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Cat's Cradle: Times Crucible (New Doctor Who Adventures) Paperback – 20 Feb 1992

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dr Who; paperback / softback edition (20 Feb. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0426203658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0426203650
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 457,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A story featuring the further adventures of the time traveller Dr Who, as he journeys through time and space with a variety of companions.

Customer Reviews

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By craig madder on 4 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this to be a very complex and fast-paced book with all the characters and the mystery of the Doctor plus the city they all find themselves in. Ace is lost and as she searches the city she finds a complex city. Ace is portrayed as a more mature person and there are moments where she is put through a lot. Overall it is an excellent start to the trilogy
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 22 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
Like the previous reviewer I found this book to be very fast-paced and quite frantic. A convincing 'slimy monster' and continued development of Ace made this more enjoyable. Overall all though I would rate this as an an 'efficient' addition to the New adventures series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The past and the present in collision 13 April 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
With the TARDIS under attack, the unexpected collision with an early time vessel from Gallifrey's past seemingly destroys the TARDIS and Ace awakes in a strange city under attack from a thing known as "the Process"...
Written by Marc Platt, probably best known to Doctor Who fans as the scripter of the late classic 'Ghost Light', this book is the first in the very loose Cat's Cradle trilogy and features a substantial look at the prehistory of Gallifrey, the Doctor's home planet.
Reasonably complicated in structure (the behaviour of some of the characters is determined by complicated matters that become plainer towards the end of the book), it helps fill out the background of the Doctor's people while involving the Doctor and Ace in a seriously threatening adventure.
All in all, a worthwhile read, but it requires concentration.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Complexity that never fully pays off 10 Jan. 2002
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on
Format: Paperback
Marc Platt's previous entry into the Doctor Who canon was 1989's GHOST LIGHT, a story so squashed into the available time allotted, that much of it seemed confusing upon the first watch. Subsequent viewings made the material easier to understand, revealing a story in which virtually none of the action is wasted. In "Ghost Light" there's hardly a single line of the story that isn't vital.
The difference between that story and CAT'S CRADLE: TIME'S CRUCIBLE couldn't be any greater. Because of the strict time limits imposed on the television episodes, GHOST LIGHT ended up being boiled down to its barest essential elements. On the other hand, freed from those constraints, TIME'S CRUCIBLE grows into a massive sprawling work that spans literally millions of years, through the history of the Time Lords, from the beginnings of Gallifreyian time travel to the journeys and origins of the Doctor. The book suffers from an incredible lack of focus, and this is a pity because there are a lot of very interesting ideas present, that if executed properly would have resulted in a much more satisfying story.
The plot is intensely complicated. Unfortunately, the complexity doesn't necessarily mean good, and the payoff at the end isn't especially rewarding. If you have the guts to make it all the way to the ending, you'll find that the conclusion and explanations are worth it, but only barely. It all makes sense (apart from one or two minor problems that I noticed) but when one reaches the ending, one wonders why we had to go through such an elaborate process to get to it. It feels complicated, not because the story had to be, but because the author just felt like making it convoluted simply for the sheer sake of it.
The story somewhat centers around several survivors from a wrecked experimental time vessel that had crashed into the TARDIS. The poor characterization, and unsure prose style meant that I had a lot of trouble keeping track of which person was which. After a few pages they all seemed to melt into the same puzzlingly enigmatic character. This was quite annoying as there was a great opportunity here to explore the characters as they appeared and reappeared in different stages of their lives.
It's frustrating when one sees good ideas go to waste, and TIME'S CRUCIBLE falls into that trap. There are some very interesting concepts here that never really get close to fulfilling their potential. The setting is excellent and the descriptions of the dead and decaying city are very effective. The passages dealing with the apparent destruction of the TARDIS convey a sense of impending doom quite well. Ace's reactions to the story unfolding around her are handled interestingly. Some of the sequences set on Ancient Gallifrey feel quite epic. All of these things make for fascinating reading, but the problem is that they simply don't work well together. As individual set pieces they are engaging, but the momentum keeps getting lost somewhere. The gaps between the exciting parts are simply plodding and dull.
This should have been a much better story than it ended up being. There are a lot of fabulous ideas and the central concept is quite an intriguing one. The problem is simply the poor execution. If there had been some major editing to remove all the dull, incoherent parts, and to tighten up the pacing, the book could have been very much improved. The ending really needed something with enough impact to make the sitting reader bolt upright and shout, "Oh, so that's what was going on! That was incredible!" Unfortunately, the result was the reader having a yawn, a stretch, and mumbling, "Oh, so that's what was going on. Well, that all makes sense, but so what?"
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