I have recently started reading the Eighth Doctor Adventures, the series of spin-off novels produced by the BBC that ran from 1997 to 2005. I have decided to produce some micro-reviews as I go through mostly so I remember what I thoughts as I read them, there being no real chance I will ever be able to tell them apart by the time I reach #73! Once I reach the end of the Samantha Jones arc I may well allow myself the space to think about her in the round.
I have decided to review them in dozens as that seems an appropriate level of chunkiness. Without further ado here are The Eight Doctors through to Seeing I.
The first twelve
|1||The Eight Doctors||Terrence Dicks||Maybe||Although brave in that it finagles all the Doctors into one tale, I felt it tried too hard and the intrinsic paradoxes too much to handle. It did make a decent fist at explaining some of the discontinuities that happened in the The Movie|
|2||Vampire Science||Kate Orman and Jonathan Blum||HIT||The first real story for Samantha Jones with this tale of vampires in the USA. The Sam fancies the Doctor motif kicks in straight away and I did find that irritating; the novel is redeemed though by memorial scenes (the non Grace Holloway medic and the vampire leader having many) culminating in the Doctor defeating the vampires. Unlike the previous tale this is the Eighth Doctor|
|3||The Body Snatchers||Mark Morris||HIT||An historical tale that links in both Zygons (and this is referenced back by Big Finish apparently in the Zygon who fell to Earth) and Professor Litefoot. Although the Jago & Litefoot link didn’t do much for me (I hardly remember Talons of Weng-Chiang) this Dickensian London is real home territory for any Doctor and this story is very good|
|4||Genocide||Paul Leonard||Maybe||An appearance from Jo Grant and a temporal paradox involving the human race having been wiped out by a ‘better’ species. Interesting for Sam given her eco-warrior traits|
|5||War of the Daleks||John Peel||HIT||A great Dalek tale that helps patch Remembrance of the Daleks back into the canon and does a reasonable job. Skaro is un-destroyed and Davros is back, what more could we want!|
|6||Alien Bodies||Lawrence Miles||Maybe||A manic introduction and the appearance of the Faction Paradox and the introduction of the complications of Sam’s timeline. For me the jury is out though the writing is decent|
|7||Kursaal||Peter Anghelides||Maybe||A tale of werewolves set at two different times on a pleasure world in the process of being built. Sam gets to join with the protesters and also become a werewolf. This starts a theme of Sam gets all bit killed / transmuted but gets saved just at the end|
|8||Option Lock||Justin Richards||HIT||A mysterious country house, visions, spies and astronauts mixed with a cult that was started by an alien crash landing. I enjoyed this a lot|
|9||Longest Day||Micheal Collier||MISS||A complicated tale of a complicated planet split into time-zones used as a dumping ground. It seems to end with the Doctor dead so Sam leaves him behind which is the start of a ‘Doctor looks for Sam’ arc. I found the aliens unconvincing and the supposedly core story of rebels didn’t feel well worked in|
|10||Legacy of the Daleks||John Peel||HIT||A great Dalek tale that I review here and bemoan the impact it has on canon|
|11||Dreamstone Moon||John Leonard||Maybe||Sam and the Doctor nearly get back together on this tale of mining, warriors and alien life forms. Sam is still not happy about leaving the Doctor and this is another story where I felt she was not well written as an evolving character. We also have a cat dropped in as a plot device|
|12||Seeing I||Kate Orman and Jonathan Blum||Maybe||Another story of Sam and the Doctor apart, this time Sam spends some years helping out in a ‘project’ fulfilling some of her eco-warrior cravings and has some relationships. Meantime the Doctor is a prisoner in a prison he can’t escape from! Via a dodgy cat Sam gets led to the TARDIS rescues the Doctor and all is mostly well. The downside for the Doctor is that he has tasted imprisonment and what he felt was defeat. Still Sam ends up back with the Doctor|
John Peel writes a great Dalek story; it has taken me a while to care about Sam Jones though maybe I want to see the Faction Paradox come back. Overall stories with edge, a recognisable Eighth Doctor I can reconcile with the Big Finish.
Worst for me is how inconsistently Sam is written and how she often doesn’t sound as I imagine a 17 year old girl to sound (most authors not being that probably doesn’t help!).