The Doctor walked slowly forward into the cul-de-sac. The
giant dinosaur turned its head to focus on the midget now
approaching. The Doctor aimed his gun to fire. Suddenly from
behind came a great roar of anger. He spun round - blocking
the exit from the narrow street towered a Tyrannosaurus rex,
its savage jaws dripping with blood... The Doctor and Sarah
have arrived back in the TARDIS to find London completely
deserted - except for the dinosaurs. Has the return of these
prehistoric creatures been deliberately planned and, if so,
who can be behind it all...?
Martin Jarvis, who played Butler in the original TV serial
Invasion of the Dinosaurs,
the back cover blurb informs us, as though its Jarvis
himself whos behind the whole evil scheme! OK, it doesnt
say that exactly, but thats how it looks at first. The
complete sentence says: Martin Jarvis, who played Butler in
the original TV serial Invasion
of the Dinosaurs,
reads Malcolm Hulkes complete and unabridged novelisation,
first published by Target Books in 1976.
Hulkes adaptation expands upon the atmospheric first
episode of his six-part serial, which introduces the eerily
deserted London. The material from this instalment occupies
most of the first CD of this four-hour, four-disc release.
New to the novelisation is the character of Shughie McPherson,
who visits the city in Chapter 1 and finds himself stranded
there when the place is evacuated. He becomes an early victim
of a dinosaur, thus introducing the creatures sooner than
in the television story. Some scenes are even conveyed from
the points of view of the dinosaurs themselves. In print and
on audio, of course, the creatures are not prone to the disappointing
special effects seen on the television production.
The author also develops the vain (and here probably gay)
character of Professor Whitaker, though the most revolutionary
development remains that of Captain Mike Yates, just as it
was in the original serial. The seeds of his role in the Operation
Golden Age conspiracy had been sown in the previous seasons
(which Hulke himself novelised) and reverberate into Jon Pertwees
final story, Planet of the Spiders, long before story
arcs became the in-thing of telefantasy.
On a more minor note, the Doctors Whomobile car does
not appear in the novelisation. Instead, the Time Lord makes
use of a motorcycle, as the author had originally intended
in his television script.
Martin Jarvis is a prolific voice artist, so it comes as little
surprise that he turns in a very competent reading of the
book, though his voices for Butler and Whitaker are rather
similar to each other and are sometimes difficult to tell
apart. Its interesting to observe how Jarvis, just like
Caroline John in her reading of Doctor
Who and the Cave Monsters,
gives a whining nasal quality to a character originally portrayed
on screen by Peter Miles.
This is a welcome presentation of a novelisation from a true