Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Doctor Who The Twin Dilemma audiobook review

You will all (well, all the Who nerds reading this at least) know that this is the first broadcast story that starred Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor.
Now, as I have said here before many times, there were a lot of things wrong with Who during Baker’s run, but he was not numbered among them.
One of the major problems, in fact let’s be honest, the major problem, was the standard of storylines. It was as if nobody was trying sometimes. Or if they were trying, they were trying to produce the poorest piece of work they possibly could.
And to give them credit, they started as they meant to go on with The Twin Dilemma!
Now, here is a confession of sorts. I don’t think I have seen this story since it was originally broadcast, but I still have a lasting impression of how poor it seemed to be.

It was either this or a picture of The Doctor strangling Peri

I was also puzzled when listening to this audiobook, because it was quite unlike the story I remembered watching on television all those decades ago. And then, upon reading the liner notes, I discovered that the author of the book, Who script editor Eric Saward, had rewritten the original story extensively for this adaptation.
However, while the book is, in places, very good, it also falls flat a number of times. Saward seems to have a love for ludicrous similes. “With the vitality of a lecherous stallion” is one that sticks in the mind (well, it would!).
There are also lots of examples of poorly turned phrases that should not have made it passed the editing stage. “Moribund carcass” for example.
Having said that though, there are flashes of wit and cleverness. Saward is clearly going for a Douglas Adams vibe in this book, with his frequent digressions as he pauses the story to explain some piece of background information, usually with an impressive degree of imagination and skill.
The book is read by Colin Baker, who attacks the often purple prose with great gusto.
Yes, I know I bang on about it all the time, but Baker really is a very fine actor, and arguably he is worth the money for this audiobook alone.

The Twin Dilemma is released by AudioGo.

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