Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Pirate Planet.

"Mister Fibuli!!" I used to shout it randomly, at the oddest times and for no particular reason (Even once after escaping from some skin heads who chased me across Art Collage Square.)No one ever got what I was on about. Nobody I grew up with or hung around with was really into the same things as me. "Mister Fibuli!" I would croak in my deepest baritone and be greeted with a dismissive roll of the eyes, or a tired sigh, or even an earnestly Belfastian  "Wise up!"it is an entirely suitable response to even the most random "Mister Fibuli!"
             I am doing it even as you read this.
             I think this is the third adaption of a Douglas Adams script from around the 1977/1978 originally broadcast episodes that have been published in the last two years or so. Hardy and reliable hands bravely tackling material generated from one of the most original and highly regarded minds ever to work on the original series. The other two stories were adapted from scripts that for very different reasons are remembered for extraordinary reasons(City Of Death achieving the highest viewing figures for a single episode and Shada being a story that was neither completed nor broadcast for that very reason.) The Pirate Planet , the second story in the key to time season, is probably the less fondly regarded awkward cousin who came to visit once and has been talked about for all the wrong reasons.
              This reworking of the existing material and some unseen archive work should go a long way to correcting that impression if not disolving it entirely. James Goss has done some dazzling tinkering on that combination of Adam's treats as well as bringing his own considerable abilities to the table.  I have to say that after a lifetime of reading Doctor Who novels and novelisations and stand alones and special editions, Virgin and BBC books that this one stands out heads and shoulders above so many of them for one amazing reason; He so captures the mercurial and unpredictable nature of Tom Baker's performance so perfectly it is frenetic even on the written page. A Joy! It is the raw energy and enthusiasm for the ideas and the characters that really jumps from the book transmogrifying the bonkers original material into an enjoyable feast for the imagination.
                And there is also the pleasure of seeing old ideas refreshed; the Mentiads referred to as The Mourners, the characters original name in Douglas Adams notes apparently. Never knew that..Great!
                Treat yourself.Bound into Spring with this slice of Whovian magic.
                Its all so improbable you know it has to real on some level
                 Er, probably.