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Doctor Who: Divided Loyalties [Paperback]

Gary Russell
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Oct 1999 Doctor Who
To most, the entity known as the Celestial Toymaker is an abstract pan-universal force, whose powers, origins and intentions are unknown. To a select few the Toymaker is a god, a being to be worshipped, without whom there would be no existence. But to others, the Toymaker is the embodiment of evil, a force to be thwarted at every possible juncture. Aeons past, the Time Lords of Gallifrey tried to comprehend the Toymaker, and the role this force played in the cosmos. To one group of young Time Lords centuries later, understanding the Toymaker represented a goal, a mission.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (4 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563555785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555780
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Divided Loyalties, from the series of Doctor Who books to feature the adventures of past Doctors and their companions, showcases the strength of this range perfectly. Were it not for its huge scope and broad canvas, Divided Loyalties would sit quite happily alongside the television stories between which it is meant to nestle. The book features the fifth Doctor (played on television by Peter Davison) and his earliest team of companions--Tegan, Nyssa and Adric, and Russell manages to perfectly capture the interplay between these characters that made this era of the show so distinctive.

This neophyte team of adventurers (they'd barely been together for a couple of months, as the book begins) are thrown into conflict with one of the Doctor's oldest foes, the Celestial Toymaker, who is busily setting up an audacious trap for his nemesis. While each of the TARDIS team has their part to play in his plan, the devilish Toymaker also drags the crew of a remote space station, a handful of innocent victims from Earth and the entire population of the planet Dymok into his cruel games.

If there's a weakness to Divided Loyalties, it lies in the very ambition that also makes it such a gripping read: as the story thunders to its climax, there are so many threads reaching their zenith that the actual conclusion is-- almost by necessity--not given quite the space it deserves. But this gripe is a minor one, as the journey to the end of the book is truly exciting. Helping the action along is Russell's incredible grip on the characters of this era. The fifth Doctor is by turns quiet and unsure, then exasperated and authoritative, just as he should be. Tegan is the right mix of brassiness and capability; Nyssa is the sensitive, intelligent one the series always made her out to be; and Adric? Well, Adric is just as annoying as he was on the small screen. But at least here Russell eventually manages to mellow him into a halfway likeable character. Perhaps the most fascinating part of the book, though, doesn't feature these characters at all. Divided Loyalties features a detour to the very beginning of the Doctor's adventures, as a young Time Lord-to-be. Here, we witness his first meeting with the Toymaker, and ... well, anything more would be spoiling it. Suffice it to say that, for this part of the book alone, Divided Loyalties is well worth a look. --David Bailey


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of trees and your time 6 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Media tie-in novels often get a bad reputation in the science-fiction community; it's books like DIVIDED LOYALTIES that bring that about. Characters are two- and one-dimensional, the plot is less exciting than the opening credits from the television show, and the prose itself would not be deemed publishable anywhere else. I don't know what Amazon.co.uk reviewer David Bailey sees in this novel--except for, perhaps, his name (which has already appeared in three other Gary Russell novels).
There are a lot of good media tie-in novels out there. This is not one of them. Try your luck elsewhere.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Divided Loyalties 24 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback
Gary Russell is one of those authors who irritates me, although his novels are usually fairly entertaining. Both Business Unusual and Placebo Effect are fairly solid books, Russell just seems hell bent on adding as much continuity as he can, even if doing so is fairly pointless. Seeing as Divided Loyalties is a 5th Doctor novel featuring the Celestial Toymaker, I was afraid it would be another case of continuity overload as indeed it is.

The novel doesn’t start very well in honesty. The Toymaker seems to be taking people from time to play his games, including the Doctor’s companions, however there is little closure to be had. We have 4 people in a game but none are concluded satisfactorily, which rather begs the question why the time was taken to explain the games in reasonable detail. The thread about the TARDIS’ arrival and the silence of Dymok is interesting, but it takes a back seat to the Toymaker. The middle section of the book then goes off on a wild tangent and explores the Doctor’s life as a student of Gallifrey and his very first run in with the Celestial Toymaker. This bit is really good, and despite it being Russell smothering on some more continuity I ended up really enjoying it. The important bits could have been condensed to a prologue, but it was interesting nonetheless. The end is very convoluted and not really that enjoyable. Russell again tries to join up far too many dots and ends up delivering a totally unsatisfying ending.

