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Gatiss and Genre Culture

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Saturday 22 April 2017
Rating:   7

"Nightshade" is an audio adaptation of the novel by Mark Gatiss. The story takes place in a small Yorkshire village where the retired actor who once played Professor Nightshade on TV now lives and where a new space research station has been built on top of the remains of an old castle and quarry with a spooky history. Something is invading people's dreams and recreating their fears. The Doctor and Ace arrive and The Doctor tells Ace over breakfast that he wants to retire. Much of part one, then, revolves around repeated incentives for The Doctor to get involved and The Doctor's agonizing quandary that if he does get involved, then he cannot retire. Professor Nightshade is not meant to represent Doctor Who as much as it is Professor Quatermass. The story of "Nightshade" has very much the sensibility of a Quatermass adventure. It is all part of Mark Gatiss's love affair with genre media of any sort. And typical of Gatiss's writing, there are many winks and nods to fans of the things he is a fan of. It's not deep.

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