Doctor Who: Shakedown- Terrance Dicks (ISBN 0-426-20459-X)
I enjoyed Shakedown, Dreamwatch media’s hastily produced video film, so wondered how old Uncle Terrance had gone on with adapting it as a new adventure. It was with no surprise I found that he had expanded on Shakedown, the video only comprising of a small middle section to the book, having read about it millions of times in the pre-publicity.
The basic story of Shakedown is great, I really enjoyed it. It is well plotted and shows all Mr Dicks skills as a master story teller. All the major characters are three dimensional. Unfortunately, they’re not all that well rounded (described by a friend of mine as “square and fleshy”). Dialogue seems very forced and hammy, cartoonish even. Benny comes off worse, portrayed as an alcoholic failed academic, rather than someone who couldn’t be doing with the academic system and likes the odd drink. Cewj and Forrester only work slightly better. The Doctor seems to have regressed to his second incarnation, with only the rather forced lack of confidence and Doctorish masterplan indicating that this is indeed a New Adventure. I’d like to see Terrance write a missing adventure where I’m sure he’d work better.
I’m sorry, but although I enjoyed it, for me Shakedown is a letdown.