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Doctor Who and the Image of the Fendahl

4th Doctor Novelisation
Narrated by: Louise Jameson
Length: 2 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Summary

Louise Jameson reads this novelisation of a classic TV adventure for the Fourth Doctor, as played on TV by Tom Baker. 

"The Fendahl is death," said the Doctor. "How do you kill death itself?"

In present day England, a group of scientists are intent on analysing an impossibly ancient skull. But when the ultra-modern technology of their Time Scanner combines with the ancient evil of Fetch Wood, it brings to life a terror that has lain hidden for 12 million years.  

Arriving in the TARDIS, the Doctor and Leela must fight to destroy the Fendahl, a recreated menace that threatens to devour all life in the galaxy. 

Louise Jameson, who played Leela in the BBC TV series, reads this classic novelisation of Chris Boucher's 1977 serial. 

Reading produced by Neil Gardner

Sound design by Simon Power

Executive producer: Michael Stevens

©2020 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2020 BBC Worldwide Ltd

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More Style Than Substance, But Still A Classic

I am trying to collect as many Tom Baker/Jon Pertwee era Terrance Dicks written audio books, so as soon as I saw that the Image of The Fendahl was due to be released, I pre ordered it. As a welcome bonus, Louise Jameson AKA Leela, was the narrator. I had enjoyed both her telling of the classic Horror of Fang Rock and The Robots of Death, so looked forward to this. I ought to qualify that last statement; The Image of The Fendahl is not one of my favourite Tom Baker era stories despite it having a certain style to it that should propel it to the upper reaches of the best story tree. However, despite the story trying hard to achieve, I found it a rather confusing one. I had hoped the book version might shed some extra light on the back story of the Fendahl and the fifth planet, as Dicks has sometimes done in other stories, where he will add elements not seen in the television version, but he sticks to the screen play rigidly here unfortunately. Shame, as the introductions of the Time Warrior and The Brain of Morbius are both excellently augmented. Further, as good as Dicks was, I feel that had Ian Marter converted Fendahl to the written word, he would've greatly improved and fleshed out the story more, as he did wonderfully with The Sontaran Experiment and The Ark In Space, which I highly recommend by the way. I still enjoyed the presentation of this story, even if the story itself is somewhat lacking in substance in some regards. If you love the Tom Baker era, as I do, then The Image of The Fendahl has to be part of your collection. This story is somewhat more style than content and as menacing entities from the far and somewhat mystical past goes, pales compared to the far better and much more coherent Pyramids of Mars, which must stand as one of the best Baker era stories ever (the audio adaptation of this is a must have, by the way). Louise Jameson does a capable job of narrating this classic adventure. However, she has to lose a star, I'm afraid, as she clearly renders both Germanic scientist characters in a French accent at times. In summery, this is a decent enough story. It's not the best, but it certainly towers above the sort of contemporary Who being produced today.

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