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Doctor Who: Autumn Mist Paperback – 5 Jul 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (5 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563555831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555834
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 11.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 850,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Steve White on 16 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback
Yay another novel by David McIntee and this time an Eighth Doctor one. I make no qualms about my love for McIntee, with his previous three Past Doctor Novels being entertaining reads. I adore the Eighth Doctor and I enjoy a novel set during World War 2 so I was hoping this would be one of the best.

Autumn Mist finds the TARDIS forcing it's crew to land in war torn Germany in 1944 and they quickly get separated. The Doctor joins one American troop and Sam another whilst Fitz has no choice but to join the SS As usual strange things are afoot, with bodies from various sides disappearing with no explanation, a mist which seems to cause time anomalies and both sides working with technology they couldn't possibly have had.

Almost from the word go Autumn Mist is a very bleak novel. World War 2 was very violent and bloody and McIntee wastes no time in bringing this fact home, with graphic descriptions of people being shot, killed, and blown up. Rather than feeling decadent, it fits the mood nicely.

The Doctor is well done given it's McIntee's first foray into the Eighth's era. To begin with he seems to be relying on the green velvet jacket and long curly hair but he soon finds his feet, delivering a good likeness of Paul McGann's Doctor. Fitz really gets into trouble when he is forced to join the SS and his characterization is exceptional. Sam has a rough time of it, but she didn't annoy me as much as she usually does.

The other human characters are all spot on. Obviously you have the Americans and the Germans fighting the war, so we see into the minds of both sides and there hopes and fears for the future and thoughts of loved ones back home. The "third side" however are all a bit flat, even the "bad guy", who never really seems a threat.
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Format: Paperback
This was a short, well written and enjoyable novel. For me this feels like a quiet adventure before the storm of Interference. In this novel very little really happened and so it is reminiscent of the episode before the season finale of Doctor Who. I also found that at times it was quite hard to keep track of all the characters. These things aside it was an easy read and I had to smile when the beast from The Taint made an appearance. All in all this was a novel I enjoyed and that I would recommend for a quick read as it comes in at about forty pages less than most of the previous books.
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By A Customer on 4 Oct 2000
Format: Paperback
This novel places the Doctor in the kind of situation we all know and love - alien intervention at a key point in Earth history. The beauty of these stories is that they have a cosy familiarity about them. The protagonists are easy to identify with, and their motivations are similar to our own. Add to this the rich depth of McIntee's research, and you have an absorbing adventure, which educates as well as entertains. Long live the Pseudo-historical Dr Who adventure!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Review of Autumn Mist 20 Nov 2000
By Chris H. Metzger - Published on
Format: Paperback
Autumn Mist is another novel chronicling the adventures of the Doctor and his two companions; Sam Jones and Fitz Kreiner. The novel is set during WWII around a battlefield. A mysterious force is abducting wounded soldiers from both sides and soon the Doctor discovers that the force at work is not human nor related to either the Americans or the Germans. McIntee utilizes Fitz slightly better than Blum and Orman did in Unnatural History. Fitz's sense of humor and clumsiness come out a lot in this novel. Sam is used in a different way but one the reader will find a refreshing change of pace. McIntee also used great imagery and backs it up with historical fact. McIntee seems to capture the carnage and brutality that this war was really producing. Bearclaw, Garcia, and the Sidhe were very interesting characters and can keep the reader's attention. However, McIntee fails to tie up the plots and subplots in one unifying storyline. There are so many plots and subplots that it is the equivalent of a writer's mental hurricane. McIntee can't seem to decide which plot will dominate the novel. While McIntee utilizes great imagery he does become redundant and that overshadows the great dialogue between the Doctor, Fitz, and the soldiers. Autumn Mist could have utilized more dialogue and less narration.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not Very Good 7 Oct 1999
By John Montz - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'll keep this short. I like all of David A. McIntee other Dr. Who books, but this was just plain boring. Part of the problem is that the preceding book in the series, Unnatural History, was fabulous. The "surprise ending" came out of nowhere with no real reason why. It's one of those books that you "must" buy but wish you hadn't. Sorry, David.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bad execution 18 July 2001
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on
Format: Paperback
AUTUMN MIST is a bit of a mess with an overly simple storyline being let down by some truly atrocious prose. Any attempt to wrap the reader in its narrative, ends jarringly when one comes across a sentence or fragment that would make the English students in the readership cringe.
The story itself isn't all that bad. There is nothing really the matter with it, but there is also nothing much positive to say about it either. Some books with a weak storyline can turn this perceived limitation into a strength by adding character conflict, angst or introspection (with varying degrees of success). Here the lack of plot is made up for with long war scenes that pay more attention to the tanks and equipment than it does to the people that are operating them. This contributes to the uncaring feel that the book has, as though nothing that one is reading matters in any tangible way. By the time one reaches the end, one does not really notice that the conclusion has been rushed through. Although this sort of sloppy writing at the finale is a problem that plagues many an EDA, it seems strangely appropriate here.
The prose and the sentence structure are really where this novel collapses. Strange sentence fragments joined together by random punctuation marks become distracting at times and very detrimental to the reading experience. This is a book that would have been enormously helped by an extra stage of proofreading and/or editing. It's a shame that this did not occur.
The characterization of the regulars was, for much of the time, fairly acceptable. However, there were a few points where the Eighth Doctor seemed more like the Seventh Doctor than we've ever seen him before. Fitz seemed to waver a lot between two extremes: one of total cowardice and the other of tremendous heroics. This seemed almost like a caricature at times, though it did work well in some places. Sam is much less annoying than she usually is (which is a pleasant surprise) though her decision at the very end seems to come from absolutely nowhere.
In the end, reading this failed to generate any excitement in me whatsoever. Events happened and some people were killed, but I couldn't make myself care about any of this. The "third side" referred to on the back cover tries to dance between magical and hard, scientific technobabble, and ultimately fails at being either. Not recommended.
These fairies wear combat boots! 28 Jan 2010
By Michael Battaglia - Published on
Format: Paperback
Following up "Unnatural History" was going to be a tough act for anyone so we should feel like a little bit of compassion for David McIntee, who got the short straw and soldiered on with his book like a trooper, even if the previous novel set the bar high enough that anything short of a ground-shifting readjustment was going to be looked at as merely "eh".

