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By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Saturday 3 July 2021
Rating:   6

"Survival" was the final story in the regular run of Doctor Who. It has all the elements of the transformation that script editor Andrew Cartmell made to Doctor Who. The story is more fantasy than science fiction. It concentrates its narrative focus on the companion Ace more than on The Doctor. And it has just a bit historical kitsch, in this case in the form of Midge's transformation into a leather-clad, sunglass-wearing, 1950s style biker. Rona Munro's novelization of her script starts in Terrance Dicks fashion, being mostly a faithful and unimaginative transcription of the TV script, written for an audience about 12 years old. However, the narrative picks up about halfway in, with the writing level rising and the novelistic touches more apparent. Curiously, Munro leaves out the most memorable speeches from the TV broadcast. Perhaps these had been added by Cartmel and she felt no attachment to them. The novelization, then, is serviceable.

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