Target Review 005 – Doctor Who and The Keys of Marinus

Written by Philip Hinchcliffe

From the Back:

MARINUS
a remote force-shielded island set in a sea of acid, governed by
THE CONSCIENCE
the ultimate computer which rules and balances the gentle life of Marinus, guarded by
ARBITAN THE KEEPER
ruthless protector of a peace loving race threatened by
YARTEK
Warlord of the brutal sub-human Voords, sworn enemy of Arbitan and of Marinus, who has within his grasp
THE KEYS OF MARINUS
the Conscience’s vital micro-circuits, the doors of good and evil.  Can the Doctor find the hidden circuits in time?  Arbitan’s command was ‘Find them, OR DIE!’

Opening Line: “The day–like every day on Marinus–started clear and bright.”

First thoughts are that this is an odd novelization.  Oh, the actual content is normal enough.  In fact, it is quite straight-forward.  What makes this odd is that Philip Hinchcliffe, the producer for Tom Baker’s first few years, is the author.  Hinchcliffe had nothing to do with this story.  Granted, many Target books are like this.  Ian Marter, the actor who played Harry Sullivan (also from the Tom Baker era) novelized a few of the books as well, many of them of episodes he wasn’t in.  I’m rather curious what it was that led to Hinchcliffe writing this particular novel, especially as I would say his heart wasn’t in it.

As novelizations go, if you want a straight script-to-prose adaptation, you will be quite pleased with Keys.  Unfortunately, I prefer the books that go into greater detail and become something beyond the source material.  Since Keys still exists, and has been released on DVD, I would probably prefer to watch the serial than revisit this book.  This is just personal preference.

Final Verdict: Yeah, I realize this is a short review, but I just didn’t care for this novelization.  I was quite bored.  Occasionally I felt I should just watch the DVD because it would be quicker.  I will try to make the next review more interesting.  Sorry.

From lust to gluttony: “Vasor quickly locked the door behind him and turned to Barbara.  ‘There.  We’re alone.’  He gave a funny chuckle.
Barbara shuddered and crossed to the fire.  Vasor followed and put his large hands around her shoulders.  She broke away, trying to conceal her alarm.  ‘He’ll be back,’ she said, ‘I know he will.’
‘We’ll see.  Meanwhile I’ll get us some food.  We must fatten you up, eh?’”

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