So I wondered how they could make this work ... what a strange choice of something to release ... a book that has been in print almost non-stop since it's first release in 1965 ...
And yesterday I got a review copy.
Sometimes a book just gets everything right, and this is one of those times. The size is sort of mid-way between a large format A4 sort of size, and the smaller Royal size that some hardback fiction is released at. But the slightly squarer format really works.
Probably my only complaint is that title. They have called it Doctor Who and the Daleks ... I would have preferred the original and more nostalgic Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks ... but that's just being picky.
The book contains the text from the 2011 reissue of the novelisation by BBC Books in their 'Target' imprint ... but this time, for reasons best known to them, they omit to credit Justin Richards for the 'Changing Face' and 'About the Authors' texts, and Steve Tribe for the 'Between the Lines' section. There's also nothing about Robert in the book itself (he does get a mention on the back cover flap though). It would have been nice to have seen an afterword piece from him on his work, the unused cover ideas and so on ... Neil Gaiman does get a credit for his superb and nostalgic introduction though ... which sets the scene nicely for the story to follow.
Robert's illustrations take you into the story and present scenes as we move through ... it's all here ... mutations in the swamps ... Dalek mutants ... Thals being exterminated ... Ian climbing inside the Dalek casing ... and, finally, the incredible glass Dalek itself! All rendered in gorgeous illustration which leap off the page.
If this was an experiment, then it really worked well! The book is beautiful to look at, and the story is one of the very best from the Doctor Who Novelisation range.
As a gift to give to a new fan of the show, it's pretty perfect ... and for us old nostalgists, it brings back lots of smashing memories ...
Top marks to BBC Books for this one ... and maybe we'll see more stories adapted into this format in the future!
Doctor Who and the Daleks is published in hardback by BBC Books (an imprint of Ebury Publishing). 3 November 2022, £30.00