I've managed to get hold of the first couple of NA novels, thanks to the wonderful (and much-maligned) world of eBay. So with me in a 'review mood', thanks to there being no full series this year, I've decided to bury my head in these novels. I'm going to try my best to review them all. I'm going to use all my trading 'skills' to get hold of the others. Oh dear!
For those who don't know, the books where a continuation of the series that ended in 1989. For more info click here.
Anyway, a couple of quid (plus P+P) goes a long way in the cyber shopping place (which turned out to be an irony considering the nature of the first villain in these books) so the first four, all linked by one story - the Timewyrm series, was snapped up by yours truly.
Goodness knows what I’m going to do when I get to the rare and expensive ones! And on that note - some of the books are available as e-books here but I just prefer the thing to be in my hands tbh!
So first up is Timewyrm Genesys by John Peel
And I’m going to try and keep these as spoiler-free as I can, so apologises if some of the reviews seem a little vague and if they contain spelling mistakes (actually that is my fault!)
I'll look forward to your thoughts. I love the NAs! Some of them are just spectacular!
[QUOTE BY= barnabeee] I'll look forward to your thoughts. I love the NAs! Some of them are just spectacular![/QUOTE]
Cheers, i've only read one and I love them already!
Timewyrm: Genesys By John Peel
From the start, the novel puts you on the wrong foot, as an alien crash-lands on Earth, in Mesopotamia (which is now modern-day Iraq) around 2700BC. The alien is injured and attracts the attention of Gilgamesh, king of the city of Uruk. He refuses her and she swears revenge.
Meanwhile, The Doctor has ‘accidently’ removed all of Ace’s memories, whilst attempting to get rid of some of his own (‘to make more room inside my head’). It’s an interesting concept, as the Ace without her memory detests the way she was. Sadly, it’s all fixed soon enough, just after a visit from a ‘temporal projection’ of the Fourth Doctor, who warns his future incarnation of a ‘Timewrym’.
From then on, it’s a surprisingly enjoyable read! From the outset, I was expecting a long and drawn out, boring novel. But the chapters are short and the action changes very quickly, from being fast paced to building up the story, character by character. The Doctor and Ace are well realised and you could see this story working well on a Big Finish audio!
The characters, within the novel, are well drawn and the way they speak and their interactions with the Doctor and Ace, are just as you would imagine them to be. The locals believe anything alien ‘must be a god’, so its funny reading about Ace dropping some Nitro-Nine or anything the Doctor says, being thought of as ‘divine’.
Like most Doctor Who historicals - you learn a lot about history too! I didn’t know about the ‘legend of Gilgamesh’ before, but its something that I’ll look up, thanks to the book. One aspect of the book that I thought was disappointing was that about halfway through, they turn the king into a ‘comic relief’-type character. I thought he served a better purpose being more serious and threatening. I would have also liked to have seen Ace going through the story without her memory. This would have been an interesting development in her character and whether or not she could trust the Doctor.
I don’t think it’s a major spoiler in telling you that the alien who crash-landed turns out to be the main villain, a cybernetic organism who goes through many complicated ways to keep herself alive. Yes, it’s very 80’s Doctor Who, although thankfully – not as confusing as GhostLight! And speaking of that serial – there are plenty of mentions and nods to those later stories, just to give the book more of a ‘feel’ to it. Including a Neanderthal, who reminds both Ace and the Doctor of Nimrod (GhostLight). I would suggest that you go back and watch the 7th Doctor era, if you’re not really ‘up on it’, though. It is rather continuity-heavy
Overall, it’s a cracking start to the series, the book doesn’t try to do anything special or daft to try and impress, I just think it’s a well-written story that was too expensive to do on television! Because that’s what it was, surely?
Wow. Well if you like Genesys then this will be very positive. I think this book is an ok start. I do not rate it as highly as you do, but I am not a fan of Peel's writing. But its definitely serviceable and was a fun romp!
Can't wait to hear what you think of Exodus.
What 'til you get to the 4th book (and conclusion of the "Timewyrm" saga) - "Timewyrm: Revelation".
