Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bracknell, Berks
    Posts
    29,087

    Default On Target with Season 14


    What are your memories and thoughts on the Target book adaptations of Season 14?

  2. #2

    Default

    The Robots of Death novel was my first bit of Doctor Who ever! I was horrified and enthralled. I was seven years old and it took me a few weeks to read, so I kept a chart of all the characters, who was alive or dead, and tried to work out who was next. It was the beginning of something magical.

    The others I can't remember whatsoever; I had them all but I'm not even sure I read any of them. I used to buy Targets books in massive quantities from secondhand bookshops, at a far greater rate than I could possibly read them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Exeter, UK
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    The Robots of Death was a massive disappointment as a novel, though, having come through the ranks as it were by reading the early Targets and the 1960s reprints first. It was the shortest book in the range to that point (I think it and Fendahl still hold that dubious record between them!) and was very little more than that old cliche about Terrance Dicks books: the script with "he said" and "she said" thrown in every now and again.

    In fact, none of the Season 14 stories made great books as far as I remember! They're all a little lightweight when compared with what went before and what came afterwards. It's a shame really, because the show was having its period of greatest success at the same time as the novelisations became precious little more than 'walking scripts'. Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing at the time (the fact that they didn't stray from the TV versions at all meant they were an accurate record of what you'd seen on transmission), but I wouldn't revisit any of these titles now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Downstairs by the PC
    Posts
    13,070

    Default

    Although that's probably a fair assessment, I must admit I flicked through the opening pages of "Talons..." not that long ago, and was surprisingly impressed - in a very clear fashion, Dicks neatly sets the scene, giving us a potted background to Victorian Music Hall, and as a book aimed at kids who'd probably seen the story on TV not that long before, I think it's not a bad job.

    For me, Masque and Robots both bring back happy memories of a holiday to Scotland in (I think) 1982, during which I picked up about nine Targets - Seeds of Doom was another, as was (most excitingly) Logopolis, which I hadn't even known was available until I saw it.

    I can't remember where I got Hand of Fear, nor Face of Evil and Talons (I have a feeling the last two may have come as a Christmas present in 1978 or 1979). As for The Deadly Assassin, Mum got it for me from a Barnstaple bookshop (now a trendy winebar) in about 1984. I remember particularly that at the time I got it, it completed my collection.

    Happy days!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Exeter, UK
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Mum got it for me from a Barnstaple bookshop
    Hey, sounds like you're from the same neck of the woods as me (I'm in Exeter)!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Downstairs by the PC
    Posts
    13,070

    Default

    Small universe isn't it? Have you ever been to Alzarius.

    I'm in Pyworthy, a teeny-tiny village just outside Holsworthy (roughly halfway between Launceston & Bude). So yes, very much the same area.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bracknell, Berks
    Posts
    29,087

    Default

    The Deadly Assassin was the first one I had read to me. We borrowed it from Bath Library just before Keeper of Traken was on, because I recognised the Master as soon as he turned round from the book cover! I love the master's hood dripping blood- very gothic!

    Face of Evil and Robots and Death we had at my local library in Bracknell. I borrowed them a number of times over the years, but was never a big fan of the Robots of Death book- possibly because I didn't like the cover very much!

    Masque was one of the first books I owned. Bought it on ym 6th birthday in the summer of 1981 in the now sadly gone JW Smith's bookshop in Bracknell.

    Talons I bought second hand from the library. It was a very tatty copy.

    Hand of Fear was a few years later I think. One of those ones I didn't track down until late on in my collection. It was probabyl a Christmas present from my Aunty Linda who always bought me a pile of Target books each year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Exeter, UK
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Small universe isn't it? Have you ever been to Alzarius.

    I'm in Pyworthy, a teeny-tiny village just outside Holsworthy (roughly halfway between Launceston & Bude). So yes, very much the same area.
    Every rock you overturn has one of us hiding under it - especially these days! There are a lot of us around!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Exeter, UK
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    I was never a big fan of the Robots of Death book- possibly because I didn't like the cover very much!
    Quick poll, then: which of the covers above is the best - and which the worst?

    Personally, I think The Face of Evil is the best of the S.14 covers, with Talons as runner-up.

    As for worst, all the other four leave at least something to be desired, but probably the least exciting - for me - is The Hand of Fear. There's just something a bit hokey-but-dull about it.

    But what does anybody else think?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Downstairs by the PC
    Posts
    13,070

    Default

    I think I read somewhere that Face of Evil was Jeff Cummings' favourite of the ones he did? I'd probably go along with that - but Talons is nice too. And The Deadly Assassin and Masque both have very distinctive, striking images - the blood on the former, and the simple but effective masks on the latter. I remember as a kid thinking that 'Masque' was an archaic spelling for 'Mask' because (based on the book cover) it was a story all about Masks.

    Erm...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bracknell, Berks
    Posts
    29,087

    Default

    The Deadly Assassin is the one that stuck in my head for years after I borrowed it from the library. I love the dripping blood.

    Technically, Jeff Cummins work is the best of the lot here (Talons and Face) and I've always liked his work. Very fine art. Jeff confirmed that Face was his favourite when I met him a few years ago. He was very gracious while I gassed on about how I'd always liked his work a great deal!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Exeter, UK
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    I think I read somewhere that Face of Evil was Jeff Cummings' favourite of the ones he did?
    You read it here, Andrew, minus-37 minutes before you made your own post:

    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    Jeff confirmed that Face was his favourite when I met him a few years ago.
    Ooh, wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Downstairs by the PC
    Posts
    13,070

    Default

    No wonder I've got a headache this morning...

Similar Threads

  1. On Target Season 25
    By SiHart in forum ...to Season 25!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 6th Oct 2013, 4:41 PM
  2. Season 7 On Target
    By SiHart in forum ...to Season 7!
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 13th Nov 2012, 11:41 AM
  3. On Target: Season 4
    By SiHart in forum ...to Season 4!
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 20th Jul 2012, 1:51 PM
  4. On Target: Season 1
    By SiHart in forum ...to Season 1!
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21st Nov 2011, 9:19 AM
  5. On Target with Season 24
    By SiHart in forum ...to Season 24!
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 14th Dec 2010, 8:02 PM