Unfortunately even when read out of sequence the novel still feels slightly "eh", although it's not all terrible. The team, kind of reeling from the events of the last story (there's a few references to Sam and Fritz sleeping together when she was "Dark Sam" and Sam comments on the postcards she left for herself as well as one reference to "biodata" for old time's sake) winds up stuck on Earth during WWII. As is typical of these things, the crew gets split up, with the Doctor and Sam winding up hanging out with the GIs and Fritz paling around with the German army. That said, there's one scene where the Doctor blatantly tells Sam to check out a village by herself, which when you think about how often bad things happen when they get separated would perhaps give SOMEbody pause.

But as much as we're all looking for a straight historical featuring WWII soldiers we don't exactly get the Who version of "Band of Brothers" as it becomes clear early on that mysterious things are happening with the soldiers. Dead soldiers are vanishing, straight sights are sighted, memories are being clouded and it seems that both sides are conducting odd experiments. Ooh! Alas, the explanation for all the problems that are going on may not exactly thrill you, depending on how much hard science you enjoy in your science-fiction.

See, it turns out that the issue is fairies. Literally, fairies. Or at least the trans-dimensional parallel universe equivalent of them. The human war is starting to impact their environment and so they find themselves getting involved, while the figurehead of Chaos on their side is doing all kinds of weird crap simply because he can, which is a great job to have.

Done properly this could give us a weird contrast between gritty war action and pseudo-fantastic fairy drama, with the two worlds colliding in strange and unusual ways that only a drama like "Who" could give us. However, while McIntee is very good at gritty war action, he's not so convincing with fairy drama. His war scenes do feel real, at least to someone who has never been inside a war though and even if he checks off everything on the list that you normally see in any old war movie (every soldier has a sad backstory that will make his death more poignant when he finally bites it, Because That's What Happens In War . . . as soon as one soldier comments that he's never seen his child you know his pages are numbered) and his knowledge of military vehicles and details is actually kind of impressive. It's not Tom Clancy but it'll do.

If only the same amount of detail was paid to the characters. For the fairy scenes to work it's got to be WEIRD, not psycedelic pseudo-Grant Morrison nonsense but just off enough from our normal frame of reference to make us thing we've entered a situation where matters are seriously off-kilter, and yet it has to be something that the Doctor can move around with some familiarity. Orman/Blum from the last novel and Lawrence Miles are good at this kind of thing, tossing out strange concepts, acknowledging their strangeness and imbuing in them a sense of fractured wonder as well. In McIntee's hands there's no hazy dreamlike quality and while I'm not expecting John Crowley (or even Neil Gaiman) I don't expect it to be like the war scenes, but with less shooting.

Coupled with a surfeit of plots and soldiers with similiar names (not for nothing but with the German guy being Leitz and the GI being Lewis, I thought the twist was going to be that they were the same person, like when the Master disguised him as the Magister) along with references to the Philadelphia Experiment and more fairies and maybe even a nod to the ongoing subplot, there's just too much going on to properly care about it. When they rush to the ending, you barely even notice. It's easy reading (I literally started and finished this while waiting to be called for jury duty) and entertaining in its way but not exactly substantial. The tonal differences don't add up to anything special (or barely exist) so instead of getting a melding of grim war with otherworldly strangeness you get a sort of flattened combination of the two. And that's not really satisfying.
Interesting storyline that never really pans out. 4 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This story could have been excellent, but fell into the category of mediocore. The plot is never truly developed and the characters are but a scetch of the true people in the story. Definitely not my favorite, but I still enjoyed reading it.
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