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Doctor Who: Millennium Shock Mass Market Paperback – 24 May 1999

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; paperback / softback edition (24 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563555866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555865
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 512,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Justin Richards has written more books than he can remember. He has also written audio scripts, television, a stage play, edited anthologies of short stories, been a technical writer, and founded and edited a media journal.
Justin is the author of - amongst other things - The Death Collector, The Chaos Code, The Parliament of Blood and the series The Invisible Detective, Time Runners, and Agent Alfie. He is also Creative Director of the BBC's best-selling range of Doctor Who books, and has written a fair few of them himself.
His latest novel - The Skeleton Clock - is available for the Kindle.
Justin lives in Warwick with his wife and two children, and a lovely view of the castle.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Sept. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brillient. From begining to end i couldn't put it down. At the start it seems very simler to unatural histry, with things going wrong in time-space, just after the millienum. It is difficult to talk about the plot without reveling it, its that action packed. This is plot that would have suited the 8th docter and fitz.
The 'skitishness' of the 4th doctor is really focused on. It is done in such a good way too. He gives him an awful lot of humor, but keeps the seriousness too. Very keeping with the t.v programm of the time.
If you are a true Dr who fan, you will love this . BUY IT
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By Steve White on 3 Feb. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Millennium Shock is a 4th Doctor novel by Justin Richards and a follow up to his previous novel System Shock. As per usual with a Justin Richards’ novel, it features a plot with many twists and turns and sub-plots.

The premise is that a company called Silver Bullet are putting a chip into various electrical devices which allow them to control it remotely, and will also trigger once the new Millennium dawns thanks to the Y2K bug.

The story is bordering Tom Clancy territory, with an alien race shoe-horned in to make it Doctor Who. Personally I don’t think Justin Richards should be doing Doctor Who novels like this, he obviously enjoys a good spy thriller, but Doctor Who just isn’t the place for it, at least not in the quantities Richards seems to be churning them out. You also have to beg the question why MI5, the Military and the CIA are used, when using UNIT would be more of a tie in to the Doctor Who Universe. It honestly reeks of original novel with Doctor Who stuffed into it. The actual plot is interesting and well researched, it just feels the Doctor is there for the ride.

Where the story is slightly lacking Richards make up for it in characterization. The 4th Doctor is portrayed wonderfully and Richards has his mannerisms and style down perfectly, the only negative being his absence from the early part of the novel and him sometimes coming across as Jack Ryan figure. For the first time in the PDA range the 4th Doctor’s companion isn’t Leela which is great news. Sarah Jane Smith makes the briefest of brief cameos leaving the Doctor to team up with Harry Sullivan again, albeit after he left him originally. Harry is done very well, with both his M15 persona and his social life being very interesting to read.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 July 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A sequel to the fourth doctor adventure system shock, from the previous publishers of these, this is a book that had to be written in a matter of weeks to fill a gap in the schedule.

Sometimes that can produce great results, as in the shadow in the glass and the banquo legacy.

But on this occasion, it fails. This is simply a retread of system shock, and the only real difference is the absence of sarah jane from this one.

System shock is well worth reading. This is just pretty forgettable.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 May 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It starts off well with the mysterious destruction of a helicopter and a man being escorted up to the top floor of an office building for... surgery. But it is just a bit boring from there on in. The puctualtity of the Voracians also begins to get very annoying before long so when they are all destroyed at the novel's climax, it's hard not to be pleased. It always quite enjoyable when a new Voracian is unmasked and there are several other highlights too, but on the whole it's just not quite as good as the prequel. If Justin Richards is going to attempt a third Voracian outing then my advice to him would be to sit back and think very carefully about it. One point he should consider is wit. This novel is completely devoid of it. Something which makes reading this book harder than it should be.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Doctor caught in political turmoil 13 Jan. 2000
By "epicactor" - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A decent adventure, filled with lots of descriptive action and gory expolsions. If you liked the television stories that were focused on Earth, with the Doctor working with the British government to stop an alien takeover, then you will most likely enjoy this book. The political strategizing by the Prime Minister and the Soviet Priemere gets in the way of the sci-fi aspects, but I will admit that I was never a big fan of the Doctor/UNIT stories. (If I wanted a James Bond story I'd go elsewhere!) Mr. Richards does do a good job of characterizing the 4th Doctor and Harry. (I wish Sarah Jane had appeared in more than the first few pages). If you prefer your Doctor Who stories to center around lots of time traveling, foreign places, and mythology you should check out Richards' missing adventure "Sands of Time".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ripping yarn but badly written 1 Feb. 2002
By Kevin W. Parker - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Richards describes overmuch, tends to use all of his research, isn't all that good at characterization, and, frankly, isn't all that good of a writer - his supposed article by (professional journalist) Sarah Jane is something she'd probably be ashamed of. That being said, he does know how to write ripping yarns, and particularly climaxes. So I'll forgive him a lot for that. However, Sarah Jane makes but a cameo in this one, which is disappointing since that's why I bought it.