There are many references to look back upon and appearances from each Doctor. Now that is something to look for.
BTW: There will be one more appearance of the Timewyrm in the book "Happy Endings". It will come later in the book series.
I found a website that has a listing of all the "Doctor Who" books including a listing for the virgin publications. Here is a link to that site:
Doctor Who Books: Checklist
Hope you find this helpful.
Cheers T. I'm already about halfway through the second book and i'm loving it so far. I think i'm going to regret reviewing all the books - i'm going to sound like a gushing fan who loves everything about Doctor Who. Which isn't true, btw!
Well, you've inspired me to read the first book, Colin. So I'll have to avoid your review until I've done so!
More money down the gapingly huge (and getting huger) Doctor Who shaped hole!
I, too, loved the first book. I actually met John Peel after having spoken to him on the phone many times. He is a very nice man. I do like his writing and his books. Not being a big fan of the last few seasons of the show (From TRIAL on...) at the time, I was not overjoyed that the series was now stuck with THIS Doctor and THIS companion. Truth is, I liked the McCoy Doctor probably least of all of them but I still did like him. I didn't like, at the time, most of his stories including GHOSTLIGHT and CURSE OF FENRIC. I've since changed my opinion about both of them but as I'm coming up to them (In a few months?) we shall see.
Anyway, the story moved along and represented a time zone not visited yet and to me, it seemed like a time travel show again by going into and using the past. Yes, it is 80's DW but it's the good parts of it. I wasn't sure about the arc of the TimeWyrm but I liked it and I liked how it went across four or five books. Ace? Whatever. Never could stand her in the series and again, I have changed my mind about this and her (still I can't bare her in the awful DRAGONFIRE). I just don't thnk she's a very likable, personable, or realistic character, at least at that time. To me she just grated.
Anyway, my recall is not great but I do recall the Doctor running around with a topless female from that time; a strange underground city or spaceship; and lots of action. I liked this book and hoped that they would continue in this vein. After the first ten books or so, I could see that it wasn't. I almost , NO, actually I did give up on the book series sometime around book 17 or so, THE HIGHEST SCIENCE. I almost didn't buy it. I didn't buy it but then went and sought it out.
I just lost ALL interest in DW at that time. There were two female companions I could not relate to. Benny was like a poor female version of INDIANA JONES and she was more into drinking than adventures and again, so far removed from reality that she just bored me at the time. I found with the audios she came more alive for me. Ace: still a dysfunctional mess who allowed the Doctor to use her and she seemed more like a warrior and a bully. In fact, in one novel, she and the Doctor were barely given personalities. Then there were the convoluted plots that I couldn't really follow. Guest characters that were mostly criminals or shifty. AND a Doctor who was a manipulative bastard. I think at the time BLAKE'S 7 was popular so they turned the Doctor and surrounding characters into cold hearted bastards who manipulate others and use weapons and think nothing of killing or causing killing or death.
Now looking back, now that I know it would change (thank God for Paul's Doctor), I see that there was a niche for this long drawn out type of thing and that there is some merit in it. However, it was less and less like a fun entertaining adventure and more like a chore to follow the New Adventures. Fortunately along the way to the end, LUNGBARROW, there were many, many great books.
Great review mate but...
[QUOTE BY= Chase] Benny was like a poor female version of INDIANA JONES and she was more into drinking than adventures[/QUOTE]
I can't have that - she's my dream woman!
[QUOTE BY= Chase]
Ace? Whatever. Never could stand her in the series and again, I have changed my mind about this and her (still I can't bare her in the awful DRAGONFIRE). I just don't thnk she's a very likable, personable, or realistic character, at least at that time. To me she just grated.
Some good came out of "Dragonfire" - Mel (Bonnie Langford) left the show. That almost made it bearable.
Mel (at the height of her worst) and Ace (at the start of her worst and really really awful here) together were just...totally awful. Thank goodness we had Glitz to even out the terriblness in the companion roles. Ace truly is horrid in this. Mel truly is horrid in this. The two together...can you imagine it if Ace stayed this obnoxious (and trust me IMO she came close to staying this way) and Mel remained with the show? It would have been the worst duo since...the Master was played by ..oh never mind.
