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|Steve Hauley, Milton Keynes
|Friday 4 September 2009
Very clever how the 2 seemingly unlinked stories come to together at the end and make perfect sense.
|Before He Was "The" Doctor
|David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
|Friday 12 March 2010
Tara Samms is, as most by now know, really Stephen Cole. The novel is an interesting mix of Doctor Who and Philip K. Dick. The Doctor and Susan some time prior to "An Unearthly Child" but very soon after their escape from Gallifrey, land on a colony planet in trouble. The two get split up, hence the two types of stories. Susan finds herself trapped in a weird world that seems to be the construct of a girl named Jill. The Doctor, separated from Susan, tries to find her, but gets corralled into trying to save the colony from falling totally apart. The Susan half is the Philip K. Dick part, providing a "what is reality, anyway?" story, and the Doctor half presents us with the idea that these events lead the Doctor to become the interventionist he will be. Characters in the novel are difficult to like. I figured out what was going on long before other characters did, and I assume most readers will have a similar experience. The novel has an interesting concept and certainly gives early Doctor Who a contemporary science fiction makeover. Think of Neal Stephenson writing Doctor Who and you may get the sense of what this story is about.
|Frayed patience at times...
|Chris Arnold, Bundaberg, Australia
|Tuesday 8 May 2012
As an experimental piece of Doctor Who writing this just about works. I found it hard to connect with the alien environment of the colony. Although filled with clever ideas I wasn't enamoured with the dream sequence chapters. Susan was also drastically underused.
The horrific imagery was one of the highlights and I also enjoyed the characterisation of the Doctor. Some of the colonists were also quite memorable, quite a feat within the shorter word count. The climax came together quite well but the aliens were too ethereal for much of the novel.
I'm not sure this style of writing could be sustained for a full length novel, so overall the shorter length was well utilised. There are some deep themes here that are worthy of exploration. I'm just not sure I really 'got' the gist of it all.