Read by David Troughton
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The Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria discover a refinery under attack from seaweed and foam…
When Victor Pemberton’s novelisation of his six part story was released by Target, it proclaimed loudly on the cover that it was a “bumper volume”, coming in at considerably longer than the normal books we were used to at the time. Pemberton didn’t miss an opportunity to expand his original screenplay, and, as David J. Howe points out in the notes accompanying this reading, he added new elements to various scenes.
David Troughton’s dramatic reading of the prose brings the story to life. His rendition of his father’s lines is unsurprisingly good – even creepily too accurate at times – and he gives a faithful recreation of Victor Maddern’s original performance as Chief Robson. His gift for latching on to the key descriptive words unfortunately shows up Pemberton’s lack of knowledge of the meaning of the word “lifeless” (which turns up on far too many occasions in a story where, it would seem, nobody actually dies!) but it embues a number of scenes that are quite flat on the soundtrack with a terrifying air.
The sound effects add a new layer as ever, as does Simon Power’s score, and the decision to end each CD at the actual episode ending rather than at the end of a chapter pays off.
Verdict: A great lost story is brought to life well. 8/10