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This is an okay Fifth Doctor story. The guy on the series would have picked up a dead soldier's gun and shot the nearest monster, blown the smoking tip of the barrel and said, 'I never miss'. Or at least told the troops to 'concentrate your fire/aim for the eye piece, etc' so they could win. Here he just gets bitten and passes out for a few chapters.
The weak portrayal on the dashing young heroic Doctor in the books always bothers me. Has no one watched Earthshock, I ask? But despite this, the book is quite well written and easy to read. It's tone is less derisive than Gary Russell (Adric's pathetic need to explore got them into trouble! Huh? Dr.Who is about a hero who's need to explore gets everyone around him and himself into trouble, isn't it?).
The setting of a seaside town is pleasant, reminds me of Planet Of Fire. The plot of people turning into huge monsters is good. But the story has no twists or surprises and becomes very repetitive after it gets going. The sheer gore of dismembered bodies and blood all over walls and floors seems a bit much though, like a splatter movie and it clashes with the feel of the book and Who in general. The series had suspense and death, but never a blood bath. The plot is the real let down. On TV the aliens spoke, that was the cool thing and the unique thing about Dr. Who. Weird alien monsters spoke intelligently instead of eating people on Dr.Who. In Trek it was only the humanoids who spoke. But the Doc in the books rarely has a conversation with the baddies. Here he confronts the alien force behind it all only in the last few pages and the resolution is rather simple, more like a short story plot. So, its not horrible to suffer through like Zeta Major or as crass as Divided Loyalties, but it comes off as just a bit average. Pity, as it had potential for more than that. But as a Dr. Who horror story with monsters and soldiers, its okay.
|By:||Stephen Carlin, Bangor, Northern Ireland|
|Date:||Friday 14 May 2004|
|Rating: || 4|
The book begins quite promisingly as the crew of a fishing ship haul something nasty on board their ship. From that point on the book slowly deteriorates. What could have been an intriguing story slides down towards a disappointing finale.
Mike Yates is in Tayborough Sands (a few months after the events at Global Chemicals) when the fishing boat is found, its crew dead - most of them torn apart. The arrival of the 5th Doctor, Tegan and Turlough assures him that a solution will soon be found. The other UNIT stalwarts soon arrive to try and sort out the situation as inexplicable violence grips the population of the seaside resort.
The Doctor's preoccupation and secrecy regarding his telepathic contact with the menace drives Tegan away to find her own space - she meets a pleasant young policeman and they start to get close. Yes, you've guessed it...tragedy cannot be far away.
And that's one of the problems with this book. Some of the characters are potentially good but are quickly wasted. The young girl that Mike takes care off disappears for a sizeable portion of the book.
The Xaranti could have been an interesting foe but too much of the book seems to concentrate on people being torn apart or key characters transforming (very slowly). Of course, this is a personal opinion but its formed from "hindsight" ie knowing that certain characters will be all right.
As to continuity - for UNIT the events of The Time Warrior have yet to take place - Turlough ponders at one point why the Brigadier does not recognise him when he meets Turlough later in his life. Surely Turlough recalls the memory "wiping" in Mawdryn Undead, he was there after all?
Its not a bad book, its enjoyable, but it leaves you wishing that it had been tightened up in some places, polished in others and with a bit more time spent with other characters and other situations developed better. At least its better than the TV story which preceded it - Warriors of the Deep.
|By:||David Layton, Los Angeles, United States|
|Date:||Wednesday 18 January 2006|
|Rating: || 5|
"Deep Blue" might have been a good novel had there been at least one more serious go-round at editing. In particular, if the fan wank stuff were removed and the story told without all the intertextual references, it would have worked quite well. The premise is typical Doctor Who. There is an alien menace out for blood (lots of it) and attacking a small town of no consequence (a beach resort). The problems begin when we start with UNIT in the 1970s, but have Doctor 5 instead of Doctor 3 dealing with the crisis. This sets up a number of needless complications that get in the way of the story, such as the necessity for the Brigadier to forget that he meets Tegan now, so that he can be "introduced" to her in "Mawdryn Undead." Finally, the resolution is just plain silly. (Attention: Spoiler). The idea that people are turning into alien killers simply because of some psychic "virus" just makes little sense, and ranks with the various pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo nonsense explanations handed to us by Dave Martin and Bob Baker. Serious editing could have fixed all these problems and made this a very good novel.
|By:||Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom|
|Date:||Saturday 11 July 2009|
|Rating: || 8|
I was drawn to this book as I had met Mark Morris in Nottingham recently.
This is a really well written exciting book with a pleasing old time four parter with cliff hangers. The ending felt a bit rushed but other than that highly recommended.