the Daleks. You begin to wonder if this is actually the SAME Eric Saward who was script editor (oh, the irony!) on the programme in the 80’s or another Eric Saward altogether.
It gives me no pleasure to write this. Similarly, it gave me little pleasure to read the book. In fact it is one of the few books that I’ve nearly given up on half way through and as a life-long Doctor Who fan that is disappointing.
Being one of the few Doctor Who serials not to receive the Target treatment, it has taken over three and a half decades for an official novelisation of ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ to be published (after ‘The Pirate Planet’, I think, this is the longest gap between the novelisation and the first television showing).
After such a time, inevitably the question of whether it was worth the wait arises. Unfortunately, the short answer is, probably, no. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a bad effort or not capably written. But, like some of the Target novelisations, it is often little more than perfunctory. Sadly, the lavish attention and effort given to the Douglas Adams serials isn’t present here.
Some of the characterisation is a touch insipid and there are times where there is a sense that the author might be a bit bored. Often the tone becomes somewhat tongue-in-cheek which doesn’t really suit the high-octane atmosphere of the original. Instead it is an approach perhaps more appropriate for the forthcoming ‘Revelation of the Daleks’.
Onscreen ‘Resurrection’ was fast paced and action packed and possessed a lot of different plot threads and ideas ripe to be expanded upon. The author doesn’t capitalise on these elements though. Most of the action is lacking vitality and there is no effort to elaborate on the multiple Dalek plans or make them a little more coherent. There is no expansion upon the Dalek duplicates installed on Earth or their plans to infiltrate Gallifrey. Instead he just gives the Daleks some peculiar type of naming/ranking.
Apart from an intriguing suggestion that there is at least one previous encounter between Lytton and the Doctor, there isn’t much that actually expands upon the story. Instead there are some fairly random tangents.
These include the, possibly, over excessive references to the Terileptils from ‘The Visitation’, also scripted by Saward. These feel out of place and somewhat distracting.
There is also a lengthy tour of the Tardis but as interesting as it always is to see more of the Tardis this is merely a tour for the reader. No characters from the story embark upon it and it is presented as this what Stein might have seen if he was given the opportunity to wander around. As such it is utterly irrelevant to the story. Bizarrely this section also features the Doctor’s robot chef, a character who ‘apparently’ lives in the Tardis.
Most peculiar though is the addition of a scene that seems to suggest that, after leaving the Doctor, Tegan becomes something like a superhero???
After the wondrous added material that was integrated so well into the recent novelisations of ‘Shada’, ‘City of Death’ and ‘The Pirate Planet’ you can’t but feel a tad short changed here. However, if the novelisation hadn’t been published so long after ‘Resurrection’ was first onscreen it wouldn’t be as disappointing. To be fair this novelisation is, therefore, a victim of anticipation.
2.0 out of 5 starsA great disappointment after such a long wait
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2019
With Eric Saward's belated adaptation of his own scripts for Resurrection of the Daleks, the first thing I noticed about the book is how poorly edited it is. Quite apart from a lack of improvements to Saward's prose, there are frequent typos, what appear to be editor's notations left in the text indicating references to be checked (of which there are many relating to the London locations used in the story; another case of an author clearly thinking "I did the research, I'll be damned if I don't get a couple of pages out of it!") and errors to be corrected, and in one case the entire first few paragraphs of one chapter are randomly left dangling at the end of the previous one rather than opening the next as presumably they were meant to. All of which is indicative of the lackadaisical approach to the book as a whole.
Clearly determined to avoid treading old ground (while at the same time shoehorning in endless continuity references to Terileptils and 'Slipback' - of which more later), Saward plays fast and loose with his own story, stripping it back to the barest of bones and using them as a framework on which to cobble together what is essentially a new version. Everything happens in roughly the same order, with the same beats in place, but often from a very different perspective and in a very different way. Plus his characters, while bearing the same names, are by and large new - or at least augmented - creations, as is the majority of their dialogue. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the author's disposition, the deliciously jaded Styles is the only one to really benefit.
Indeed, Saward seems less concerned with novelising the Resurrection of the Daleks we know and more concerned with reimagining the story in the style of his aforementioned radio play - which itself was a blatant if not entirely successful homage to the Douglas Adams school of fiction. (I'm guessing this was his way of circumventing the ennui he feels for the original that stopped him from penning the paperback sooner.) Never is this more obvious than in the 10 or so pages he spends mid-novel on describing the TARDIS interior in terms of garden sheds and robot chefs. And as was often the case on television, he is also slow to introduce the title character to the action - or in this case characters, since not a single Dalek appears until a third of the way through the narrative.
That's probably for the best, however, as he treats the "demented pepper pots" with unbridled authorial disdain: the Supreme Dalek becomes "effete" and Machiavellian, disdained by bitchy underlings, and even Davros suffers, being compared to Florence Foster Jenkins. What with basically rewriting the story without bothering to fill in any of its gaping plot holes and then throwing many (if not all) of his characters under the bus for cheap laughs, it makes you wonder why he agreed to novelise it at all. It certainly feels like he's doing it on sufferance. Even his determination to imagine the action anew deserts him in the end, with the last third of the novel hewing closer to the original, which is more satisfying but also suggests he couldn't be arsed embellishing things any further. The result is inconsistent, to say the least.
"Novelised at last by the original author 35 years after its first TV transmission" - and to be honest I'd rather have waited 35 more until an author came along who actually cared about doing it justice: serving the story rather than sacrificing it out of proprietorial boredom.