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Decent Novelization

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 11 March 2019
Rating:   6

When Eric Saward novelized Paula Moore's only script for "Doctor Who," he went at it with the idea of making it a novel and not just a script with the tag lines removed. However, "Paula Moore" is a pseudonym and it is not fully known who wrote the original script or story outline. Most those involved agree that whatever material Saward originally got when he was script editor for the TV series, he heavily rewrote for broadcast. The script has all the elements of a typical Saward script, being a quest scaffolding on which to hang scenes that proceed with increasing violence. The novel maintains this structure. Pretty much all of the original script is here, with a few lines paraphrased rather than quoted. Additionally, Saward adds some back story, descriptions, and narratorial observations. The largest addition Saward makes in the novel is the increased storyline of small-time criminal Charlie Griffiths, who gets a homelife with his mother, backstory as a man too stupid to be a criminal and not smart enough to be anything else, and for large portions, especially early in the book, the central point of view. Saward zips a reader right through the story. However, when the reader ponders why things happened, then the plot just does not hang together all that well.

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