Synthespians is a readable but ultimately very unambitious novel. The Autons return, but despite the promising field of plastic surgery nothing particular new or interesting is done with them, instead we have a very traditional ‘romp’ as the 6th Doctor and Peri fight off alien invasions (yawn), a megalomaniac James Bond-style arch villain (yawn), in a very basic Target-level adventure. The background setting of trophy wives and backstabbing Dynasty/Dallas soap opera characters is interesting, but shifting the action into a retro-obsessed planetoid 8,000 years into the future is questionable. A light basic read, with a few good Doctor Who in-jokes, but unless you have a burning necessity to read another story with Autons walking round shooting people this is unessential stuff.
on 19 August 2004
This is one of those books that you think is going to be sooo good.And then its release gets delayed and you want it even more.Finally, it gets into the local bookstores, you pick up your copy and rush home to start reading what potentially sounds like the best Who book ever.And a few days later you realise you were wrong.Don't misunderstand me,this book has its merits and can be fun at certain points, but there is far to much referencing to other adventures to keep the plot moving.I find that if you're going to reference things in the Whouniverse(patent pending)then you should do it on the sly, rather then slapping it in someone's face. I can't help but think that if Justin Richards or Lance Parkin or Steve Lyons had written this,I would have been happier.Instead, I'm mildly content.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2005
A great story, interesting and fast moving, and it actually makes perfect sense which is a nice change. The plot is refreshingly straightforward, sometimes creepy, frequently very funny. One of the more enjoyable and worthy adventures in the series
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2004
The autons are back. What can I say but one of my favourite and underused old foes of the series have made a welcome return. I wonder if this book was written with an eye on this meance returning in the new series. Anyway, back to matters in hand. The book as a whole doesn't quite gell for me I'm afraid. I like it better when the Doctor is played darker, a bit sinister, as if he could stray from the path of good at anytime, a bit like the mysterious Boag-Munroe character from "a haunted man", by stuart neild. Now that character would make an ideal prototype for a future doctor. Maybe the ninth doctor perhaps?
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2004
it's been a while since i read a decent doctor who book to be honest - i gave up on the eigth doctor series after interference 1 and 2 - i figured the departure of a companion as focal as sam was as good a place as any to get off (thought i did read the next couple of books in the series just out of interest - hmmmmmm) - anyway from then on i decided i was only going to read the past doctor adventures and until now i've been disappointed (not professing to have read every single one of course, may be i'm just not good at choosing) - synthespians is brilliant (and i don't use words like that lightly (unlike brackets of course which, as you can see, i use all the time)) - the autons to me were one of the more truly scary enemies that the doctor faced, and indeed one of the ones (apart from the daleks and the cybermen of course) that i remember clearly from the original series - i like the way that craig hinton has set the series in the future, but has managed to make that future 1980's LA - excellent - truly reminiscent of the heady days of big budget american soaps and, indeed, a plastic lifestyle - i couldn't put the book down - written in such a way that just encourages you to read the next segment and the next and the next - the plot is excellent, as are the characterizations - the visual of autons shooting everyone on sight as they marauded through the streets of the cities was spectacular and terrifying - to me it brought back the feeling of doctor who on a saturday night, and hiding behind a cushion (i never went behind the sofa - only pinky and perky terrified me sufficiently for that!!) - good work craig hinton, buying this book was money well spent for me