The Doctor is the often bland 5th, diluted even more by the fact Divided Loyalties has only 250 pages and a good portion of those are dedicated to the pre-TV era bit. The little he does have to do is a good representation of the era, although it’s hard not to write for the 5th.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book 10 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback
Peter Davison is my favourite Doctor and Tegan and Nyssa are my favourite companions and they all get served well. I was glad Adric was not well served as even in this book, you get the impression he is a brat and you understand why Tegan gets so annoyed with him at the beginning of the novel. One of the only bad things about this book is the stupid long flashback to Gallifrey but it makes sense of the ending.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Divided storylines? 12 Feb 2013
By Alaran
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an oddly constructed and somewhat disjointed novel. The reason for this is the inclusion of a large flashback in the centre of the novel that takes up a large proportion of it. Although this flashback is definitely related to the main storyline it is only really linked by association and it feels quite separate.

The flashback section itself though is quite interesting, if a little continuity obsessed. Not only does it try to link up with the rest of the novel (which is set in a different time period for the Doctor) but it also attempts to fit in with the context of the Toymaker's only TV appearance and that of his lost TV appearance, `The Nightmare Fair'. It also tries to feature just about every Timelord character that has been in the TV series, however minor. It is interesting and enjoyable but only in a fairly fan indulgent way. A reader not heavily familiar with every TV story won't really benefit much from this and is unlikely to pick up all the references. What is probably best about it is a very believable portrayal of a fairly young First Doctor. This also means that the novel features two of the Doctor's incarnations, which is always a bonus.

Unfortunately the main storyline doesn't have a great deal going on. Nyssa, Tegan and Adric receive an equal amount of time dedicated to them (better than some TV stories) but most of this is just rehashes in unnecessary depth of their general issues. The Toymaker feels a bit more of a washed out portrayal of his TV persona and the games and challenges he sets aren't that interesting.

This section is also not as well written as the flashback section. This encourages the sense that this is two stories concerning the same antagonist that have been cobbled together. They could have been much better integrated.
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Format:Paperback
This is the first one i have read in full, and what a first to start with! Also with Peter Davison's Doctor being my favourite, i thought it would be good place to start. It bridges gaps in the Doctor and Nyssa's relationship as friends, and it also explores the Doctor's period at the Gallifrey Academy, and his first encounter with the Toymaker, with his evil mind. Gary Russell, the writer, has written some good books in his career, but this is by far the best so far. I'm looking forward to the next Celestial Toymaker novel...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not heavenly but good to play around with for a while
Divided Loyalties is Gary Russell's seventh original Doctor Who novel, and this time the former actor and prolific writer has produced an intriguing story featuring a character... Read more
Published on 5 Jun 2009 by Captain Pugwash
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
Having read some of the comments made by other reviewers, I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book was. Read more
Published on 18 Jan 2001 by bobbab5@zocalo4338.freeserve.co.uk
1.0 out of 5 stars A Waste
This book should have been a classic, instead, Gary Russell has written a book with poor prose, turgid characters, bland regulars and the most appalling use of continuity I have... Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the paper it's printed on.
This book, the latest from Gary Russell - leader of the school of recycling the worst ideas of Who - lives up to his previous offerings. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable book, even if a little awkward here and there
Although my only past familiarity with the Celestial Toymaker is through what i've read about him and not through seeing him on-screen, I found this book mostly enjoyable and... Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
In my opinion, this is one the best of the BBC's range of Doctor Who Books (and yes, I have actually read most of them), and all the characterisations are spot on. Read more
Published on 18 Dec 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars competent, but not fun
In his introduction, Gary Russell makes a lot of fuss about being able to play in a marvellous sandpit - the universe of the Celestial Toymaker. Read more
Published on 26 Nov 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Gary Russell Does It Again
Well, here we have yet another continuity laden book from former Doctor Who magazine editor Gary Russell. Read more
Published on 18 Oct 1999 by rormrod@hotmail.com
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