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The Chase

by John Peel

Book review by Brenton Bowley

On hearing about The Chase, I was scared that John Peel would turn into another Donald Cotton, but I was most certainly mistaken. It seems that Mr Peel has turned out an extremely magnificent book. But John Peel's novelisation is not a straight copy from the televised six parter, but in fact an adaptation of Terry Nation's original script for the long running television series. The original scripts had to be rewritten for various reasons - reasons such as to make scenes less expensive, to perform the actions in a simpler way, or to add character touches to the story (as Mr Peel states in his Authors Note at the beginning of the book).

In some cases the changes that were made to the script were quite extensive. Mr Peel went on to explain his reasons for his preference for writing Terry Nation's script was that people may one day get a chance to view the televised story, whereas they would never have known what the original script was like. Another reason was that the original script was more descriptive in some ways.

Here is the basic plot for those of you out there that don't know. The Daleks have built a time machine in which to hunt down the Doctor in. They have used a very unstable power source though called Taranium (which is an important part of The Daleks' Master Plan). A Dalek annihilation squad is sent after the TARDIS through the time vortex, their mission to exterminate the Doctor and destroy the TARDIS. Fortunately the Doctor and his companions happen to be using the Time Space Visualiser (hence the magazine's name) at the time and notice the Daleks chasing after them. So the chase begins and takes the TARDIS to a number of places until the final confrontation on the planet Mechanus. They story marks the departures of Ian and Barbara and the arrival of Steven to the TARDIS crew.

As a newcomer to the Target book range, I think John Peel will do extremely well. The quality of his writing and his descriptiveness certainly shows in his novel. John Peel's novel will certainly be appreciated for its high standard of writing and also for its splendid cover drawn by Alister Pearson. I definitely look forward to John's two-part novelisation of The Daleks' Master Plan which is due in New Zealand in December and January.

This item appeared in TSV 16 (December 1989).

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