"The Indestructible Man" is a solid and quick-paced Doctor Who adventure featuring the second incarnation of the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie. It takes the reader on a journey into an Earth future where an unseen enemy seems to mounting a new attack in a war that supposedly ended thirty years before. The Doctor and his companions are mistakenly believed to be agents for this enemy, the Myloki, and become separated from each other during an attack.
Commander Hal Bishop, who has always expected a second attack by the Myloki, readies his group, SILOET, for battle. He's captured a man who should be dead, but recovers from his "fatal" wounds over a six month period. Bishop has seen only one other person similar to this and he's the Indestructible Man. Are the two somehow connected?
When will the Myloki strike? Where is Zoe? What happened to Jamie? Can the Doctor make sense of it all before the Myloki destroy Earth? You'll have to read Simon Messingham's book in order to find out.
In this tale, Messingham is giving a nod to the marionette creations of Gerry Anderson (think "Thunderbirds"). If you aren't familiar with Anderson's work, however, you're enjoyment of this book will not be hindered. For those in the know, I'm sure you'll pick up on the inside joke. It will also make your visualization of the tale a lot funnier when you picture the Doctor and everyone else dangling from strings.
Despite this bit of light humor, though, "The Indestructible Man" has a very, very dark quality to it. Messingham takes Zoe and Jamie to depths of their respective characters that just might make fans of the classic series shudder. Zoe and Jamie enter realms of their own minds that make them both terribly human. Out of their own time, alone, confused and scared, they go where no companion has gone before.
When Zoe finally catches up to the Doctor, she somewhat returns to her old ways. In fact, she becomes almost too normal after what she goes through in the book. Jamie on the other hand, takes a very disturbing turn that makes you wonder if he'll ever be the same again. Much like Zoe, though, when he does return to his normal mindset, it happens almost too easily.
"The Indestructible Man" is one of the darkest tales I've ever encountered in the Doctor Who universe. Messingham's portrayal of the Doctor is excellent and he builds up a number of the secondary characters to excellent levels also. Loyal fans of Zoe and Jamie might be turned off by the dark shadows cast upon their characters, but give the story a little bit of time and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
I highly recommend this book to fans of the original and new Doctor Who series. Fans of Gerry Anderson might also get a kick out of this. Despite a small font size that's crammed into too few book pages, this story reads very quickly and is not at all boring. Overall, a good read.