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Doctor Who: Interference Book One (Doctor Who) Mass Market Paperback – 2 Aug 1999


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Mass Market Paperback, 2 Aug 1999
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 1st Paperback Edition edition (2 Aug. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563555807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555803
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 2.1 x 27 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 808,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Lawrence Miles was behind the superb 1997 BBC book Alien Bodies in which a group of intergalactic representatives--including the Doctor--bid for ownership of the Doctor's body while a group of mysterious Time Lord-like cultists, the Faction Paradox, mess around with time streams. In Interference he fleshes out the Faction Paradox and introduces a new group of beings called the Remote.

These are perhaps the most interesting aliens to have appeared in the BBC range to date. Their culture is based on electronic transmissions which they receive from whichever planet they find themselves on. The people are totally free to interpret these signals as they will. They believe they are given direction and meaning by the signals and are on the whole fairly happy with their lot.

In the first novel we are introduced to I M Foreman, a mystery woman sitting on a hill. (This is also the name printed on the junkyard doors in Totters' Lane, London, 1963, where we first met the Doctor--hopefully this will be explained in Book Two.) The Doctor joins her and they settle down to discuss what happened on Earth. But what did happen? Sam is there keeping an eye on an international arms conference when she becomes captured by the Remote. Sarah Jane Smith (ex-companion of the 3rd and 4th Doctors) is also there along with K9, doing pretty much the same thing. The Remote are trying to sell advanced alien arms to various powers and using brutish alien Ogrons as bodyguards. Fitz meanwhile has been swallowed up in 1996 by a weapon called the Cold and does not emerge until 2593 where he joins a Faction Paradox cult. Meanwhile the 8th Doctor is apparently locked in a cell where he and his cellmate are irregularly and viciously tortured with electric shock batons.

Where all this leads is unclear as it's not resolved in this book. The mysterious I M Foreman remains an enigma, aside from the fact that as a man she might have been running a travelling circus of freaks on the planet Dust which was once visited by the 3rd Doctor and Sarah.

All this confusion and loose ends may leave readers reeling and puzzled. It starts really well indeed with Miles building up an apocalyptic feel with the individual plot elements. It's when the story becomes dominated by Sarah Jane Smith (posing as Sarah Bland, and never was a surname better chosen) that the book grinds to a crawl. She's just not interesting and doesn't rise above the printed page. Fitz and the Doctor might as well not be there (well, they're actually not there for 90 per cent of it) and Sam gets to see all the interesting stuff as usual--which here includes appearing in scenes presented as though from a film or television script. This is a nice idea and works surprisingly well.

The book ends at an apparently arbitrary point, but readers who have bought both volumes can continue straight on... --David J Howe


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bret M. Herholz on 7 Feb. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Doctor's Third Regeneration ended when he faced the "Great One" when his body was destroyed by radiation in the caves of the blue crystals. With great difficulty he was able to bring the TARDIS back to UNIT headquarters where he was forced to once again regenerate. Not according to Lawrence Miles who has now completely raped Doctor Who continuity by changing the Third Doctor's regeneration completely. Does he realize what kind of effect this would have on the time stream. If the Doctor didn't go to Metebelis Three and stop the Great One with her plans, the Eight Legs would have successfully conqured the Earth thanks to Lupton and his cronies at the Tibetian Meditation Center. Or perhaps the Doctor would have faced it in his Fourth incarnation. But if he was to go into the caves, this would have ended his fourth incarnation prematurely. This would have placed the Fifth Doctor with Sarah Jane Smith and he would have never met Tegan, Nyssa, Adric Turlough and Peri. You can probably see where I'm going with this and I'll stop. For the most part I thought this book was very clever with some of the writing devices the author used, such as a transcript format for the parts that were suppose to be television shows. But unfortunately, this story is too disjointed and both the Third and Eighth Doctor hardly show up in the story at all (or meet each other). And you felt nothing with Sam's departure from the TARDIS crew. I mean even Mel's departure had more feeling than that (probably because everybody was so damn relieved that she was leaving. Thank heavens). After reading both Books of this two parter, I had almost lost all hope with the Doctor Who bookline. Until I read Matrix and The Devil Gobins of Neptune which gave me faith in the series again.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Godfather Morlock on 19 April 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Darker, more mature than TV Who, the 8th Doctor books have introduced a lot of genuinely original concepts to Doctor Who, and many were created by Lawrence Miles. Interference is far from a traditional Who adventure - it does give the Doctor's history a major shake-up, but it's perfectly in keeping with the themes of the 8th Doctor's adventures. Not as light-hearted as Alien Bodies, but Interference is still packed with plot twists and surprises. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kit.davies@william-reed.co.uk on 26 Jun. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I grew up with Dr Who especially Mr Pertwee and grieved greatly when the programme degenerated into silliness with number seven. And I am not one for manky novel spinoffs, as I am a stickler not just for detail but also for style. But this has really brought Dr Who back for me, being supremely faithful to the TV series yet also taking the character and his worlds on in a superb way. Interference One is a marvellously intelligent and imaginative read, it's well written, it's engrossing, full of surprises, and the first time I have been scared by Dr Who in 25 years.The richness of the story is very impressive. Mr Miles is a very good writer indeed and this is a fine fine piece of work. In parts it is also very moving, and the whole story just gets better in volume number two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Allan on 25 April 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was expecting this book to be an action packed, thrill a minute read. Instead it has been very slow and in suffers some major problems. The Doctor really is'nt in it that much and Fitz is practically non exsistant. The part of the book set on Dust was a real drag to get through. However there are some redeeming factors. The Eighth Doctors imprisonment seems like he has given up any hope of escape and is merely trying to prolong his life. Also a lot of the book is unclear as to what is meant to be happening and this means that I go into book two with some anticipation. It has its good points but it is no where near to being as good as it should have been.
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By Steve White on 18 Feb. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The moment has arrived, it is finally my time to read the opus that is Interference by the brilliant Lawrence Miles, the guy who wrote the best book of the range so far, Alien Bodies. So what do I know about Interference before embarking on the mammoth of task of reading it? Well for the first and I believe only time, the novel is spread over two book. If that wasn’t long enough for you, each book is night on 310 pages, and has writing so small, your Nan would struggle to read it. From a story point of view it features both the 3rd and 8th Doctors and is Sam’s final story. I just punched the air with anticipation.

The main plot of Shock Tactic is that aliens have come to Earth to try to sell a new weapon to the humans, a substance called Cold. The authorities are suspicious and call for the Doctor who brings Sam and Fitz along for the ride. The story then heads off in various threads, with a future Sam, Fitz and Doctor all working on their own. Where this sort of writing normally bugs me, Lawrence Miles does it in a way which doesn’t. Everything is clear as day and you don’t have a “what the hell is going on?” moment. Just as things start getting interesting however the story stops and a whole other one is started.

The second story tells us of a planet called Dust, and the arrival of the 3rd Doctor, a blind man, and the Remote. Whilst not quite as interesting and enjoyable as the Earth based part, it still manages to entertain. Again, as soon as the plot gets interesting the book ends.

The Doctor doesn’t really get a lot to do in Shock Tactic, spending the majority of the novel locked up, however his pieces are brilliantly done. The IM Foreman bits add to the intrigue of the series as a whole as this is the name on the junkyard in Totters Lane.
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