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Doctor Who: War of the Daleks [Paperback]

John Peel
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Oct 1997 Doctor Who
Doctor Who is repairing the Tardis systems when it is swept up by the Quetzel, a garbage ship roving space. When another ship takes the Quetzel by force, the Doctor discovers that he and Sam are not the only unwitting travellers abroad - there is a strangely familiar survival pod in the hold.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; Reprint edition (6 Oct 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563405732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563405733
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 11.4 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 338,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Peel was born the day before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. His 38-year career as a radio DJ is the stuff of legend and the bands he went on to discover too numerous to mention, though David Bowie, Roxy Music, T Rex, Genesis, Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Radiohead and the White Stripes would do as a start. He lived in Suffolk with his wife Sheila and their children William, Thomas, Alexandra and Florence, plus various dogs and cats, until his death in October 2004.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read and a solid story 24 Jan 2003
Format:Paperback
I have about 20 pages left of this book to read and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I personally think this is a solid Dr Who story which connects many Dalek stories together to show a progression of the Dalek race. As much as I think Davros was a waste after Genesis of the Daleks the book makes his sometimes disjointed appearances make sense as the big picture evolves. The main action may well take place towards the end of the book but how many times did the TV show wait until the final episode to really get started? I have really enjoyed the ride!
There have been times in the latter part of the TV series that the Daleks have seemed nothing but stooges to Davros, but War of the Daleks takes the ideas from Remembrance of the Daleks and runs with them, emphasising the divisions between Dalek ranks - being those loyal to Davros and those loyal to the Dalek Prime, hence the war. It is interesting to see Daleks starting to think for themselves again like in the good old days, and unlike some of the new range of Dr Who novels this story actually stays true to the TV version and doesn't seem like something completely different trying to compete with American sci-fi. If Big Finish make an audio version of War then I'll be the first to buy it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent rationalisation of Dalek history. 29 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Ever since 'Destiny of the Daleks' was broadcast in 1979, there have been a whole series of unanswered questions about the Doctor's oldest foes.
In particular, why was Skaro seemingly abandoned by the Daleks ? Subsequent to 'Destiny of the Daleks', it seemed as if the Daleks had definitely lost their 'galactic superpower' status and were instead doomed to a near-eternity of civil war between those Daleks loyal to the memory of the 'true' Emperor Dalek (destroyed in 'Evil of the Daleks') and Davros who ultimately made himself 'Emperor' of a new Dalek race engineered on Necros (Revelation of the Daleks),
'War of the Daleks' resolves these issues in an ingenious fashion. In a fascinating dialogue between the Doctor and the Dalek Prime (the last survivor of the original 'prototype' Daleks build in the Kaled bunker), it emerges that both Davros and the Doctor have been misled by the Dalek leadership through all the events of 'Destiny of the Daleks' through to 'Remembrance of the Daleks'..
There are a number of interesting characters in 'War of the Daleks'; Delani is a Thal officer who has been morally brutalised by the hereditary war with the Daleks; the Doctor himself comes across as a little out of his depth as his dialogue with the Dalek Prime unfolds ; the Dalek Prime is described as having an appearance that resembles the Emperor Dalek featured in the 'TV21' comic strips of the 1960s - more importantly its existence is clear testimony to the Daleks return to being an autonomous species capable of devising its own strategies.
If there is to be a 40th anniversary special, 'War of the Daleks' is a prime candidate to provide its core plot. The novel's scenes are too epic for the BBC, but the plot, if portrayed properly, would restore 'Doctor Who' as a leading science fiction series.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Juvenile, flawed but still fun 5 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback
I have seriously mixed feelings about "War of the Daleks". Despite it being clunky, juvenile and containing the most pointless continuity rewrite in the history of science fiction, it's still the only BBC Doctor Who novel (with the exception of "The Infinity Doctors") that I've read more than once. It's a guilty pleasure, like Godzilla movies. Reading it, you know that it's dumb, but you just can't stop. At least, I can't.

