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Doctor Who: Foreign Devils (Doctor Who Novellas) Hardcover – 23 Nov 2002

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Hardcover, 23 Nov 2002
£76.56 £30.00

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Telos Publishing Ltd; De luxe limited signed ed edition (23 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903889111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903889114
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,230,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Cartmel is a novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

His work for BBC television includes a legendary three year stint as the Script Editor on DOCTOR WHO. He has also been commissioned to write scripts for MIDSOMER MURDERS, DARK KNIGHT and TORCHWOOD.

He has toured as a stand-up comedian and his stage play UNDER THE EAGLE was hailed by Time Out London as 'bitingly funny'.

Andrew Cartmel has had a number of novels published including a sequence of spy thrillers -- OPERATION HEROD, EVENT DRIVEN and CLASS WAR -- featuring his creation Rupert Hood.

His latest novel, due out shortly, is WRITTEN IN DEAD WAX, first in a new series of noir thrillers featuring a seam of subversive humour, about the Vinyl Detective -- a record collector turned sleuth.

The high octane (and heavy vinyl) sequels are THE RUN OUT GROOVE and VICTORY DISC.

Product Description


China, 1800, and the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe are attending the English Trade Concession in Canton. A supposedly harmless relic known as the Spirit Gate becomes active and whisks Jamie and Zoe into the future. The Doctor follows in the TARDIS and arrives in England, 1900, where the descendents of an English merchant from 1800 are gathering. Among their number is a young man called Carnacki, an expert in all things mystical, and before long he is helping the Doctor investigate a series of bizarre murders in the house. The spirits of the past have returned, and when the Doctor discovers that the house and surrounds have literally been taken out of space and time, he realises that their attacker may not be all they seem.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
The idea of crossing the world of Doctor Who with that of William Hope Hodgson is an intriguing one, given that Hodgson's habit of treating the supernatural as though it were undiscovered science made him the Edwardian Nigel Kneale. Unfortunately Hodgson's occult detective Carnacki plays no particular role in the plot, and the weird happenings in the story are never explained. Nevertheless, Andrew Cartmel creates some striking images, and his characterisation of the Doctor is as good as one might expect from his past association with the series, so the book is not without rewards. Andy Lane's "All-Consuming Fire", which combines the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who remains the best attempt at this sort of thing.
The book includes an introduction by Mike Ashley about William Hope Hodgson and features one of Hodgson's Carnacki stories (The Whistling Room) as an appendix.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Devilish fun 1 Nov. 2004
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'd never read any of William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki ghost stories, so before I checked out the main story, I decided to skip to the extra feature that this book contains -- an appendix featuring "The Whistling Room", an original short story from 1910 starring the early ghostbuster. I really enjoyed it. So much so that I definitely plan to seek out some more from Hodgson.

In any event, after getting a brief introduction to this character and his universe, I started reading the main story of the novella itself, a neat crossover of sorts between the Doctor Who world and the Carnacki world. Cartmel's story doesn't have the same creepy, oppressive atmosphere of the Hodgson work, but I found it good on its own merits.

It's always interesting to see how an author attempts the notoriously difficult task of rendering the Second Doctor in print. I've caught a few broadcasts of the Troughton serials on MPT recently, so I had his Doctor fresh in my mind. I think Cartmel did a decent, if not quite wonderful, job of capturing him. He doesn't exactly leap off the page, but I think if you have a good image of the character in your head, Cartmel's prose will just manage to coax him to the forefront.

For Jamie, Cartmel amusingly just removes him from the story and focuses his attention on Zoe. This was a really good idea. I don't know if his Jamie could possibly have been as entertaining as his Zoe. Her stint as a Victorian maid is quite amusing. It's a cliché to have the futuristic (or modern) character(s) complaining about conditions for women and/or the lower classes when in historical settings, but Zoe's grumblings and the situation she gets herself into was too funny for words.

As for the story itself, it felt to me much more like a supernatural-tinged detective tale than the chilling, disturbing ghost story of "The Whistling Room" (however, I have no idea if "The Whistling Room" is typical). But I appreciated its pace as the mystery was slowly revealed. As a whole, it doesn't quite hold together completely at the end. The individual set pieces are good, but the ending doesn't have the full impact that it should.

Still, while FOREIGN DEVILS isn't a great book, it is a good one. It's absorbing and well written. As a crossover, I'm not sure it's a complete success. Carnacki doesn't seem to have the same impact on the story as, say, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson do in Andy Lane's ALL-CONSUMING FIRE. Still, he makes for a decent addition to the cast, and his inclusion gives me a series of stories to track down. FOREIGN DEVILS isn't as good as Cartmel's best work, but it is better than his worst.
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