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Publisher's Summary

Jon Culshaw reads the brand-new novelisation of a classic Doctor Who adventure by Douglas Adams.

The hugely powerful Key to Time has been split into six segments, all of which have been disguised and hidden throughout time and space. Now the even more powerful White Guardian wants the Doctor to find the pieces.

With the first segment successfully retrieved, the Doctor, Romana and K9 trace the second segment of the Key to the planet Calufrax. But when they arrive at exactly the right point in space, they find themselves on exactly the wrong planet - Zanak.

Ruled by the mysterious 'Captain', Zanak is a happy and prosperous planet. Mostly. If the mines run out of valuable minerals and gems then the Captain merely announces a New Golden Age, and they fill up again. It's an economic miracle - so obviously something's very wrong.

Duration: 10 hours approx.

©2017 Douglas Adams and James Goss (P)2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great story with unexpected twists

I usually stay away from classic Who novels, because I can't relate to these Doctors. Thanks to Adams' novel I am now in love with 4th doctor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful in Every Way

I can hear why some have called this the greatest Dr Who storyline ever.
I loved hearing so many of the lines Douglas Adams peppered through of his Hitchhiker stories. They stand in memory of his humor and his concerns.
The Pirate Planet is skillfully narrated by Jon Culshaw who renders a delightful reading.
I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent listening to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This Audiobook is a TARDIS

What made the experience of listening to Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet the most enjoyable?

Goss and Culshaw know the Dr. Who universe like their own back gardens. They are cheek to cheek with Adams and Baker in this production. The fourth doctor was my favorite regeneration in the old television show and they brought it back to life so vividly, I had to occasionally remind myself I wasn't watching it on a tiny black and white screen in the kitchen after school. Jon Culshaw goes past mimicry which honestly would get tedious after an hour, but I'm on my third listen from the top. Nothing in the writing is labored. It all flows like an impossibly long scarf down a linear induction corridor.As always, the framework Douglas laid down goes beyond science fiction. It is storytelling at its finest and a complete joy.

What other book might you compare Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet to and why?

City of Death. Mined from the same vein of 70s sci-fi gold, and lovingly narrated by Lalla Ward.

Which character – as performed by Jon Culshaw – was your favorite?

The Fourth Doctor (aka Tom Baker.)

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The moment where the Doctor confronts the Captain in the gallery is just as moving (if not more) as the original.

Any additional comments?

Keep these coming.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • NM
  • 04-02-17

Available on Audible MONTHS before Amazon.com

Where does Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very good adaption of a classic 4th Doctor story. Great follow-up to "City of Death" and "Shada". The previous 2CD release of TPP was the original TV release with additional narration, while the 2017 release is unabridged allowing greater development of characters and expanding upon the original story/screenplay.

Which character – as performed by Jon Culshaw – was your favorite?

All the voice acting was excellent.

Any additional comments?

Actually, I just wished to let fellow fans know that one doesn't have to wait the extra months for this product as it appears to have been available on Audible.com since it was first released in the UK (January 2017). Amazon.com lists it as Jun 2017, so a six month delay for those fans in the US unless you want to spend extra $$ for overseas shipping.... or just get it right away via Audible. :)

Tried leaving a review to that effect on Amazon.com, but as I bought it via "Audible - An Amazon Company" it doesn't actually count as a "verified/valid" Amazon purchase, and such "unverified" reviews are hidden by default. So just deleted that one and tried again here.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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More of this, please!

Now THIS is how to make a Classic Who novelization! Everything you expect is there, and then some!
(SPOILERS)
I LOVE the additions to the worldbuilding, Douglas Adamsy-ness, background information on the characters that there definitely *wouldn’t* be time for in a teleplay, and other improvements like renaming the Mentiads to the more plot-relevant “Mourners,” and the details surrounding them. The whole concept of how their sadness and mental abilities come from the psychic trauma that occurs when millions of people die under them is something I didn’t get at all from the original version, but totally makes sense in hindsight! I watched Pralix shout “LIFE FORCE DYING” in the original and was kind of weirded out, but this gives the proper context! That’s the first thing that comes to mind, but there are so many other amazing details that are fleshed out here.
One part that definitely kept me on the edge of my seat was the climactic finish in the TARDIS. There’s no way they could’ve pulled that off with a BBC budget back in the day, and it was an absolute delight to read through.
As for the performance, Jon Culshaw does a fantastic job with the voices, and it’s always awesome to hear John Leeson reprise his role as K9.
In conclusion, I certainly hope that more Classic Who stories get this kind of attention to detail and loving care - even if they won’t have a Douglas Adams namedrop on the cover. So much potential!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Doctor strikes again!

A great mythos approached by a brilliant author. Adams exhibiting some of his trademark wit with a Whovian twist. Will be a repeated listen.

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Are there going to be anymore adaptations?

The Key to Time Arc is one of the definitive Doctor Who Story arcs ever and this is a good adaptation of arguably the best story from it. It also helps that this is a good Douglas Adams story with James Goss perfectly bringing it here for Adaptation. Jon Culshaw is fantastic with the voices and manages to capture the voice of the Fourth Doctor perfectly. I hope that there are future plans for adapting more of the Key to Time Arc.

I highly recommend this for Doctor Who Classic Fans. If you have to get a good expanded edition of a classic story, get this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • PB
  • 02-10-18

Great read

I watched the pirate planet this novel had so much more action than the show all whovians will enjoy this novel

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Awful narrator

If this is really Douglas Adams it is destroyed by a terrible narrator. The Doctor is made to sound like a stupid arrogant Alan Rickman while half of all other characters including K9 sounds similar. It is so distracting that I need to read the book to see if I can find Adams in there somewhere. What happened to Laila Ward??

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  • Alistair
  • 01-12-17

BY THE SKY DEMON BUY THIS BOOK!

Would you listen to Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet again? Why?

Yes I most certainly would. It is very entertaining and I can't help but laugh every other line. The script is very much in Douglas Adams's style. On top of that both The Captain and The Doctor are expertly narrated by Jon Culshaw. You can tell his experience voicing Baker on the comedy show Dead Ringers has come in handy!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet?

One of the most memorable moments? That's a difficult question to answer. I would say my most memorable moment was the sequence between The Doctor and The Captain where The Captain introduces The Doctor to his 'treasure hoard' of sorts. After all..."WHAT'S IT ALL FOR!?"

What about Jon Culshaw’s performance did you like?

Jon Culshaw's performance just oozes comedy and personality throughout the story. You find yourself trying not to laugh at everyone: Keemus's egotistical 'heroics', The Doctor's alien buffoonery, Romana's somewhat childish ice-queen attitude and the entire characters of The Captain and Mr Fibuly!

Any additional comments?

BY THE SKY DEMON BUY THIS BOOK!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-08-17

worth the wait.

was anticipating this release since announced. always loved the story and this is a good adaptation to page. narrator does great job with 4th Doctors voice (not surprised 😎) and pacing is very good. keeps you listening from start to finish

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M
  • 02-04-17

Must have for Dr Who and Douglas Adams Fans

Gripping and original story with the humour you would expect from the Hitchiker series amazing production with all the sound effects including TARDIS but not too overpowering except for perhaps one shooting scheme. Also John Culshaw does a fantastic Tom Baker and really brings it too life with his voice talent! Buy it!

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  • Kathryn McIntyre
  • 01-17-17

Brilliant

Jon culshaw is great!! And the story is witty and strange.

Excellent you won't be disappointed