I have been 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; the first dozen were reviewed here. Without further ado here are The Placebo Effect through to Autumn Mist.
The second batch of twelve
|13||Placebo Effect||Gary Russell||Maybe||Integrates two characters from comic strips and brings back the Wirrn. Other intrigues going on but in places this didn’t work for me such as Sam and the religious order|
|14||Vanderedeken’s Children||Christopher Bulis||Miss||A complex story of a lost ship and two warring races. Some good writing but the story got confused for me|
|15||The Scarlett Empress||Paul Magrs||Hit||Epic (and long) this is the story that gave us Iris Wildthyme. A massive romp that de constructs the myth of the doctor and is massive value. And I don’t always like Paul Magrs so it must be good|
|16||The Janus Conjunction||Trevor Baxendale||Maybe||Two worlds separated in space but joined by alien tech. Radiation and mad warriors made a good setup but this is one where Sam starts to get hurt a lot (and ‘dies’ barring a time trick). Not sure|
|17||Beltempest||Jim Mortimer||Miss||I found this hard to follow and although it is only nano-tech Sam’s physical transformation and brief immortality feels to me like yet more torture for Sam and I felt the end just turned fantasy into fiction in a sweep|
|18||The Face-Eater||Simon Messingham||Maybe||Well written human colony in peril and humanity at its worst with horror elements. Again Sam is nearly killed many times and the Doctor is confusingly written|
|19||The Taint||Michael Collier||Maybe||And here comes Fitz Kreiner and at last the Doctor gets somebody else to relate to. Set near the time of Unearthly Child, I found the Taint themselves (invisible psychic bed bugs?) unpleasant. The tale of a doctor experimenting on a select group who rise up with evil powers was well put together|
|20||Demontage||Justin Richards||Hit||A great tale in which Fitz gets to be James Bond (badly), we have strange paintings, two races at war, casinos and references back to the fourth Doctor. A great romp|
|21||Revolution Man||Paul Leonard||Maybe||It’s the 60s and mind altering drugs give the power to change the world or at least the minds of those in it. Fitz leaves for love for two years (or chapters in the timeline of Same and the Doctor) and everything gets sown up via a dodgy use of violence at the end|
|22||Dominion||Nick Walters||Miss||A strange Swedish tale overlapping with a UNIT base (though more Forge is you ask me, maybe an influence) and a hole in time that reduced the TARDIS to a grey cube but not quite and just in time it all gets sorted. Meantime Sam and Fitz get to visit a microcosm and which it all get destroyed. Hard work I’m afraid|
|23||Unnatural History||Kate Orman and Jonathan Blum||Maybe||And now we get dark-haired Sam, San Francisco, Faction Paradox, sex and trans-dimensional aliens. Although passing through dark-haired Sam to me seems better written and believable than blonde Sam and maybe that is the point. Not sure about the Faction Paradox yet|
|24||Autumn Mist||David A. McIntee||Miss||Nazis and the Philadelphia experiment with some great dilemma for Fitz given his half-German descent. Same asks to leave at the end and for me this is about time.The tale was taken too far, I felt, by the introduction of the elves. Oh and Sam got killed again!|
Sam continues to bother me – she almost exists to get beaten, infected, killed, irradiated, killed again and shot (oh and burnt). This is too much and I found it hard to accept that would hang around as long as she has.
Fitz has sneaked up on me and I now need to re-listen to Company of Friends. He gives the Doctor a less complicated relationship which both seem to need. He respects the time lord but will stay behind or find his own path.
Beyond that well done Paul Magrs for Iris!