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Reviews for Catastrophea

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Catastrophe? Bloody Marvellous!

By:Xantos, London
Date:Saturday 11 September 2004
Rating:   8

When if first picked up Catastrophea i looked at the back and saw that it was £4.99, so there i admit it i brought it because it was cheap but when i read the blur it attracted me even more so i dug into my pocket to find a scrunched up fiver and took a chance.
When i arrived home i picked up and began to read...and read...and read...and read.
Untill i could read no more, there's something about that just makes you not want to put it down.
Terrance dicks is one of my favourite authors (along with Mike Tucker), especially when he's writing for one of his favourite Doctor's.
I know i haven't actually spoke much about the actual story but i want to leave you intrigued and read the book!
So dig out your fiver and go to your local bookshop, NOW!!!

My life at your command

By:Tom webster , London
Date:Sunday 23 January 2005
Rating:   8

When I finsihed reading the blurb I thought it sounded rubbish (truth), however I decided to read it, mainly because it was written by Terrance Dicks and I'm now glad I did read it. It's a book where nothing really happens and the story line isn't that clever either. What really made me like this book was it's excellent characterisation of the doctor and Jo grant. The writing is also a fantastic example of what Dicks can do. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable book throughout.

The Dicksian proves his class

By:Paul Speake, Wakefield
Date:Friday 11 February 2005
Rating:   7

The plots a bit thin and some of characters not up to much but Dicks still pulls off a decent read. He's always been good with Pertwee so I never doubted this one - worth a go!

Very Good, A typical Pertwee Adventure

By:Dan Mould, Feltham, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 24 August 2014
Rating:   8

This book is placed after Planet of the Daleks and flows excellently, with Terrance Dicks's writing casting your mind off to a jungle world that seems a cross between Spiridon with its strange plant and animal life, whilst also encapsulating the deity aspect from Face of Evil, The Aztecs etc. The book answers a lot of questions left over from Frontier in Space, such as the Doctor's rank on Draconia & elaborating on the Draconians' view of the Doctor & the state of the tense relations existing with Earth. Overall, Dicks delivers a strong, suspensive tale that delivers with a well driven plot that leaves you wanting more. A must read for any Pertwee era fans.

Perhaps Dicks' Best Novel

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Sunday 5 April 2015
Rating:   8

"Catastrophea" starts in a disappointingly routine way, but once the Doctor and Jo are on planet, the plot picks up marvelously and just races through to a generally satisfying end. Of course, pace is one of Dicks' strengths. A reader does not realize just how far along he/she has gotten until the reader looks at the page number and sees the advancement. The story itself presents the Doctor with an insoluble problem. The plot itself raises issues that are central to Dicks' concerns - colonialism, political unrest, environmentalism, and international (or interplanetary in this case) politics. We might think of this novel as a bit like what would happen if Joseph Conrad wrote for Doctor Who. Catastrophea is a planet in trouble. Basically a jungle world, humans have set up a rough colony that runs by more or less enslaving the local population, a species of humanoids that act much like elephants - large, strong, placid, pliable, but occasionally going berserk. The corporation that runs the colony has been overly exploitative, leaving a fractured system of local landlords in control. The planet is also home to the only source of a highly addictive illegal drug. The situation has attracted numerous young do-gooders who have no clue about how to organize and actually get any reforms done. Earth authorities have now sent the military and a representative to clean up the situation, but they are not having much success. And, to top it off, the colony is under blockade by a group of glory-seeking Draconians. This is just the basic situation. Add to this that the People, the natives, are not what they seem, and that a looming catastrophe to them means potential destruction of everyone, and you have a truly complicated problem any solution to which will not benefit everyone equally. There is no one person, not even the Doctor, who could make all of it turn out right. Some of the weaknesses are that the smugglers are fairly clichd, providing a handy plot complication but otherwise inessential; the running joke about Rik's bar gets tiresome; and the Draconians probably should have had a stronger presence in the plot. These problems aside, "Catastrophea" is a good read with the right amount of ethical ambiguity in the right places and a realistic outlook on political problems.

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