Quick Review of the 8th Doctor novels

Chase - Posted on 14 June 2009

Okay my memory may have gone and may be cheating but here goes:

THE INFINITY DOCTORS: a big mess. My question is why? It's not particularly interesting, not well written and truthfully rather boring. It goes over old ground, tries to make tv stories that were perfectly fine the first time around better and fails, and isn't funny, interesting or different. If this were filmed, it would be flat and boring. IMO. That said, it made me feel glad that DW and the spinoffs can do something like this, that it can stretch this far.

THE DYING DAYS: Not without its problems this is a fab 8th Doctor, UNIT, Ice Warriors, Benny, Brig story. It's not unllike THE CHRISTMAS INVASION in that the Doc is out of it for a bit of the story AND the Doc faces the enemies on a big spaceship that is over London AND they earlier let loose some kind of advance invasion weapon, in this case a gas. The Doctor exposes himself to it because he wanted to save a cat. GRAND! The 8th Doctor is just lovely, Benny finally makes an impression on me...it speaks volumes that she does so away from the 7th Doc and Ace...although I must admit I kind of liked her in HAPPY ENDINGS and also in the BLOOD HEAT storyline. Benny may actually snog or more the Doctor in this. A good book.

THE EIGHT DOCTORS: on the face of it this is not a bad idea and about time the Doctors meet their past somehow. The Doc meets his new companion, Sam, then leaves her and then picks her up again at the end. He also loses his memories and has to get them back. Truthfully a 1991 episode of FOX'S PETER PAN AND THE PIRATES handled this storyline much better than this novel. The novel becomes a best of and sometimes it's okay and sometimes it's just really boring. It does establish the 8th Doctor line though. In a way though, I was glad to see Borusa released even if it was for just a time.

DEAD TIME, part of EARTH AND BEYOND: this strange story is reminescent of WARRIOR'S GATE in that the Doctor and Sam are trapped in a kind of nightmarish void. Of course, we find out it is a TARDIS that the owner had died and that insane Time Lords are also caught in the dying TARDIS. Amazing idea, amazing story. The other EARTH AND BEYOND story BOUNTY is quite routine runaround stuff and really quite forgettable except I seem to recall the setting was rather grand. An island in the Seychelles or something and well described. THE PEOPLE'S TEMPLE is believe it or not a historical about the building of Stonehenge and it is pretty good and Sam gets too involved in helping one side of debating groups.  It's a mean and cruel story but fitting for a historical about a savage time and iwth savage people.

VAMPIRE SCIENCE : it's no secret that Kate Orman is a great writer. This could be her best book. True there are some highly fandom bits that are kind of...I don't know...like when the new Brig takes on two new characters as his scienfic advisors including a former vampire. The Doc's blood makes humans back into humans after they are vampires. There is  alot of "Get the Doctor" in this and that makes it highly exciting and interesting and dangerous. It is also very atmospheric and well written. I seem to recall some genuinely scary chases and dark allies but the ally bit could be another of Kate's books. I think there are also some kind of vampire squirrels? A good book nonetheless. The Doc gets a haircut, claims he likes to count his age by years of is current incarnation (since when), is probably 1012 years old, and left Sam for a year of his life (some say he met Benny in that year and also travelled with comic strp companions Stacy and Ice Warrior friend Ssard).  

THE BODY SNATCHERS: For some reason, I guess the action, I really like this Zygon return story. Prof Litefoot is in it, five years after Talons of Weng Chiang. There is atmosphere and mixing Litefoot with Zygons is a splendid idea. I like this much better than the Big Finish 8th Doctor audio that pitted him against the Zygons and I like it much better than the recent Comp Chronicle that presented Litefoot and his silly companion. I seem to recall the Doctor diving sans clothes in this, a lot of action and a lot of violence as well. The 8th Doctor seems to be killing aliens left and right in the novels which might explain something akin to his total nervous breakdown later...I also recall huge attacks by Skaresen...and that the Doc later puts dozens of them into the TARDIS to bring them someplace safe. I also seem to recall the Doc saving horses, ones he needed form the giant monsters when they were under the control of the Zygons in a disturbing scene. I think some other horses were eaten. Sam also finds the spinal cord of a child! Horrible.

GENOCIDE: I remember little about this excpet that it brings back Jo Grant who ...uses a  cannon to kill almost all of a race in order to save the human race and its timeline. I recall ancient humans and a lot of violence and Jo Grant being justified in her methods. I also seem to recall it being well written but it was a matter of why write this? I'm not sure but I gues sa reread is in order. I do recall a nifty cover.

WAR OF THE DALEKS: I know this book has taken a lot of guff over the years but truth is: it has a lot of action, makes the Dalek very dangerous and allows the 8th Doctor to see them. I even think at one point he is on a planet, possibly Skaro, in a cell for a long long time and is rescued. I don't think it is a perfect book but I do recall being entertained by it. I didn't like the other Dalek story that came later, LEGACY OF THE DALEKS, but here, there's a  bit of innovation. And I don't agree with all the continuity cock ups or explanations given here but it's nice to see someone try to explain, for instance, the Movellans!            



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