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Better Book Than Serial

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 17 July 2006
Rating:   6

"Frontios" was not one of my favorites of the Davison TV serials. No matter what, insect villains have never looked right on Doctor Who. And the sight of Turlough slobbering "Tractators" is off-putting all by itself. The name "tractators" simply conjured bizarre images of potatoes dressed up as trains. Bidmead's novelization of his own script, however, makes up for many deficiencies. The reader can create a fully functional and truly frightening tractator in his/her imagination. The plight of the people of Frontios comes through with greater clarity and elicits greater pity from the reader. And the tractator machines ae more terrifying given Bidmead's descriptions. There are some problems, such as no awareness of how gravity actually works. The Chief Orderly seems inconsistent and prone to sudden changes in direction. Nevertheless, reading this novelization will clarify many of the fuzzy issues in the TV serial.

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