Book Review: The Doctor Lands On Fang Rock

Doctor Who and the Horror of Fang Rock is a novelization by Terrance Dicks of the television serial which first aired in 1977. The episode starred Tom Baker and Louise Jameson as the Doctor and Leela.

Dicks was no master wordsmith, but his simple prose style had a distinction all its own. He tended to use the same adjectives when referring to the TARDIS materializing, and his description of the Doctor did not vary all that much from book to book.

The adventure starts off with the TARDIS bringing the Doctor and Leela to an isolated lighthouse located on a small isle ominously named Fang Rock. They arrive in time to find that one of the keepers has died rather mysteriously. As the Doctor and Leela get to know the remaining two keepers, a yacht crashes onto the rocks below, and the survivors are thrown into the mix. A mysterious creature does indeed stalk the shores of this island, however the Doctor soon realizes that a confrontation was happen there, or the world will face the consequences the this latest visit from the stars.

This novel is really just good for striking the chords of nostalgia. The television serial is one of my favorites, and Terrance Dicks sticks pretty close to the original script. It’s an enjoyable enough little romp that was read in about one day, but don’t expect any profound insights from this one.

Next up will be a much grittier read in Lawrence Block’s Out on the Cutting Edge.

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