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coverTie-in Novelisation

By Ian Evans. Published by Corgi Books April 1977. ISBN 0 552 10418 3. Original UK price 60p.
(Note: Ian Evans was the pen name of the sci-fi author Angus Wells)

If the novelisation is to do anything but act as a ready reckoner for those trying to decipher German language episodes twenty-five years on then it would have to try and fill in those gaps in the series' logic that so blight its effectiveness. Sadly, it doesn't do this and from that it can only be deduced that there were no notes on draft scripts or publicity material that helped better set the scene than what appeared in the transmitted programme - Star Maidens must have been fatally flawed at this level and so the mysteries of how Medusa developed its present status quo remain. The book opens with a transcript of the opening voiceover to Episode One and that's as far as it goes as regards backstory. There's one brief factoid to suggest that 'Medusa kept her people young longer than the pitiful span of her new solar neighbour earth' and that women live longer thanks to their oestrogen lamp sessions.

Predictably, given that this is a Corgi pulp intended for an adult audience, the only real deviations from the script venture into slightly more prurient territory than was allowed on screen. Adam calls Octavia a 'bitch' in one addition for example and the scene where Adam visits Fulvia in Episode One is expanded in print; 'Fulvia stretched out, admiring the smooth contours of her youthful body, letting her hands slide gently over the curves of her scanty costume. Adam would be back soon...' and on the same page, 'She twisted on the wide, silken bed letting a fold of her robe drop deliberately from her thigh, stretching the smooth flesh out over the sheets so that Adam would see it... Fulvia's arms lifted up, twining about his neck, pulling him down to meet her, lips to lips, tongue probing deep against his tongue. Instictively his hands reached out to cup her breasts and he hated his reaction to the natural domination of the female, resented his own submission.' Oo-er, missus! Mills and Boon or what? Such lascivious material is admittedly few and far between. The most amusing change makes plain the subtext we all suspected The Perfect Couple was hinting at. The two feminist campaigners are indeed in a lesbian relationship (a great example of 70s political incorrectness there!) as the line, 'she smiled encouragingly at her lieutenant, letting one hand stroke gently over Freda's thigh' makes plain.

Despite not being released until well into 1977, it may well be that the novelisation's manuscript needed to be completed before the scripts for the whole run were ready, as the later episodes are absent here, including the conclusion of sorts offered on screen by The Enemy. A different ending reproduces a security report by Octavia in which she recommends that the Medusans terminate all contact with earth, lest its pernicious influence change the status quo on the Star Maidens' planet. This negates the reconciliatory scenes played out on TV. The book concludes with a message in upper case:

ENDPIECE

AND SO IT GOES. UNTIL THEY LEARN BETTER?

THE END.