Review: Doctor Who: AudioGo Classic Novels: The Dinosaur Invasion

by Malcolm Hulke, read by Martin Jarvis

AudioGo, out now

The Doctor and Sarah return to an evacuated London where dinosaurs wreak havoc a few million years too late…

The recent release of the DVD of this story, in the UNIT Files collection, has given us a chance once again to laugh at the floating dinosaurs and their rather ineffectual appearances on screen – but also reminded viewers that at its heart there was a great story, possibly over-extended to fill six episodes rather than four.

Mac Hulke novelised his own script for this 1976 novel, read with an amazing variety of voices by Martin Jarvis, who played a scar-less Butler in the original series (his voice for his own character is surely a case of Jarvis taking the mickey!). It plays fast and loose with the dialogue of the transmitted version, omits such additions as the Alien/Whomobile, and, as was normal for Hulke, added numerous little touches – such as the aforementioned scar for Butler, and an epilogue where the Doctor invites Sarah to keep an open mind.

Some of Hulke’s political beliefs come through here perhaps slightly more strongly than in the final TV edition, and his descriptions allow the reader to imagine dinosaurs that could have come from Jurassic Park or Primeval. It was a strong addition to the collection when it first came out; it makes for an enjoyable audio experience now.

Verdict: The pictures are definitely better in this! 7/10

Paul Simpson

The Dinosaur Invasion is available as part of the Invasion Earth box set.
Order it from Amazon.co.uk here

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