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Doctor Who: Plague of the Cybermen Paperback – 31 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (31 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849908923
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849908924
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Justin Richards has written more books than he can remember. He has also written audio scripts, television, a stage play, edited anthologies of short stories, been a technical writer, and founded and edited a media journal.
Justin is the author of - amongst other things - The Death Collector, The Chaos Code, The Parliament of Blood and the series The Invisible Detective, Time Runners, and Agent Alfie. He is also Creative Director of the BBC's best-selling range of Doctor Who books, and has written a fair few of them himself.
His latest novel - The Skeleton Clock - is available for the Kindle.
Justin lives in Warwick with his wife and two children, and a lovely view of the castle.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

‘They like the shadows.’

‘What like the shadows?’

‘You know them as Plague Warriors…’

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Justin Richards has written for stage and screen as well as writing novels and graphic novels. He has also co-written several action thrillers for older children with the acknowledged master of the genre Jack Higgins. Justin acts as Creative Consultant to BBC Books’ range of Doctor Who titles, as well as writing quite a few himself. Married with two children (both boys), Justin lives and works in Warwick, within sight of one of Britain’s best-preserved castles.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alaran on 6 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Cybermen often seem to work better when they're an insidious menace rather than invading the Earth with armies and space armadas, and for much of this story the Cybermen remain an eerie, disturbing threat in the background. Richards utilises them brilliantly, bringing them fully into the story with perfect timing. True, there are certainly similarities with `The Next Doctor' and `Closing Time' (Cybermen do tend to accidently crash their ships a fair bit) and there is a lot of heavy borrowing from the classic `Tomb of the Cybermen', but that is not necessarily a bad thing (a repeat of Cybermen slowly breaking through the membrane that covers their tombs is still effective and enjoyable). Occasionally the Cybermen are portrayed a little too much like zombies. However, this is easily done due to the similarities between the two and it does allow for some quite memorable and effective scenes.

It seems reasonable to assume that this book takes place, at least for the Doctor, sometime between `The Angels take Manhattan' and `The Bells of St. John', so there is no Clara. The companion role is fulfilled by Olga who, as an older, more mature `companion', seems to work quite well with the often childish attributes of the Eleventh Doctor. The Doctor himself is portrayed a little generically at times and one of the Doctor's other incarnations could easily have fitted into various scenes. This is often the more toned down and contemplative version of the Eleventh Doctor rather than `the mad a man with a box' act.
The book is quite light on other characters, many just making up the numbers, and most aren't particularly memorable. Humans augmented by cyber technology aren't that original now and this story offers no expansion of or different insight into such things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
"I'm the Doctor. But you can all call me "the Doctor" ...

A new Doctor Who adventure is always approached with some excitement, and a little trepidation. This one, which features the Cybermen (best villains ever) promises much.

In a quiet village under the shadow of the castle, people are dying - of a plague, or so they think. And others, who have been taken by the Plague Warriors, are found with limbs and organs torn from them. When the mysterious Doctor arrives in their midst, they are surprised but soon accept his offer of help. But what the Doctor finds does not make him happy - for there is evidence of others being there who have anything but the best of intentions for the population.

This is a good Doctor Who story; fairly standard fare, no surprises, and that's not a bad thing - a good Cybermen story with plenty of action, lots of Doctor witticisms and a story that would translate well onto the small screen - that's what the diehard Doctor Who fans like me always enjoy. Great stuff.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Jun. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An original Doctor Who novel. Telling an all new story for the character which never appeared previously in any other format.

It features the Eleventh Doctor. Travelling on his own.

It runs for two hundred and fifty four pages. It's divided into a prologue and then eighteen chapters.

It is suitable reading for all ages. Although there are some scenes of Cyberman style horror which can be a little gruesome.

As ever with this range the lead character is perfectly written, with dialogue you can imagine having come straight off the show.

Set in nineteeth century middle Europe, it sees the village of Klimtenburg having problems. People are dying from a strange plague. And the dead are coming out of their graves.

Local tales speak of the deadly 'Plague Warriors.' An old enemy of the Doctor's is about to wake up...

These books can't do anything to alter the status quo of the show or amend what has come before. The writers have to work with set rules, so it's always a case of what they can do to make the book memorable.

For the first third, this is really good at doing that. With an interesting setting. Adding some good depth to the supporting characters. Some really good scary and creepy moments. And an atmosphere that is positively gothic.

It also helps that it's almost entirely seen from the point of view of the supporting cast rather than the Doctor, which helps to keep him mysterious.

Beyond that first third, though, as things become apparent as to what's going on, it does start to get a bit more familiar. So what comes next isn't quite as involving as the first third. But it's still very good. Managing set pieces the tv show would struggle to mount. Putting in plot surprises at just the right points. And managing still to elicit emotional responses about the supporting characters.

A slightly above average entry in the range, then. And as a result, worth a look.
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Format: Paperback
I found plenty to like in this one, although a couple of areas grated a little too.
The best part were the locations. It took me right back to the days of pseudo-medieval Dungeons and Dragons, with a small village, tavern, ruined church with intact tower, creepy graveyard, and via a muddy track out of the village, an impregnable castle, and below the whole lot a network of tunnels! There is also the alien parts - a mad scientist laboratory and a crashed spaceship. There is plenty of running around exploring the locations too. The characters are few, well defined and hard to confuse, with links and back stories when pressed, and there is humour and romance among them as well as action.
The downside was the aliens - no surprise that they are cybermen, but they are dull and seemingly impossible to defeat so encounters with them are inevitably deadly with little pleasure. There were also a couple of instances where a fight is ruined by bad choreography, such as where a plodding cyberman has rocks thrown at him as he lumbers down a narrow corridor, as the heroes dig their way through a rockpile. The scene takes ages with lots of rocks being thrown yet in reality (!) should only have taken a couple of seconds and a couple of rocks. It smacked of bad writing and was impossible to visualise which was frustrating.
Overall, I did enjoy it for its positives but it could be improved.
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