Throughout the novel, John Peel does a great job of showing us how good it could have been, as he breaks up the main plot with small vignettes from the greater galaxy as it grapples with the Dalek threat. These are gripping stuff indeed, epic adventures against an implacable and ruthless foe. The opening scene, a vast battle between the Daleks and Thal special forces, is equally gripping and for some reason reminds me of many of the scenes in Heinlein's "Starship Troopers". If the book had continued along those lines, it would have been superb; miltary SF in the Doctor Who universe is something we really haven't seen before, and Peel infuses the battle scenes with great tension and drama, whether they be between the Daleks and lone security agents, custodial robots or Draconian starships. He proves that he certainly has the ability to write this kind of stuff well, which is why the direction he takes with the rest of the novel is so irritating.

In between the battle scenes, Peel manages to create some very interesting characters and then gives them very little to do. The Doctor, supposedly the hero of the story, literally does nothing to affect the plot at all throughout the entire book.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but so complex... 21 Nov 2004
Format:Paperback
John Peel's War of the Daleks is undeniably a fascinating and entertaining read, but it is far from easy going, and the finer complexities of the plot will no doubt be lost on those not totally familiar with established Dalek history.
Peel's characterisation is, I feel, somewhat hit and miss - Ayaka is possibly one of the finest Doctor Who characters ever written, constantly torn between her strong morality and her unwavering sense of duty to the Thal cause. The other Thals are also well written, as is Chayn. Perhaps the most interesting characterisation however is that of the Doctor, as we discover just how little he understands what has been happening in the Dalek empire over the last several centuries, and how he has been manipulated by the Dalek Prime. Also, his guilt concerning the actions of Delani and the Thals - it was, after all the Doctor who first convinced the Thals to abandon their pacifist ways and fight against the Daleks - is well-realised and believable. The character of Sam is also fairly well developed, as she realises just how much she cares for the Doctor, and how out of her depth she is when faced with the menace of the Daleks.
The Daleks themselves, however, while presented fairly well as a civilisation (perhaps not the appropriate term for the Daleks!), are often poorly written, and I found it difficult to imagine a Dalek saying much of the dialogue in the later chapters. Davros too, who seems to have been modelled on Terry Molloy's somewhat misguided version of the character, is disappointing. While he is occasionally given some splendid dialogue, he is on the whole presented as a ranting imbecile, and a long way from the quiet, cold, calculating genius of Michael Wisher's original performance in Genesis of the Daleks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars War of the Daleks
War of the Daleks was the first novel to feature the infamous foes since the TV show was cancelled in 1987. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Steve White
5.0 out of 5 stars War of the Worlds
A great story which continues on from the last classic dalek story, remembrance of the daleks, so it's helpful if you have watched remembrance of the daleks. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Andrew50
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
An excellent read! It was interesting from start to finish.It continues the Dalek civil war and I was pleased to see the return of Davros.Reccommended
Published on 19 Feb 2009 by Mrs. Ann Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Dalek victory
This book was a great read. The Doctor and Davros are well written by John Peel who seems to be really enjoying writing for them. Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2008 by T?M
4.0 out of 5 stars The great War
This was one of the first original Doctor Who books that I bought. I thought that it was pure fun but also had some very serious elements that kept the pace fresh. Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2004 by "mez1985"
2.0 out of 5 stars Why make it so complicated?
A new Dalek adventure should have been great, but there's very little to get excited about here. It's slow, slow, slow all the way. Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2001 by finna
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice to see the Daleks again
It's nice to see the Daleks and Davros once more. However, it's not the best DW novel that I have read and it's all quite samey. Lots of battles and all that. Read more
Published on 17 May 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent
An excellent read if you enjoy DALEK stories. Well thought out with a nice twist or two. Davros - creator of Evil & now it's naunting him
Published on 3 Nov 2000 by Gaz
4.0 out of 5 stars An expanded vision of the Dalek universe
I have found it disappointing that the characterisations of the Daleks in the later half of the television series had left the Daleks appearing as little more than props around... Read more
Published on 28 Jan 1999
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