Ian is really ratty in this story. The Doctor dipping his school tie in an acid pool must have pissed him off more than it first appeared to.
As much as I bang on about how much I love good dialogue, I also love a good setting the scene chapter and this had that. It was intriguing, and atmospheric. Then it fell apart and become a standard Who adventure.
It must be great as a writer, to be given a blank slate of creating a planet, its landscape and life forms. The Zarbi were essentially ants and did a large amount of nothing in the later part of the book.
There were good ideas, at first, in the story but there’s too much of nothing of substance. I liked the illustrations. It’s a shame they were largely dropped for subsequent books.
The Doctor was called Doctor Who throughout the book, and that was annoying, and the ending was abrupt, which was disappointing.
Overall, a difficult book to get through.
Affected by a strange force, the TARDIS is dragged down to the desolate planet of Vortis. Until they can discover what is holding them there, the Doctor and his friends are trapped on the planet…
The Doctor, Ian and Vicki are captured by the Zarbi – huge ant-like creatures controlled by the parasitic alien Animus. Meanwhile, Barbara runs into a group of Menoptra, butterfly-like creatures that have been driven from their home planet by the Animus, and plan to return with an invasion force. But the Zarbi know their plans and are waiting for the Menoptra…
This novel is based on a Doctor Who story which was originally broadcast from 13 February-20 March 1965.
Featuring the First Doctor as played by William Hartnell with his companions Barbara, Ian, and Vicki
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