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Like Dicks' Novelisations

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 17 May 2005
Rating:   5

In its TV production, "Enlightenment" was like several other Davison-period serials, larger in conception than the BBC were capable of producing. At least in one respect it was very successful - namely in bringing the "Black Guardian" story arc to a close (we can all be thankful for that). This one is very much a Turlough-oriented story. Turlough was the first of the complex companions. Others may have provided some challenges for the Doctor, notably Leela and Romana, but Turlough was the first whose history and motivations allowed for writers to develop beyond one-dimensionality. This story is one of the better ones in this regard, bringing complexity to Turlough's character.

On the down side, Barbara Clegg, the original scriptwriter, has taken the Terrance Dicks approach to novelising the script. It is a brisk read through mostly dialogue, with only a few very basic descriptive and analytical passages. Clegg missed an opportunity here to fill in gaps left in the TV version. Thus, none of the descriptions has the grandeur or elegance or detail that can separate a novel from a TV production. It reads as if one is simply getting a description of what was on the TV screen.

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