Chase - Posted on 14 June 2009

This novel, after the awfulness of the let's make fun of theTOMORROW PEOPLE bit of VERDIGRIS (with the really badly prsented Iris WIldthyme or whatever she's called), this Third Doctor story is refereshing. The Third didn't often get to travel and when he did, didn't often get to travel into the past. THE TIME WARRIOR, the Atlantis bits in THE TIME MONSTER, and you might just count some of the ship scenes in CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS and that's about it. He's not really had a pure historical adventure. WAGES OF SIN is it.

I love the fact that Liz and Jo get to meet and both travel with him to the past. Jo almost never did and Liz never did at all. In fact, if you count just the tv series Liz never traveled in the TARDIS at all. She did, however, get to drive Bessie but that's antoher story. Here, the pair of them find themselves marooned in 1916 Russia with Rasputin after one or the other of them. Rasputin: it's hard not to think of Tom Baker as Rasputin, well one because his image is on the cover as Rasputin and two, he played him in some overblown but highly well done movie NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA possibly.

I'm no historian but the history of this book has certain flair and atmosphere. The characters seem to talk like they would if this were the past. Liz seems more adept at this than Jo does but the two of them interact well together and as it seems, Jo is more correct about Rasputin than Liz is, he's just a man who lost his son and drnks a great deal ( a perfect role for Tom Baker!), not a master evil genius manipulator but he is brutally direct. The Third Doctor has some amazing scenes, especially at Rasputin's drowning. In fact, the scene of him lookng on at the frozen and somewhat still alive Rasputin is rather disturbing and unforgettable. He could save him...but does'nt.

For some reason, those above, and others I can't recall, pehaps the cover and the unique positions this occupies in DW history, I just love this novel...    one of the only worthy Third Doctor novels

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