Basically another largely pedestrian novel in the series, though at least more straightforward than the full-of-itself Interference, which I read previously.
A plan you can implement once every thousand years isn't much of a plan at all 26 Nov. 2009
By Michael Battaglia - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can come to accept just about anything when it comes to science-fiction but . . . the Prime Minister's name was Terry Brooks? Like the semi-famous fantasy author? Either that is one heck of a coincidence or it's an inside joke I just don't get.

But while we ponder that, why don't we focus on the rest of the novel as well? A Fourth Doctor adventure, it features everyone's favorite scarf wearing time traveller hooking up with old friend Harry Sullivan to fight some aliens who are taking advantage of the upcoming Y2K bug to try and take over the world. Or activate a sentient alien computer virus that will take over the world for them. It all really amounts to the same thing.

Richards sets up an interesting premise that unfortunately has kind of dated horribly. When the book was released the fears over Y2K were fairly imminent, but they were fears that went away on January 1st, 2000 when it was clear that if the world was going to end, it wasn't going to be due to computers that didn't know how to read a calender. Thus the gripping sense of suspense isn't exactly going to reach Tom Clancy levels of "It could happen to you!" that it seems to be striving for, even though Richards gets bonus points for having things actually go wrong, so we get a glimpse of what might have happened. But even that seems to fall by the wayside and the brief broad scope we get isn't really enough.

Which leaves us with nonstop intrigue and action. Sort of. The novel seems to be striving for several different tones all at once, with a creepy sense of encroaching paranoia seeping into the scenes where the aliens are manipulating events and performing surgery on people, a James Bond sense of careening action every time Harry Sullivan whips out a pistol or when a CIA agent shows up (U!S!A!), and the suffocating complications of global politics as the Russians wander in from another story entirely.

The problem is that these all seem to be occupying different novels and thus in order to make them coexist inside his own book, Richards has to basically flatten out the tone so that every thing reads at the same general level of excitement . . . that is to say, more like a medium speed car chase. While the Doctor and Harry do quite well for themselves and manage to engage in several clever things (the Doctor in particular gets several good scenes, made all the harder by not getting into his head, which means that since he's often alone you have to judge him purely by his actions, not an easy thing with this more distant incarnation), there's a certain rote progression to everything so that it never really feels organic. This is the way the plot has to go and thus it does.

It doesn't help that the aliens are never really scary, coming off as second-rate Cybermen (at least none of them ever say, "You will be like us" as they convert yet another person) or that with the characterizations not being the most dynamic thing in the world it's hard to tell who are real people and who are emotionless aliens. It boils down to people in suits sitting in rooms discussing their plans and things blowing up in between discussions, with the occasional gunfight just to liven matters up. It's well done and the aliens' plan does seem to be rather well thought out, even if the solution does somewhat hinge on the sonic screwdriver once again doing whatever the plot requires it to do. But the Russian plot also never seems to really connect with the rest of it and for some reason it feels like the mixture of action, military plotting and political maneuvering should have more impact.

But it's nice to see Harry being proactive and the Sarah Jane cameo is nice. It would have helped to have read the Missing Adventures novel that this is based off of sooner than ten years before but that really isn't the author's fault. It's all very competently written and sometimes even exciting but more often than not you're turning the pages mostly due to habit, waiting to get to the climax.
Millennium bore 15 Dec. 2000
By Mr. K. Mahoney - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'By moving he had spoiled her grasp, and instead of clamping his windpipe, she succeeded only in tearing a chunk of flesh out of his neck. It hurt like hell, and Harry cried out. He could feel the blood already oozing out of the ragged wound. And now she was between him and the door...'
This the Doctor Who response to the Millennium. Not the first, I might add, since the Paul McGann TV movie also partly partied on this night of festivities. Justin Richards takes his starting point from the Millennium Bug, something which really might cause catastrophe on the night of 1 January 2000. Condef, a British electronics company, has developed a chip to counter the bug. But the British Government is also preparing to bring out the troops to help people when the crisis hits. But some people are determined to take advantage of the chaos. Could there really be a coup? And just who is trying to steal Russian nuclear weapons? What does it have to do with a pen given to Harry Sullivan by Sarah? The Doctor and Harry (now of MI5), must battle to expel a snake from netparadise...
'Millennium Shock' starts slowly, and the Fourth Doctor is a bit of a disappointment here. Richards gets his mannerisms right, but what's left is merely a cipher. Once the action does get going, the book is quite exciting. However, there is something iffy about the resolution. And as for the millennium? Well, even Ian McEwan's Booker Prize winning Amsterdam mentions that.
Oooh - a Robot/Snake man!!! 2 April 2002
By Daniel Firli - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Doctor, travelling alone, has decided to visit his old friend Harry Sullivan but is again caught up in the machinations of the Voractylls (from the New Adventure System Shock) during the turn of the Millennium. One good thing about the novel is the fact that even though it took place on British soil - there were no involvement from UNIT, just the regular Army. Characterisation is excellent, you'll find yourself laughing at the wordplay between the Doctor and Harry which is reminiscent from their time on the show. If it wasn't for the fact this was a Doctor Who novel you would think this a novel by Clive Cussler or Tom Clancy. Packed full of action, well written. RECOMMENDED!!!!
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