Home : Archive : TSV 1-10 : TSV 3 : Review

The Ark

by Paul Erickson

Book review by Paul Scoones

Because the Hartnell tales qualify as those I know least about, it is always a thrill to sit down and read a new novel from that period. Unfortunately, in some instances, the way the book is written, perhaps coupled with a dull script, can go a long way towards dampening that thrill, and the one and only novel by Paul Erickson, The Ark, is no exception. Okay, so the original story (Which I have seen on video in the period between reading this book and reviewing it) was no great classic, but surely this is added incentive for Erickson to put his story in a better light through a top class novelisation? Lucarotti, Cotton, Davis and Emms did this with their novels, but Paul Erickson seems determined to imitate the prolific Terrance Dicks.

True enough, Erickson embellishes the original script he wrote back in 1966 with greater attention to detail, and the additions of a couple of nice scenes outside the BBC budget (a whole host of animals, and a sheer cliff scene). But it is still a bland re-telling of how the Doctor and company visited the survivors of our doomed planet, and generally created trouble for them in the form of a cold epidemic to which they have no immunity but returned to help them out in the end when they arrived on Refusis with the Monoids. The battle between the Humans and Monoids throughout the story was an obvious allegory of Nietzsche's Master/Slave Morality theories, and could have been developed upon in this was, but, again, Erickson chose not to.

Lastly, I was surprised that Lesley Scott was not credited as the co-writer of the 1966 script a here at all in the book; Not even a dedication What a way to treat your wife not to mention your script, Paul Erickson!

This item appeared in TSV 3 (October 1987).

Index nodes: The Ark