Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen Paperback – Jul 7 2011
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About the Author
Terrance Dicks worked together with Malcolm Hulke on scripts for The Avengers as well as other series before becoming Assistant, and later full Script Editor of Doctor Who from 1968. Dicks worked on the entirety of the Jon Pertwee Third Doctor era of the programme, and returned as a writer - scripting Tom Baker's first story as the Fourth Doctor: Robot. His later script writing credits on Doctor Who included the 20th anniversary story The Five Doctors. Terrance Dicks novelised many of the original Doctor Who stories for Target books, and has written original Doctor Who novels for BBC Books.
Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln worked together on scripts for various TV series in the 1960s, including Doctor Finlay's Casebook, Emergency Ward 10, and Doctor Who. Two of their Doctor Who scripts featured the Yeti - servants of an alien intelligence - which proved very popular and memorable. Haisman, who had previously been an actor, and managed a theatre company, continued to write television during the 1970s and 1980s. Lincoln, who had also been an actor under his real name of Henry Soskin, co-authored the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Perhaps I put myself at a disadvantage since my first Doctor Who novelization was the outstanding THE POWER OF THE DALEKS by John Peel. In comparison, these shorter novelizations, which were ostensibly targeted for the pre-teen market, likely suffer in the eyes of a mature, life-long reader. Yet for what it offers, a chance to experience serials still lost to time, I did find THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN an entertaining, albeit brief, read. I shan't quibble over the obvious scripting characterizations that seemed eye-rolling, namely the obnoxiously wishy-washy, hard-headed, and infuriatingly obtuse Khrisong, but I do have to question a characterization blurb in the beginning of the book concerning Victoria, which seems at complete odds to her actions and motivations in this adventure.
Described as "forever an unwilling adventurer", this assertion is absolutely rubbish as we read, not once, not twice, but repeatedly, as Victoria acts the instigator, indeed pushy, of daring explorations and actions. Heck, we even have a spot where brave Jamie is the one holding back with Victoria taunting him on. Forever an unwilling adventurer? Uh..
Perhaps those characterization blurbs where a standard addition by someone who never read the individual books or... or who knows, but I dare say it behooves the reader to mentally toss that particular point aside. Aside from that, an overall enjoyable, quick read for catching all those unavailable serials (or simply mind-numbingly jacked up in price)
One nice recurring theme with the Second Doctor's novelizations is the sense of creeping dread. This Doctor is often maligned as being panicky. The novelizations explain that this Doctor has a sixth sense that warns him of danger, and of evil...but he rarely knows the particulars and that adds to his unease. Rather than jump into trouble, he tries first to avoid it; he wants his young friends safe. Unfortunately for him, circumstances rarely work in his favor.
A nice thing about the novelization is the expanded bits: The Doctor's egalitarian attitude to food, Jamie and Victoria's less-than-thrillsome encounter with non-British tea, the deep trust the Doctor has in Jamie, Travers' borderline madness, the creeping horror as well as sadness as Padmasambhata's unholy fate as the Great Intelligence's puppet...New Whovians would enjoy grounding themselves in its first appearances, as Troughton's Monster. This Doctor has to trick the GI to get close, and the lost episode must have been fantastic: the GI locked in a mental battle with the Cosmic Hobo as all hell literally breaks loose. Until this is re-created, we'll just read and enjoy the written version.
Nowadays, with the Internet around, I've gotten a chance to dig deeper in the Doc Who universe. That, and the relaunched series has made my interest even greater these days. So, I am going back and trying to watch from the beginning in order to better understand the characters, and so forth. Unfortunately many of the really old episodes are 'lost episodes' and there really is no way to watch them other than by listening to fan made audio recordings (Doctor Who: The Abominable Snowmen & The Web of Fear), still photographs and the like. Some of this is of such poor quality I am finding it tough to get through this series. It's rough slogging it though muddied audio while trying to figure out what that black and white blob is on the screen. I find with some of these reconstructed episodes that I actually am gaining nothing but misery trying to gets some bit of a story out of them.
I had made it from the beginning (Doctor Who: The Beginning (An Unearthy Child / The Daleks / The Edge of Destruction)) to this episode when during episode three or four of this story, the quality of the video/audio reconstruction that I currently have available to me was just so bad I threw up my hands and just about gave up on trying to watch this story altogether. I mean, I would like to get through all the televised stories but man, enough is enough, I'm doing this for entertainment not a research project. That's when I realized that in 2011 they have released a handful of the Target novelizations of the series on Kindle format... and the episode I was currently watching was one of them! What a great opportunity to try one out! I didn't have to give up on my quest to go through the televised stories from beginning to end AND I could actually get a more detailed/understandable story. I wouldn't have to force myself to slog through a really rough reproduction which I really would not have any fun doing.
I am so glad I did. Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen is not a tough read. It's not even a really long book. I am a slow reader these days so I sat back and enjoyed it in an afternoon, many though could probably finish this in hours or maybe even less. What I have gotten from this book is one heckuva great Doctor Who story! The Second Doctor as played by Patrick Troughton is still pretty new to me. The episodes available to me up to this point have all been basically reproductions, other than one, Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen (Special Edition). This story, as it is written felt so much more grandiose to me than probably what could have been passed off in the actual episodes. All the characters were well fleshed out. I really felt like I knew them all. The story goes from a small scale to a large, the whole planet, maybe the whole universe could be threatened. Overall a great read.
I've read a bunch of the New Series Adventures based on the relaunched series, some are good, some aren't. This is now one of my faves. I hope the BBC or whoever is in charge of publishing Doc Who stuff continues re-releasing the old material. It's really nice to be able to read about the other doctors. Especially for someone that is just starting out. Plus, being in Canada, fat chance I'll ever see these in a store so releasing them in my favourite format.. Kindle is fantastic! It makes them so easy to get, read, and enjoy! I will definitely be grabbing the other re-released past Doctor books that I can find in the Kindle store!
The TARDIS arrives in the Himalayas, and the Doctor is excited by the opportunity to return the holy ghanta, a bell he has in safe keeping for the Det-sen Monastery. Leaving Jamie and Victoria in the TARDIS, he sets off to return the bell, promising to return to bring them once their welcome is ensured. When he arrives at the monastery, he finds that the yeti have become hostile and British explorer Edward Travers convinces the monks that the Doctor is behind this.
Meanwhile, Jamie and Victoria get bored waiting in the TARDIS and head out to explore. They find a cave with a pyramid built of silver spheres before being trapped by a yeti...
The story has several twists and turns, with both the nature of the yeti and their master not being what they at first appear. It is both excellent and original, but the broadcast version is now lost (except for one episode of the original six). This novel is the best way to enjoy this great piece of Doctor Who history.
The Doctor saves the world (of course) and possibly the entire galaxy/universe from an evil intelligence that uses yetis and a (very) old monk as its weapons. You have to wonder why such a great intelligence cannot come up with a better plan during the 300 years it is working on this one. I guess that's what leads to its downfall, as the Doctor's more spontaneous unplanned actions triumph over the methodically executed evil one's plan.