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The Reading of Justice

By:Tom Lingwood, Broseley, Shropshire
Date:Monday 1 July 2002
Rating:   10

This is my second favourite Missing Adventure (my first being The Shadow of Weng-Chiang). The Scales of Injustice is a Doctor Who crossover between James Bond and The X-Files. This book captures the era of season 7 superbly.

The story sees a schoolboy going missing and a policewoman starts drawing cave drawings. The Doctor links this to homo reptilia and must track down these reptiles. Behind this plot is a conspiracy called C19 who want to exploit UNIT’s achievements. Meanwhile, the Brigadier has crises to deal with on his own.

This follows on from Doctor Who and the Silurians and the book is back full of action. There are 7 chapters, all of which are episodes, to follow the trend of season 7. We see scenes not shown on TV, such as the Brigadier and his wife Fiona and the breakdown of their marriage. Their daughter Kate, who appears in this book, also appears in Downtime. We also see Liz Shaw leaving (which was never shown on TV), although she comes back for the BBC book The Devil Goblins of Neptune. In Episode 7, the Doctor is being taken around C19, where he sees many objects from his adventures on Earth and many alien victims. The question I ask is how come C19 have George Hibbert’s (Spearhead From Space) body? He was vaporised.

Gary Russell continues these themes in Business Unusual and The Instruments of Darkness, both BBC books, his trilogy. The Scales of Injustice is an enjoyable, powerful tale, which fits in well with season 7 and could have worked well on TV.



Trying To Fix A Story

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 10 February 2005
Rating:   7

"The Silurians" is one of the better Who stories, though it has many notable flaws, especially in the science. Gary Russell has attempted to fix some of these flaws while not going too far away from the original story. The novel is designed to explain Liz Shaw's reasons for leaving UNIT; therefore, she gets a very central role in the story. Russell has striven to keep the mood and style of Pertwee's first season, and succeeds in that. At the same time, since the novel form is unrestrained by budget, Russell takes the opportunity to write in many complexities and scenes that never would have made the TV series. This novel also provides the basis and backstory for Russell's later novel "Business Unusual." The weakness of the book (apart from that explained below) is that the Doctor's role is greatly reduced. For much of the novel, he is mostly a bystander, ineffecively outraged while he watches a society self-destruct. Remove the Doctor, and pretty much everything that happens here would have happened the way it happened anyway, a bit like "Warriors Of The Deep."

Apparently, the editors at Virgin thought that it would be a good idea to have all the UNIT officers advance from the ranks, contravening all standards and protocols in the British Military. Thus, we improbably get a "Sergeant" Mike Yates and hints of a "Private" Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. Of course, this turn of events is utterly preposterous. Both Yates and Lethbridge-Stewart are clearly among the educated officer class, and always were. Lethbridge-Stewart, in particular, would have been officer corps from his school days, perhaps even having a military family history. Yates strikes me as recruited from university. I got over the problem of "Sergeant" Yates simply by rereading it as "Captain."




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