Back on to the NA's please?
Timewyrm: Exodus by Terrance Dicks
‘Timewyrm: Exodus’ is a very intriguing read indeed! Set over four different time-periods, the novel sees The Doctor and Ace trying to put history back on course - as they land in a time where the Nazi’s won the Second World War and have control of Britain!
Veteran Doctor Who-stalwart Terrance Dicks paints an excellent picture of what it may have been like if things hadn’t gone the way we know. Each time period is described in vivid detail and the action flows fluently. He goes to great lengths in explaining what had happened in the altnerterne history and even why people’s emotions and reactions towards the Reich had (or had to) changed You’ll struggle to put the book down for a while, take it from someone who (doesn’t have a life, yeah I know) read it in barely two days!
We pick up from where Genesys left off, with The Doctor and Ace tracking the Timewyrm. Although as the novel goes on, we are constantly being twisted and turned in the direction of whether or not it was the Timewyrm that had changed history, or perhaps, it was someone else?
This novel has a number of historical characters that you’ll probably recognise, although I feel that they are very formulaic in how they are portrayed. I would like to have seen a different ‘spin’ on them, to be honest.
There is also a link to a Patrick Troughton story but that’s all I’m going to say! Trying to write this and avoiding spoilers is very hard you know! If I may have been a bit generous with Genesys, I’m not going to be with this one! It’s a top read and you won’t be disappointed.
I totally agree with your review. I really, literally, couldn't put it down. I was so happy the NAs were going this way. Lots of action,lot of moving around time, time involved, historical figures that weren't just there as dressing. The Doctor kept me guessing at what he was doing! A very, very good novel.
Timewyrm: Apocalypse by Nigel Robinson
We are treated to our first ‘off world’ adventure in the third instalment of the New Adventures series, as The Doctor and Ace’s relentless search for the Timewyrm continues.
The pair find themselves on the planet of Kirith, whose residents seem perfect. Everything is provided for them by a mysterious order known as the ‘Panjistri’, who in return only ask for the opportunity to recruit the most talented Kirithons into their order. But something seems wrong, The Doctor keeps slipping into his second incarnation's persona and Ace believes he’s hiding something, about his knowledge of the planet. Add to that, the fact that those Kirithons chosen by the Panjistri are never seen again and forgotten by friends and family, then Ace is right to have her suspicious!
I did find my interest slipping in and out whilst reading this novel. Not that it’s terrible, I just didn’t like the story being constantly broken up with flashbacks to the Second Doctor and the Timewyrm. It spoiled what was otherwise a decent book by Nigel Robinson. His characters were realised very well but the story was just too reference-heavy. These are supposed to be NEW adventures after all!
The plot isn’t that difficult to work out but you get the feeling that it’s trying too hard to match the weirdness of the later McCoy television stories. The more critical fan in you can spot plot holes and ask those ‘WHY’ or ‘WHATS THE POINT IN THAT?’ questions. But I won’t, naturally!
It’s a decent read but it simply doesn’t leave any impression on you at all. I enjoyed reading Genesys and Exodus and I can remember most of those plots. With Apocalypse, I can’t think of any part of it which makes the story memorable. And’s that’s what ultimately makes a good book stand out. But if you’re looking for a good character piece, then this delivers in bucket-loads!
Yeah, I liked this one too. Isn't this the one set at the "almost end of the universe"? It had atmosphere, a scary setting just to be at the end of the universe, and an out of control Doctor who, unless I"m way wrong, is a bastard and sacrificing people. There's also a big bloated but very dangerous monster in a tank, isn't there?
And I do like characterization and didn't feel there were too many past references, certainly not as much as the one with Hitler and one of the Doctor's own.
Also if you were Ace, wouldnt you have already wanted to leave the Doc after what he does to her/you in this story?
I thought this one was very memorable to be honest so I did like it.
The Gallifreyan Embassy - Forum