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A Better Dicks Novelization

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 27 December 2018
Rating:   6

"The Caves of Androzani" is considered a classic of classic Doctor Who. This mostly comes down to the fantastic directing of Graeme Harper, who made probably the most knuckle-bightingly tense episode of all time. In Terrance Dicks' novelization, we get the story without the visual content, and this serves to highlight, unfortunately, many flaws in Robert Holmes's script. That one mad genius with an indeterminate number of androids could hold off an entire army in a culture that has routine space travel just does not make much sense. The man-eating cave creature is a plot complication that does not really go anywhere. Despite this and some other flaws in plausibility, the story is still fairly interesting, with all the competing egos out to destroy each other. Dicks this time makes some effort at truly novelizing the script rather than simply transcribing it. This makes the reading more enjoyable than it probably otherwise would have been.

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