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Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child (Doctor Who, Book 68) Mass Market Paperback – May, 1981

7 customer reviews

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this is an adaption of a doctor who television episode

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Target / W. H. Allen (May 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0426201442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0426201441
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "williamdrwho" on February 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book has a very interesting history in it's relation to another book, "Doctor Who and the Daleks" by David Whitaker. If you have read both of them, you will notice that they both start out with the Doctor and his granddaughter Susan meeting the two schoolteachers Ian Chesterton & Barbara Wright. This is because right after the adventure of "The Daleks" in 1964, it's book was written so that it could be the start of a Doctor Who book series which later became TARGET of which "An Unearthly Child" belongs. Since it was the start of a series, Mr Whitaker thought it would be necessary to make the meeting of Ian and Barabara in his book. Several years later on October 15th 1981, the company W.H. Allen & Co. started printing the book "Doctor Who and An Unearthly Child". Mr. Terrance Dicks had decided to follow the script and make that story the beginning since it was a very historical adventure. It is about a young student of 15 named Susan Foreman who goes to Coal Hill School in London England. Some very strange things have been said from this strange girl, so two of her teachers, Science teacher Ian Chesterton and History teacher Barbara Wright follow her home to find her house is a Police Box. I'll leave it hanging there. I do happen to admit that it does lack some excitement that other stories have, but I also admit that it was an instant classic to me!
Bill
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Susan Foreman has proven to be a mystery for her teachers. She is an absolute genius in math's and sciences, yet doesn't even know the number of shillings in a pound (the story starts in early 60's London.) Two of her teachers, Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton, follow her home only to learn that home is the TARDIS, the time machine of the mysterious traveler known only as "The Doctor." Barbara and Ian become entangled in the Doctor's adventure with prehistoric man's quest for fire.
The Author does an incredible job of shrowding the Doctor in mystery. The story is intense from the very beginning, and the tension stays high between the characters throughout.
This is the first of Doctor Who's adventures and if you've never read any, or if you are a fan of the new Doctor who series, you simply must go back to where it all began...with THE UNEARTHLY CHILD
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Terrance Dicks wrote novels for a large percentage of Doctor Who stories. Unfortunately, he appeared to get tired and some of the novels are a bit lacklustre. This is one of them.
"An Unearthly Child" is, in essence, two stories: the meeting of the Doctor and Susan with Ian and Barbara, and then an adventure at "the dawn of history". The relative importance of the two stories is shown by the number of pages Mr Dicks allocates to each: about 40 to the first, and about 80 to the second. In the original serial, the first was one episode, and the second three episodes.
The first story is the more interesting, as it sets the longest-running science fiction serial in motion, establishing a mystery that would not be resolved for years. Two school teachers (Ian and Barbara) investigate the home of a mysterious pupil (Susan) and end up travellers in time and space.
The second story sees the travellers captured by a tribe of cavemen with a leadership crisis. The leader is the one who can make fire, and this secret is lost. The travellers must decide whether to give them the secret of making fire, and who to give it to. One of the strengths of this story is the endeavour to portray the cavemen as a simple people, without real understanding of the world. It is interesting to see how they try to express new concepts in their dealings with the travellers.
What lets this novelisation down is that, whilst Mr Dicks is faithful in his adaptation of the original, it lacks the spark and spirit one would wish to see. You're probably better off watching the video than reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Huebsch on June 3, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the novelization of the first episode of Doctor Who. The Doctor has lots of help in this one, his grand daughter Susan and two of her teachers, Ian and Barbara.

Ian and Barbara refuse to believe that the Doctor can travel through time, so he takes them into the past where they meet up with a tribe of cavemen. The tribe has lost the ability to make fire and the Doctor must decide whether to give it back to them. To make matters a bit more confusing there are two warriors jockeying for leadership of the tribe, so the Doctor needs to decide who to present it to. Oh, and of course everyone is threatening to kill the Doctor and his companions if they do not do what they are told.

The Doctor is not as forceful in this story as in later ones, at times Ian leads the group, although eventually the Doctor always ends up back in command. A quick story and for once the Doctor does not have to save the world, just himself and his companions.
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