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Reviews for The Face of the Enemy

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Obvious idea, but well handled

By:Neil Collins, Burnley, UK
Date:Thursday 27 June 2002
Rating:   8

The idea of doing Doctor-less adventures is hardly a new one, indeed it was the subject of the first original Doctor Who novel ever written. However, McIntee handles the concept brilliantly, and the twist on the Master nicely mirrors the Ice Warriors' actions on Peladon. The prescence of Ian and Barbara is also nice although it stretches credibility a little. However, the really interesting idea thrown up by this novel is that of exploring the lives of companions before they met the Doctor, and it is a shame that Harry does not play a bigger role in this novel. At least his prescence is pefectly logical and credible. However, The Face of the Enemy still makes a very satisfying read, and works so well that it is a shame that we can't have more Doctor-less novels.

Cool Book

By:Tom Lingwood, Broseley, Shropshire
Date:Friday 6 December 2002
Rating:   10

The Face of the Enemy is definitely for people who like Doctor Who, especially the Third Doctor’s era. It’s a good book and I highly recommend it. Although the Doctor and Jo appear briefly at the book’s beginning and end, we get appearances from the Brigadier, the Master, Sergeant Benton, Captain Mike Yates, Harry Sullivan, Ian, Barbara, Corporal Bell, Sergeant Osgood and many other characters.

The book is an excellent read. The first part of the book is based on these crime shows like The Sweeney, where the Master is connected to robberies and murders despite the fact he is under lock and key. There is a load of references to TV shows and crime films. The Master even reads On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in one scene!

The last 50 odd pages move to the parallel world from Inferno where the people there have a sinister intention but I won’t spoil things.

When I was reading this book, I imagined the actors (notably the Brigadier, Master and Ian) themselves were reading some of the lines!

David A. McIntee is my favourite Doctor Who author. He tries to sort out UNIT continuity in this book. He says this novel takes place in 1976. I don’t agree. Anyone care to disagree with me?

I wonder why there have been any more of these Doctor-less novels for about 5 years?

Right, I’ll try Mr McIntee’s Frobisher book next!


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

This is such an excellent book. What would UNIT do without the Docor? You'll find out in this one. Great supporting cast of characters from the third Doctor era. It makes you wonder why no-one has published a string of UNIT novels. Well? Anyone up for it?


By:Martin Smith, Tewkesbury
Date:Tuesday 20 November 2007
Rating:   5

Face of the Enemy suggests two interesting premises; what happened to Ian and Barbara when they got back to Earth and what would UNIT do without the Doctor; and somehow manages to fudge them together into one story that almost works, but doesn't.
Ian and Barbara's introduction into UNIT is laboured and unremarkable, leaving me as nonplussed about it all as they were.
The Master's involvement with UNIT is generally more interesting, but it takes far too long to get to it, instead spending much too long following dead-ends involving his criminal organisation.
This reflects the generally bad pacing of the book, which draws out the preamble and squeezes the interesting bits down. Really, it has a very long beginning, a shortened middle and practically no end. There's no real sense of closure here, McIntee just sums a few things up in the Brig's head with a couple of paragraphs in the epilogue, like he'd suddenly reached his page limit.
On top of this, the prose is generally blunt, laboured and tiresome, while the author gets distracted trying to account for the whereabouts of practically everyone ever involved with UNIT in an attempt to mask the flagging plot.
There's a good story in here, somewhere near the end, it just takes an awful lot of work to get to it and enjoy it.

Enemy Be Mine

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Tuesday 18 November 2008
Rating:   7

A Doctor who book without the Doctor is an interesting idea that doesn't quite work. As good as it is having the Brigadier & The Master having the story to themselves (& an excellent idea having Barbra & Ian) I found myself really missing the Doctor & Jo. The sorry is a slow burner that at times feels more like an episode of the Sweeney, but builds up to a good climax before ending suddenly & unsatisfactorily

Best Master story

By:Nick M, Sydney, Australia
Date:Tuesday 3 November 2009
Rating:   10

It's a bit ironic that one of the best Past Doctor adventures does not actually feature the Doctor... But who cares, this is the best Master story yet and he's pure Delgado here!
Old Doctor Who series never presented a coherent 'universe' and all the continuity references in this book help make up for that and were a joy... this book is much more than a sequel to Inferno.
Nice to see Ian and Barbara back... and introducing Harry Sullivan.
Excellent stuff.


By:Matt, Aylesbury
Date:Monday 10 January 2011
Rating:   10

I read this book a few years ago, but I still love the idea behind it - how will UNIT survive without the Doctor? Perfectly well - so long as they involve Ian & Barbara. It's a fascinating tale and well worth people finding on e-bay/Amazon. I love it when the Doctor comes back and is completely oblivious to everything that's gone on.

Very 70s

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Sunday 16 June 2013
Rating:   7

"The Face of the Enemy" is fairly typical McIntee, high on action, low on probability. Alright, this novel is a deliberate fan wank, designed as such, and so pulls off that questionable job admirably enough. The Doctor and Jo are gone, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is left to deal with an alien menace on his own, except that it is not really alien and he doesn't go it alone. Instead, he finds himself recruiting help from Ian and Barbara and the Master. The story itself mixes equal parts of the Sweeney, James Bond, and UFO. I found the inclusion of Ian and Barbara unhelpful, and the story could have proceeded just as well without them. About halfway through, the story shifts focus so that the Master becomes pretty much the protagonist. McIntee writes the Master well enough, getting the Delgado style just right. The plot ticks along nicely, as long as one does not pay too much attention to it, much like its stylistic sources. In general, it is an enjoyable read, if not very deep.

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