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The Time Meddler

Novelization of the Doctor Who serial
Michael Baxter

This is quite a well-written book, faithfully sticking to the television story, and I found it fairly enjoyable, such as it is.

I'll say at once, though, and this is of course no reflection at all on the author, who had no hand in choosing the basis for this story, that I have no great liking for historical stories injected with science fiction elements: these two story types are best done individually, in my opinion. I'm sure there must be enough interesting characters and events attached to 1066 or thereabouts with which to create an excellent pure historical.

But to return to this novelisation, why did the author, in common with those producing the TV series at the time, fail to provide more background for Steven, the new time traveller? This novel was an ideal opportunity to redress the balance regarding this constantly overlooked character. Steven, as a twenty-fifth century astronaut, had a potentially very interesting background. Sadly, the scriptwriters at the time, this author, and others since have failed to recognise this and have consistently deprived Steven Taylor of the depth of character I feel he could have had. Much appreciated, however, was the author's attempt at the beginning of this book to recap relevant events from the close of the previous story, which at least expanded Steven's introduction to some extent!