I was very exicted about the prospect of a Doctor Who book by Alastair Reynolds, but also a bit nervous (memories of Michael Moorcock's efforts). This book was a total triumph. Alastair Reynolds has taken his skill as a sci-fi writer, and his obvious knowledge of and love for classic Doctor Who and written a brilliant Third Doctor story. Set after the Sea Devils story, this has the Third Doctor as portrayed by Jon Pertwee teamed up against Roger Delgado's Master. Old friends, older adversaries, the shared heritage that the Doctor and the Master have always showed through in unique ways in the Third Doctor era stories. And this has been captured perfectly in this story.
The Doctor and Jo investigate issues on oil rigs north of the coast of Scotland. Unknown to them, a small team from the Ministry of Defence is also doing some research of their own, utilising the skills of Prisoner M - a top security prisoner being held at the Durlston Heath complex under total lockdown. Or is he?
This story utilises the brilliant classic Third Doctor, Jo, and the UNIT team with the Brigadier, Mike Yates, Benton. There are helicopter rides, aliens from time and space, Timelord history, and good old 1970 English life portrayed in the book. The aliens are suitably alien, the bad guys are suitably evil, the Master and the Doctor are perfectly portrayed, down to mannerisms and conversational patterns. The author has written a total `classic' Doctor Who story, and one that will rightfully take pride of place in the Doctor Who novelisations. (But I did feel sorry for the cows!). I heartily hope that Mr Reynolds has plans to write some more Doctor Who.