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Reviews for Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen

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Bowled Over!!

By:Earle DL Foster, Invercargill, New Zealand
Date:Wednesday 4 April 2018
Rating:   9

This undiscovered manuscript (now featuring the second version of Romana and K9, and seemingly closely tied to the “entropy” storyline) clearly resonates with the combined influences of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, and the Fourth Doctor era.

It would be interesting to witness modern day producers adapt this epic, mind-blowingly spectacular adventure for the recently rebooted television series, because the dedication and ingenuity encompassed within is of an extremely high standard somewhat unexpected and sometimes undetected. The interesting aspect would be whether they could pay sufficient homage to the breath-taking mind of Douglas Adams, because James Goss has certainly crafted a more than satisfactory novelisation.

Depends Upon Taste

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Friday 18 September 2020
Rating:   7

This novel is based on a treatment for a script by Douglas Adams submitted before he became script editor for Doctor Who and before "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" made him famous. Large amounts of this treatment would later be reworked into the 3rd "Hitchhiker" novel "Life, the Universe, and Everything." Douglas Adams' treatment, reprinted in total as an appendix, is surprisingly thorough, outlining almost the entire plot. No one knows for sure why "Krikkitmen" was never made for Doctor Who, but probably it would have been deemed too expensive. "Krikkitmen" later became the closest thing to a Doctor Who movie since the 1960s, and again no one knows quite why it did not happen. So now, we have James Goss's novelization of the treatment. Many, many people will be so influenced by the Douglas Adams connection that they will simply respond to that and assume that "brilliance" is at hand. Goss sticks very closely to Adams' original treatment, incorporating some of its paragraphs into the final novel. Goss also tries very hard to write this novel as one would imagine Adams might have. This is where the novel loses some luster for me. Goss's sense of the Adams style is that every sentence has to be a punchline. Adams, however, did not write that way. Adams had a much better sense of pacing, and worked hard to set up the jokes so that they would land with just the right emphasis. Goss's endless joking gets a bit tiring and irritating after a while. Goss has also elected to make The Doctor pretty much a bumbling idiot for most of the story, while Romana is the competent genius who does all the real planet saving and has all the real insights. One may suppose that Goss drew inspiration for this from the Doctor 11 / River Song TV episodes, which operate on pretty much the same principle. What the novel does have going for it is some surprisingly economical plotting for what seems like a loosely episodic quest story - find the bits and restore them to create the magic talisman. Instead, what seems throwaway and nonsequitur turns out to be crucial for the actual plot that has been ticking along under the quest story the whole time. My verdict, therefore, is that this novel has a superb plot that gets undermined to some extent by the style.

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