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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: 694,136 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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Nightmare 21 May 2009
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
My first encounter with the Eighth Doctor was the TV movie. Hated it. The only redeeming feature was Paul McGann's devoted portrayal. Then "The Eight Doctors". It was writted by my most-loved author, Terrance Dicks. I had hoped that it would jump-start my interest in the only new series of "Doctor Who" in the foreseeable future. Wrong again. Sorry Terrance, but your writing capabilities are better served by the Third or Fourth Doctor.
Three years passed and then I read a copy of the Doctor Who Magazine. I read the article interviewing Lawrence Miles, author of the much talked about "Alien Bodies" and "Interference". He explained that those who criticise the Eighth Doctor for being unlike the series are right, and that this the Doctor for the new millenium, and he has to be different. So I picked up both parts of Interference. I did enjoy it, but found it a bit heavy going.
Then the "Blue Angel". Again, I was confused by the mythos behind Iris. But this was still pretty fun.
And then, finally, "The Taking of Planet 5". This is a story I could enjoy. Even without the Celestis, this is an enjoyable and readable romp through Antarctica, both in the present and twelve million years ago.
Some personality expanding is given to the icy Compassion, as well as to... wait for it... the TARDIS!
Having read this, I say roll on "Frontier Worlds" and all those who follow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great fast-moving story... 19 April 2000
...a bit continuity-heavy, so I would suggest reading Image of the Fendahl, Alien Bodies and Interference first. This is a nice action-oriented story drawing on Lovecraft (although far from his style) with plenty of impressive revelations about the Celestis, and several good plot twists. Engaging, readable, and fun.
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