Doctor Who: Earthshock

Narrated by: Peter Davison
Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A group of palaeontologists have been savagely attacked while carrying out a study of fossilised dinosaur remains in an underground cave system on twenty-fifth century Earth. A party of troopers and Professor Kyle, the only survivor of the attack, are investigating the deaths of her colleagues when they discover the Doctor and his companions at the site of the massacre. The time-travellers are immediately suspected. In trying to establish their innocence and find out who - or what - was responsible for the killings, the Doctor is confronted by an old enemy. The Fifth Doctor himself, Peter Davison, reads Ian Marter's complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1983, whilst Nicholas Briggs provides the authentic voice of the Cybermen.

©1983 Ian Marter (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd

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GREAT EARTHSHOCK!

I am a Big Doctor Who fan and this was one of my favorate videos. The audio version is great. Every bit as good as the vid.

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  • S. Morris
  • 12-13-19

A Classic Adventure, Well Told

Earth Shock was my third foray into Doctor Who novelizations written by Ian Marter. Marter is an impressive writer, with a style of prose that reminds me of some of the classic great writers in how he is able to impart scenes so skilfully. If you listen to the sample of this book, you will understand what I mean. Of course, there are plenty of authors who could do as well in this respect, but I don't think many would be able to do it quite in as compact and efficient way. I've read many authors who can paint worlds and scenes for the reader, but take rather more words to accomplish it. Marter's style is perfect for these books as it's so articulate and yet direct and accessible without waffle or pretension.

It's difficult for me to comment on where Marter adds to the television story. I know he must do, as this is often the way with novelizations and can mark an authors talent in how they do it. It's been many years since I saw Earth Shock on TV, so my memory of it is very spotty and faint. By the Peter Davidson era of Doctor Who, I had lost much of my love for the series. For me, the character of the Doctor, in the forms of Pertwee and Baker, were the definitive ones. I understand, though, that this is highly subjective and there will be many out there, probably a little younger than me, who felt Davidson was "their" Doctor. Of the Doctors after Tom Baker, Davidson was my least disliked. However, Earth Shock is a good story with a rather clever take on the destruction of the dinosaurs and is interesting and entertaining.

I have to say that I preferred The Ark in Space and The Sontaran Experiment, as I find Doctor Who arch enemies like the Cybermen to be rather too silly. They are clearly an invention of a much simpler time in the early days of a much simpler Doctor Who and target audience sensibilities. To me, they are a clumsy contradiction given they are supposed to be logical robots, devoid of emotion and yet exhibit many emotional traits, such as anger, frustration, revenge and even a modicum of fear on rare occasions. Had they been partly organic and perhaps prone to the less rational attributes of such creatures, then the Cyberman would be more believable. I mean, they are able to comfortably survive in a vacuum and yet seem to breathe? At least the Daleks do have an organic component, so they can get away with more in my view. Still, even those are of their time and unconvincing as viable enemies.

However, I digress. Earth Shock is a classic and there isn't too much more I can say other than Peter Davidson acquits himself well as narrator and the audio production quality is excellent, with atmospheric effects throughout.

A nice adaptation, as ever, by Ian Marter.

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  • Gadgetmad
  • 12-04-14

My Doctor and one of his very best stories

Would you listen to Doctor Who: Earthshock again? Why?

Most definitely! Peter Davison was always my favourite doctor and this story with the cyber men was one of his best.

Which character – as performed by Peter Davison – was your favourite?

The doctor of course! Although I think even if Peter Davison hadn't been the doctor I would still have enjoyed his telling of the story.

Any additional comments?

Earth shock was always one of the best stories, even with the dodgy special effects of the old doctor who tv series. Listening to Peter Davison telling the story is fantastic. Of course the audio story also gives that much more depth and I was surprised how much more I picked up listening to the story.