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Reviews for The Taking of Planet 5

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Strange and fabulous

By:Siskoid, Moncton, NB
Date:Friday 14 October 2005
Rating:   10

This is a very weird book, but I loved every page of it. The tie-in to Lovecraft is excellent and in keeping with Whovian tradition, but goes to more extremes. The future Timelords and Old One's eye view are really interesting. The unravelling of the TARDIS and subsequent ending are beautifully rendered.

There may be a little too much continuity going on with other EDAs, specifically relating to Alien Bodies and the tv series (Image of the Fendahl), but it didn't cause me any problems.

It's not the first time, but the ideas and imagery really elevates a story that doesn't have that central a participation by the Doctor and his companions. Still, I was totally charmed and devoured it.

Utterly horrid.

By:Mike McGovern , Edmonton, Canada
Date:Thursday 26 January 2006
Rating:   1

This may be the worst written Doctor Who book ever published. Hands-down winner (loser.) The writing is the stodgiest, dullest style I have ever seen, and the characters repelled me with their lack of life and/or sympathetic qualities.
Most distressing is the Doctor himself. In the past, master writers like Terrence Dicks have shown us the lovable, quirky charm of the Doctor, his thoughts, his feelings, his point(s) of view. The writers of "The Taking of Planet 5" never show the Doctor's thoughts at all, making him seem unpleasant, unsympathetic, and just plain irritating.
In this book, the Doctor's friends see him as this weird guy standing around in the background, saying things that nobody can understand, driven by things no sane person can fathom(ie., scientific curiousity), talking in useless, boring technobabble. I thought Doctor Who was all about the magic and the wonder of science. Guess I was wrong.
This book brings Doctor Who to a new low. I actually had to stop reading several times because the technobabble never seemed to end. Most of the time, I couldn't understand what was going on. The writing style was repulsive and difficult to read.
Most damaging of all, I believe, is the utterly horrid introduction this book gives the reader to the writings of genius science-fiction/horror author H.P. Lovecraft. I cannot think of a worse introduction to the ideas of this incredible man.
Lovecraft wrote the kind of vast, humbling narratives which make Tolkien's worlds look small. His primary literary accomplishment is the creation of colossal realms of darkness, in which awesome, terrible things live; alien entities, gods perhaps, which have left their mark upon the Earth in wild, scientifically remote regions. Vast, deserted cities built by the gods still exist in the world, in places that humans are only starting to investigate.
Hidden beneath the ocean, or deep beneath the ground, the vast powers live on, unleashed occasionally by the unwise probing of man's scientific investigation.
Lovecraft saw mankind as a tiny island in the dark, an accident of evolution, and he maintained that if humans ever found out the truth, we would almost certainly go mad.
This Doctor Who book was my first encounter with the ideas of Lovecraft, and it completely turned me against the man. Since this book is so boring, so badly written, so indescribably dull in every sense of the word, I thought that the source material, ie. Lovecraft's work, must be equally dull. I avoided Lovecraft for many years, all based on this stupid, stupid book. I could not have been more wrong.
Lovecraft's work is the very essence of everything that makes Doctor Who great, and far more. I have never yet seen a Doctor Who story that can threaten with the kind of cosmic vastness of Lovecraft's nightmare visions. Like the Doctor, Lovecraft considered himself a gentleman of science, and his work therefore has a cold scientific dignity, convincing and unforgettably real.
The authors of "Planet 5" completely fail to capture anything whatsoever of the style or the dignity of Lovecraft, leaving us with slim pickings indeed. A few of Lovecraft's monsters make an appearance, although what they are and what they truly represent are never effectively explained. Most of what goes on in the book is boring, or confusing, or both. Usually both.
I will never forgive these authors for being terrible writers, nor will I forgive them for damaging my emerging view of Lovecraft. I have seen a number of stories based on Lovecraft's work, one by Stephen King even, and every one of them has failed to capture the spirit of the man. It seems that the only one who could write like Lovecraft was Lovecraft. His style is unique.
Simon Bucher-Jones and Mark Clapham appear to have ripped off a number of Lovecraft's stories for this book, cheapening them in the process. Most notably is his legendary "At The Mountains of Madness," a true classic of science fiction and horror. My learned advice would be to read that book rather then this one.
Save yourself for the horror rather than the boredom.

Poor start, great book

By:simon, bristol
Date:Monday 23 April 2007
Rating:   9

It takes a while to get going, but this is a gripping read. The first few chapters, however, are full of too many continuity references which are unnecessary and distracting. However, once these are out of their system the true power of the novel is felt.

The Doctor entering his own future, not wanting to know, but not being able to avoid interfering is a genuinely new idea (the poor excuse for a story that is the Trial of a Timelord is simply not coherent enough to merit the title of 'idea'). Future timelords are frightening entities, and the Doctor has become a legend. It is brilliantly done. A terrific novel, but only once it gets going.

Awesome & Enjoyable

By:Terry Lightfoot, California
Date:Monday 19 January 2009
Rating:   10

Terrific gripping story, slow beginning yes, as there is a long set up, but eventually the story picks up speed and keeps up a few different, fascinating plotlines. The far future of the Time Lords, a time war(oh Noes! coincidence Russel T. Davies? -I think not) How TARDISes are grown,How they think, etc. Too many fascinating ideas and lots of adventure! VERY satisfying.

Good start turning to utter drivel

By:Clive T Wright, St Lawrence, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 25 September 2011
Rating:   1

Starting off as a strange but enjoyable plot which weaves the strangeness of love craft into a complex story. But this strangeness quickly just feels like rambling madness the huge plot recreating a new universe,world which seems to turn everything on it's head but feels unbelievable.

After a while so many super human creatures with tentacles who can't die just leaves you with a sense of total confusion, as the Dr and his companions seem to escape death at the hands of these impossible beings far too often.

The worst 8th Dr book I've ever read.

The Worst.

By:Joseph Kemp, Killem, Canada
Date:Tuesday 18 October 2011
Rating:   1

What a tasteless jumble. I don't even know what was happening here. Too much information, all the time. No suspense.

Weird. But not entertaining.

No atmosphere. No pacing. Too many references that hold no weight. Unless you've read A LOT of H. P. Lovecraft, none of them make any sense.

What was this about?

By:Emma Bowman, Sydney, Australia
Date:Sunday 18 November 2012
Rating:   1

I am not even sure what the point of this novel was, the plot was such a confusing mess, no matter how I tried to figure it out I still had no idea what had happened. I don't know how a book like this gets through the editing process, let alone gets published. Horrendous drivel not fit to bear the Doctor Who logo. Zero stars!

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