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The short version first Science fiction stories have been around for decades some of the best written in the 19th Century by authors like Jules Gabriel Verne HG Herbert George Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs to name only a few of those better known The mid 20th Century audience had other media for the genre including feature motion pictures comic books and pulp science fiction in both paperbacks and serials Philip McDonald however was better known for his work outside of the genre until the debut of the groundbreaking motion picture and novel entitled Forbidden Planet For its time it was groundbreaking using advanced special effects an eerie soundtrack that future audiences would compare with the synthesized music of the late 1960’s and early 1970’sThe film starred Leslie Nielsen as Commander JJ Adams Walter Pidgeon as Dr Morbius Anne Francis as Altaira and a young Earl Holliman as the Bosun and cook As the story unfolds a spacecraft designated as C 57 D was dispatched from Earth to discover the status of a previously launched vessel the Bellerophon Unknown and unexplained tragedy struck the Bellerophon resulting in the loss of all hands save for Morbius and his daughter Altaira Unusual events continue to plague the old and soon the new crews as well With the loss of several of the personnel and Morbius himself all falling to the unseen immense power of the race that inhabited Altair 4 for ages before the Bellerophon arrived These beings called the Krell devised a planetary scale civilization that was beyond immense literally covering hundreds of suare miles in the center of Altair 4The book written by WJ Stuart – one of Mr McDonald’s pseudonyms was a fictionalized account Based on the logs of the various crew members of the C 57 D similar in some respects to those that many naval officers and crew are either reuired by regulations or by their desire to remember their contribution to the operations of their vessels be they either ocean going or space faring These reports or logs maintained by the senior staff provide insight into the vessel’s actions and the crew’s experiences Provided by officers and some non commissioned crew including the medical officer navigator chief scientists and others with responsibilities for the C 57 D the logs and related reports provide the substance of the words on the pages one readsAs such the book looks at the senior officers as the “reporters” on what when on from their perspective which was very similar to the reports of their colleagues It was a litany of the mysteries of Altair 4 the Krell and the unusual events surrounding Dr Morbius and the malice that the forces beyond the understanding of all except possibly the Krell As a component of the presentation the reader needs to know that this is a story told from various points of view As such it sometimes seems to be fragment thoughts or ideas but in reality it is a story of the feelings experiences and – in some cases – the fears of those involved in some incredible unexplainable events on a distant world The crew and the survivors eventually succumb to the powers contained within Altair 4’s solid interior and the incredible worldly wealth of past experiences held in the various areas known only to the KrellRECOMMENDATIONSOn the standard 5 star evaluation image this work rates as solid 4 It is clear and concise It presents a “log like” view about the events viewed in the film with an added humanity included in subtle and surprising ways as you immerse yourself in the story It is a uniue human means of sharing the thoughts and feelings of the crew on a uniuely dangerous mission It is no wonder why the planet was destined to explode at the end as there were just too many secrets and too much engineering that created the Krell interior of Altair 4This book is suitable for readers of late middle school and above who like adventure some intrigue and a uniue approach to the typical “alienness” of science fiction stories It is worth your while regardless of your age in middle schools and beyond Review of Forbidden Planet by Philip MacDonald aka WJ Stuart by Richard W Buro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 40 International LicenseBased on a work at beyond the scope of this license may be available at Contact Peril Press for information I have always considered the movie this is based on to be part of the trinity of classic SF movies How I managed to wait until now to read this is beyond me Certainly I could have read it forty years ago but It is an interesting take on the film novelizing and adding to the story some both for good and bad Familiar enough to be like an old friend but new enough to hold interest I would have preferred not having the POV shift from one chapter to the next but I get what the author was trying to do even if I didn't care for it It gets a five if for nothing other than sentimental value I'm amazed and grateful that Peril Press dug up this 1950s novelization of one of my favorite classic movies and made it available as an ebook I also appreciate the way the author takes the story from the film and without significant changes puts a new angle on it He does this mainly by shifting the point