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Doctor Who: The Taking of Planet Five [Paperback]

S. Bucher-Jones , Mark Clapham
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Oct 1999 Doctor Who
Another adventure of the time-travelling Doctor Who.


Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; paperback / softback edition (4 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563555858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555858
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

With the number of excellent writers who currently work on the BBC Doctor Who novels, it's a measure of the achievement of Simon Butcher-Jones and Mark Clapham that The Taking of Planet 5 is one of the very best entries. The plotting has tremendous narrative sweep and the characterisation of the Time Lord (this is an adventure of the eighth doctor) has all the quirkiness and humour one would expect, along with the fierce intelligence that is so necessary--and became too rare in recent TV outings for the Doctor.

12 million years ago, an intergalactic war left its ripples on the Earth. Now, in Antarctica, an archaeological team has found something that is the detritus of the cosmic conflict. The creature, which had evolved millions of years ago into an entity capable consuming all life in the universe, will be a catastrophic threat if it is revived. And something outside our universe has decided to do just that. The Doctor, in the far future, has learnt of the war and is obliged to intervene. But things are complicated by the involvement of combatants from his own future.

The Taking of Planet 5 combines the very best of familiar SF themes (Armageddon, the altering of the future by actions of the past) and this outing for the Time Lord has all the exhilarating power of his very best adventures. There are also some striking innovations here: Enthusiasts will relish the extra attention given to the TARDIS:

"The TARDIS hovered in space, its fellows around it, tasting freedom. Now, if only it could be free of this infestation in its guts, free of this virus that seemed so like a Time Lord, and yet sound alike."
--Barry Forshaw

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Nightmare 21 May 2009
Format:Paperback
It might rely a BIT too much on continuity- knowledge of "Image of the Fendahl" and the Future War are a must if you're going to understand what's going on here-, but the plot is INCREDIBLE; the Doctor faces a nightmare from the dawn of history that will be unleashed by his own people, while simultaneously trying to figure out who created a species that shouldn't even exist...

Hell, even the TARDIS gets some interesting characterisation here (In the sense of its opnion of the Doctor is explored and demonstrated in depth as the Doctor confronts other TARDISes)!

And as for the monster...

THIS is why you read novels, really; the scale of the creature here is so incredible it could only be aptly expressed in the imagination.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Story.......... 13 Oct 1999
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When the BBC range of Dr Who books came out I was convinced they couldn't match the quality or maturity of the Virgin range - and the early books seemed to bear out the theory. The books have been getting better and better just lately, and this latest offering is no exception. The plot is intriguing and involves the ongoing future war between the Time Lords and an unnamed enemy, though the novel advances several theories as to who they might be. All the characters are well drawn including the regulars, there are some surprises along the way and some very interesting theories about TARDISes and how they work. Some ploot threads are left unresolved but then this book is in the middle of a huge story arc so that's not surprising. Overall a very satisfying read and one not to be missed if you are at all interested in the Celestis!
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a sweeping story that really does set the Who Universe canon on its head. It really does provoke the mind in to seeing the benevolent Time Lords of Old as something driven to near madness by the necessities and rigours of a Total Time War. In this you see how truly a maverick the Doctor is trying to `think` his way out of situations, rather than just pulling out the D-MAT Gun and vanishing away the problems as he sees them (please don`t bug me about the D-MAT Gun being restricted data in the Matrix only accessed by K9, and Rodan under hypnosis, in the Invasion of Time; I know that as well as everyone).

Saying that story is not the easiest to read and at first I thought the writers were trying to compress Milton`s Paradise Lost in to prose form rather than tell a tale of the Fendahl of Sol Five in Mutters Spiral. So a word of advise stick with it, as it is hard going and you have to skip over the continual attempts by the authors to impress you with their cleverness. Yes, it is a very cerebral book where the writers have clearly work shopped the whole concept of Galifrey and it`s peoples, and by extension what happens to a society when it is faced with the twin evils of near unlimited power and an almost as ruthless enemy to fight against. So smaller concerns like others that might inhabit the Universe alongside Galifrey take second, third, fourth and fifth place in a list of priorities, if they are considered at all.

All Who Fans know about the Fendahl - the Gestalt horror, an all consuming destroyer of Worlds, that popped up on Earth and was defeated by the Fourth Doctor. But consider if it was used as a weapon and what sort of war would required that kind of ordinance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Taking of Planet 5 14 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback
After the confusing and thoroughly un-entertaining The Blue Angel, the Eighth Doctor range is back on solid ground with The Taking Of Planet 5 by Simon Bucher-Jones and Mark Clapham. The novel gives us more insight into the future Time War between the Time Lords and the unknown Enemy as mentioned in Alien Bodies.

The Taking of Planet 5 is about the future Time Lords going back in time to infiltrate an alien base camp in Antarctica. The only trouble is the alien race shouldn’t have existed outside the mind of HP Lovecraft. To complicate matters, scientists in the present day have found the base camp, with an injured survivor, and called in a dodgy UNIT contractor to help.

Whilst mostly entertaining the novel does sometimes venture into deep science fiction technobabble which is fairly offputting, as you find yourself re-reading bits a couple of times and still not quite getting it. Aside from that there really isn’t too much to dislike.

The Doctor is back on form after a rather bland display in both Interference and The Blue Angel. His boyish enthusiasm of a visit to the Museum is catching and you find yourself excited for what’s to come. His acting the part of a Time Lord general when he absolutely no clue what is going on is brilliant, and his torture and subsequent fight back is 100% Doctor Who, although I do feel he is side-lined for large chunks of the second half.

Fitz is also back to fine form which is essentially like a rabbit in the headlights. Thrust totally out of his depth he still tries to come across as knowledgeable but usually ends of failing miserably. He also gets into compromising position with an alien tentacle which is an absolute joy to read.
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