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Reviews for Deadly Reunion

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Is it boring or excellent?

By:Gordon, Oldham, Lancs. UK
Date:Monday 10 January 2005
Rating:   7

This effort is definitely a two-hander. I'm no expert, but it seems to me that barry Letts wrote the first half and tacked it onto Terrence Dick's second half. I don't know if this is actually the case or not, but the first half about Lethbridge Stuart's Early Military life is quite boring. With better writing (and better aliens) it could have been much more interesting. The second half is more like the third Doctor stories we know & love except were still stuck with those boring aliens! Only buy it if you're a third Doctor fan and then take it with a BIG pinch of salt.

1st part terrible, 2nd part Glorious!

By:Mike McGovern , Edmonton, Alberta
Date:Thursday 16 February 2006
Rating:   10

Amazing! Wonderful! Full-blooded English adventure! ...The second part, anyway. Well worth the boring first section!

My advice: skip the first section of this book entirely. It was evidently written by Barry Letts, and it isn't very interesting. Go right the second part, undoubtably written by the great Terrence Dicks. It grabs hold with style and it won't let go!

Once again, Terrence Dicks shows himself to be the master of the Master, and of the printed word. The second part of this book is everything a dear, old-fashioned Doctor Who adventure should be, with a quiet, sleepy English village - quite charming on the surface - and strange, mysterious goings-on below the threshold. The third Doctor is absolutely magnificent once again, taken in new directions by Terrence, who appears to enjoy experimenting with the character.

Terrence expands the Doctor's range of abilities in a way that most other Who authors simply don't do.

For example, when confronted by a slavering, hostile dog, the Doctor subdues him simply by a powerful command of will, playing off the fact that dogs always look up to the strongest alpha in the area. It's a brilliant pschological trick, revealing a very nice dog, who had simply been treated unkindly by its owner.

Also, near the beginning, the Doctor reveals to Joe Grant what it really takes to achieve enlightenment. Wonderful little detail.

The rest of the story simply speeds delightfully by. The Master puts in an appearance, up to his old tricks again, with a new twist. The dear old Brigadier faces the usual frustration and mayhem that follows the Doctor about, and Mike Yates and Sergeant Benton give their best to solve their own particular part of the mystery.

UNIT once more brings out all the heavy artillary, but thankfully, I don't think very many people get hurt.

The ending is a little odd, but appropriate. It is a perfect deux et machina finale, which may seem a little cheap to some. But given that the most powerful characters in the book are Greek gods, literally, I can easily live with it, since deux et machina endings come from the Greek theater tradition. After such a superb story, I really don't care.

The last little bit with the Master is perfectly in character, too. Marvellous.

The first section by Barry Letts is dreadful. An utter washout. Don't even bother reading it. It's the only bad thing about a superb, superb book.

Bad beginnig aside, this certainly deserves a ten out of ten!

Two storys too diffrent

By:Jeremy Brunton, Brisbane Aus
Date:Wednesday 24 February 2010
Rating:   5

As previous people mentioned this is obviously a two part combined effort.
While most seemed to prefer the second half I found both fairly entertaining in their own ways.
And that's the rub, both story's were so different.
I found the first half very detailed and the characters were very 3d and the aliens/gods seemed to care about the humans.
But by the second half (the half that had the doctor in by the way) it all seemed adventure story first characters second,the aliens didn't seem to give much of a toss any more.
the villain of the piece was hardly seen and the Master seemed to be tossed in for good measure.
The Brigadiers reuniting had a very wizard of OZ "and I liked you best of all scarecrow" feel and the passion in the fast half had drained completely away.
The first part was a fair character story and the last part would have made a fair target books style story but the two just didn't seem to combine to make one good story.

Doctor Who and the Greek Gods (sort of)

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 21 April 2014
Rating:   6

This novel is a two-part item, with the appearance that Barry Letts wrote part 1 and Terrance Dicks wrote part 2. I suspect, however, that Dicks wrote much of part 1 as well. The plot begins shortly after WWII with a young Lt. Lethbridge-Stewart getting involved with some nearly immortal aliens who used to pose as Greek gods. Now "Hades" has decided he wants to take over the world, but must do so according to the rules of being Hades. Lt. Lethbridge-Stewart and one of the immortals fall in love, but to save the world must pass through the river of forgetfulness. Flash forward to the 1970s and Mike Yates investigating a series of mysterious occurrences in which ordinary people go murderously mad, and Jo Grant trying to score some tickets to a rock music festival. Of course, these two seemingly unrelated matters are in fact connected, and relate to Hades' latest attempt to take over the world. Oh, and the Master is around. Much of part 2 reads like a revision of "The Daemons."

Whatever one might say about Terrance Dicks as a writer, one must conclude that for pacing there are few better. The novel breezes right along and one hardly notices how many pages one has read. Dicks also has a great ear for the way people talk, and his dialogue all fits smoothly with the characters. In my imagination, I could hear the actors saying these lines. Though the characterization is not deep, it is never off the mark, so that one does not find characters ever implausibly "out of character." And Dicks really strengthens Benton as a character, making him capable and definitely part of the team.

The flaws in the novel to me center upon the main premise. It is principally the same problem as in "The Time Monster." Are these gods or not? Just what are their powers? What are the sources of their powers? The unresolved nature of these beings just hangs over the whole thing. Also, Hades, what little we see of him, is not all that terrifying as a villain. If he is so godlike powerful, why is it that he cannot simply destroy the Doctor and the Brigadier instead of just trying to frighten them away? And the solution to the Hades problem is literally deus ex machina twice. Could the writers not summon up some other way of handling the matter?

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