of view from which the story is told In the film the protagonist is clearly Captain Adams young Leslie Nielsen as a proto James T Kirk In the book though Adams is kind of an immature jerk and most of the story is told from the point of view of the older experienced Doc Ostrow This pushes several scenes from the film off camera from the book's perspective but it also gives insight into the wider world the characters live inOf course despite it being the future it's still the 50s so everyone smokes and girls are just something pretty to chase after Nevertheless the writing is above pulp and the freedom of text over mid century film censors lets MacDonald push the envelope with the gruesomeness of the monster scenes even though they take up less real estate in the novel than in the movieAll in all a great blast from the past Although I must have seen the movie a hundred times this is the first time I came across the book and I snapped it up on first sight I wasn't disappointed Like many books adapted to movies Forbidden Planet adds details that make the story far engaging For one thing the story is told from the POV of main characters as George R R Martin does in the Song of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones series I especially liked the portrayal of the doctor and the captain In the book the doctor is fortyish and the captain and the rest of the crew are kids to him On the other hand they are all old hands at space travel and he's on his first voyage The book adds several dimensions to the story It's a uick read but than worth the time The Novelization of the Classic 1956 Sci Fi MovieFarrar Straus Giroux Inc 1956FORBIDDEN PLANETby Philip MacDonaldas W J StuartPOWER MAD DR MORBIUS MUST BE STOPPED BEFORE HE ENSLAVES THE WORLDCommander Adams and the crew of Spaceship C 57 D land on Altair 4 the forbidden planet where they hope to find the survivors of a previous expedition But the only one they find is Dr Morbius a scientist with a deadly plan to take over the universe Dr Morbius warns the earthlings to leave at onceBut Commander Adams and his crew stay—despite the terrifying attacks on their spaceship For they know that theirs is the last chance to stop a madman from becoming Master of the UniverseForewordONE Major Medical C X OstrowTWO Major Medical C X Ostrow continuedTHREE Commander J J AdamsFOUR Commander J J Adams continuedFIVE Edward MorbiusSIX Major C X OstrowSEVEN Commander J J AdamsEIGHT Commander J J Adams concludedPostscript58400 WordsUpdate Sep 12 2013 Numerous typos fixed The novelization of the movie is written in various first person accounts Morbius Commander Adams etc It fills in some gaps but overall is simply inferior to the movie The biggest difference for me is that the movie has a strong sense of original sin as found in the id something we tend to lack today while the book shifts the focus to the Krell and Morbius trying to usurp the power of God villains freuently are prideful enough to do this so it is a common theme So there are some strong religious undertones in both but a very flavor The novelization was written after the motion picture was complete but before its premier Though there are a few minor discrepancies it remains faithful to the original story even expanding on some ideas that were left incomplete or unexamined The movie is among my favorites and the novel only adds to my enjoyment Five stars from a nostalgic fan Excellent storyExcellent storyI absolutely loved this book Forbidden Planet is my favorite movie and I was extremely pleased to find it in book form Very true to the movie storyline fast reading A must for all fans of old sci fi classics This book only differs from the move in a couple of places There's an extra death that's not in the movie and the scenes with the drunk cook aren't played for laughs hereA sound read a bit dry in places Good but not as good as the classic movie Forbidden Planet

About the Author: Philip MacDonald

George MacDonald and son of the author Ronald MacDonald and the actress Constance Robertson During World War I he served with the British cavalry in Mesopotamia later trained horses for the army and was a show jumper He also raised Great Danes After marrying the writer F Ruth Howard he moved to Hollywood in 1931 He was one of the most popular mystery writers of the 1930s and between 1931 and 1963 wrote many screenplays along with a few radio and television scriptsHis detective novels particularly those featuring his series detective Anthony Gethryn are primarily whodunnits with the occasional locked room mystery His first detective novel was 'The Rasp' 1924 in which he introduced his character Anthony Gethryn In later years MacDonald wrote television scripts for Alfred Hitchcock Presents 'Malice Domestic' 1957 and Perry Mason 'The Case of the Terrified Typist' 1958He twice received an Edgar Award for Best Short Story in 1953 for 'Something to Hide' and in 1956 for 'Dream No More' Indeed many critics felt that his short story writing was superior to his novels and they did win five second prizes in the annual contests held by 'Ellery ueen's Mystery Magazine'He also wrote under the pseudonyms Oliver Fleming Anthony Lawless Martin Porlock

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