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Doctor Who: Frontier Worlds Mass Market Paperback – 29 Nov 1999

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; First Edition edition (29 Nov. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563555890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555896
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 11.4 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 880,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

If only the more recent TV outings of Doctor Who were as consistently inventive and exciting as this BBC series of novels! Yet again, with Peter Anghelides' Frontier Worlds, we have another adventure of the eighth Doctor written with wonderfully created new locales, plotting that fires on all cylinders and a characterisation of the Time Lord that is richer and quirkier than anything we've seen in TV Doctors in years.

The planet Drebnar possesses a strange attraction--what is it that so frequently lures people to this inhospitable world? When the TARDIS is inadvertently dragged there, the Doctor makes it his business to find out the reason. He discovers that scientists from the shady Frontier Worlds Operation are using the planet as a base, and are creating strange hybrids of people and plants. But when the TARDIS crew become involved in this sinister biological struggle, they are soon caught up in individual crises. And when the doctor is trapped in the freezing wilderness, it appears as if no one will be able save him from a fatal experiment in genetic modification.

Anghelides creates his strange planet and its sinister inhabitants with rich atmosphere and menace, and the extra attention given to the TARDIS crew pays off in dividends: the Doctor remains centre stage, but there are more characters for the reader to become totally involved in. And when a lethal alien organism is lured to Drebnar by the Corporation, things become very nasty indeed. If the latter menace owes not a little to a certain Ridley Scott film, it's no worse for that, and ratchets up the tension considerably. Another winner in an ambitious and arresting series. --Barry Forshaw


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Nov. 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This Doctor Who novel starts off in the manner of a Bond movie - the Doctor performing daredevil stunts whilst pursued by hired grunts on skis. There are even blood-red fisheyes. The only thing missing is the theme music, although the adrenaline of the prose more than makes up for it.
The TARDIS has been drawn to the planet Drebnar, home of the Frontier Worlds Corporation. The Doctor is determined to find out why, and so Compassion and Fitz become employees of Frontier Worlds. Whilst Compassion dedicates her time to spying on the company, Fitz dedicates his to spying on and seducing his female coworkers. But the TARDIS crew are not the only aliens to have landed on Drebnar. Before he knows it, the Doctor has become embroiled within a corporate plot of Frankenstein proportions, which even involves Frank Sinatra, seemingly back from the dead. Unless he succeeds, an entire system could be wiped out by human folly...
Following in the wake of Lawrence Miles' Interference, this is another very topical Doctor Who novel. The debate about what we eat and how it is produced is currently at the heart of our culture. Anghelides has displaced the debate by setting it on an alien planet. However, Drebnar is not exactly unlike Earth, and it could be possible to argue that the author has revealed a great lack of imagination by not bothering to provide much of an alien environment. Possible, but futile. Much of Drebnar's fun derives from the fact that it is so much like Earth. Okay, so this scenario is quite improbable, but since when has that been a handicap to Doctor Who? Especially when the Doctor has foes that delight in such paradoxes...
I suppose the television story which most resembles this is The Seeds of Doom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 2 May 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cover blurb:
What strange attraction lures people to the planet Drebnar? When the TARDIS is dragged there, the Doctor determines to find out why.
He discovers that scientists from the mysterious Frontier Worlds Corporation have set up a base on the planet, and are trying to blur the distinction between people and plants. The TARDIS crew plan to prevent a biological catastrophe -- but their plan goes wrong all too soon.
Compassion finds her undercover work so engrossing she risks losing her detachment. Fitz seems too distracted by the local population to keep his eye on Compassion. So when the Doctor gets trapped in a freezing wilderness, who can stop him from falling victim to a lethal experiment in genetic modification?

For something else has been lured to Drebnar, something that Frontier Worlds Corporation will ruthlessly exploit without care for the consequences -- an ancient organism which threatens to snuff out Drebnar's solar system.

Frontier Worlds is one of the better post TV series Doctor Who novels that I've read. It's a fairly standard story with an engaging if unimaginative plot, but Peter Anghelides' writing style is good enough to raise the novel above its average content.

The Eighth Doctor's curious companion Compassion seems more freed up here than the symbolic, one-dimensional character than she's seemed to date. Cocky 1960s Londoner Fitz also comes across as being a lot more likeable than we're used to, and as the two companions are separated from TheDoctor we see them come into their own at last.

Ultimately this is an Eighth Doctor novel where although absent from the action for swathes of the story, the nomadic Time Lord really seems comfortable in his latest skin while his companions benefit from his absence. Good effort and definitely recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Tyler on 21 Sept. 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Many moons ago I used to read a lot of science fiction but over the years my tastes have changed and I have drifted away. However, when the opportunity arose to buy some cheap DW books I thought I may as well see what they are like and I must say that the novels in the 8th Doctor series that I have read so far have been excellent.
'Frontier World' sees the Doctor and his two companions on a world ran by a bioengineering company that specialises in food production. There must be a reason why the T.A.R.D.I.S was drawn here and a little digging soon uncovers a plot to genetically engineer new live forms using alien plant DNA.
This novel is very fast paced and is a highly entertaining action romp. The characters are well rounded and the 8th Doctor comes across as a very interesting take on Who (pity it was never explored).
'Frontier Worlds' coupled with the also excellent 'Year of the Intelligent Tigers' means that I will definitely be reading more DW 8th Doctor books in the future.
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By Steve White on 28 April 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I quite enjoyed Peter Anghelides previous Eighth Doctor adventure, Kursaal, despite the plot going off the boil a bit around the halfway mark so I was hopeful he’d manage to craft a more lasting story this time around.

The TARDIS crew are drawn to Drebnar by a signal and upon arrival The Doctor sends Fitz and Compassion to do some undercover work within Frontier Words Ltd, whilst he himself does some digging of his own. It soon transpires that Frontier Worlds are using an alien plant to alter genetics and must be stopped.

The Doctor is a little off in honesty and reads very much like the 3rd. I like this style of Doctor but it’s an Eighth Doctor novel. To compound matters he then goes missing for a huge chunk of the middle of the novel for absolutely no reason at all. This means that for the most part Frontier Worlds is truly a Fitz and Compassion novel. Both are well written, with the undercover sub-plot being very interesting to read and offering a much needed glimpse into Compassion’s psyche. Fitz is still as lovable as ever, more interested in shagging than doing any real work, either for Frontier Worlds or the Doctor but when push comes to shove he is there for him, albeit next to useless a lot of the time.

Anghelides has created a vivid world with Drebnar and filled it full of interesting characters. The Frontier Worlds founders are all as corrupt as they come and have prolonged their life using the alien plant to often disastrous effect. Sempitar comes off the worst, losing his sense of morality and is quite happy to extinguish life in the whole solar system just so he can make money.

Frontier Worlds is miles ahead of Kursaal but still isn’t quite as good as it could have been. The story and the characterization of everyone but the Doctor is excellent, but it does drag in some places and you can’t help think it could have been a good 40 pages shorter and suffer little ill effect for it.
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