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Doctor Who: The Final Sanction [Paperback]

Steve Lyons
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 July 1999 Doctor Who
Another adventure with the time-travelling Doctor.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (5 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 056355584X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555841
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars horribly unforgettable 8 Aug 2006
The second doctor and companions are stuck in the middle of a war. All get to experience the horrors of combat. And the doctor has to make sure the web of time is preserved. Which is never easy, especially in situations like this.

Steve Lyons is a very reliable writer when producing fiction like this. It's not great literature but it's a good read with excellent prose and the tardis crew perfectly recreated on the printed page. We also have a powerful plot that keeps you hooked. And he brilliantly subverts your expectations with one short chapter that you won't forget in a hurry.

An excellent and highly recommended book
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Sanction 12 Feb 2014
The Final Sanction is a PDA written by Steve Lyons, featuring the 2nd Doctor and serving as a semi follow up to The Murder Game by it’s inclusion of the Selachians.

The plot of The Final Sanction is that the Selachians have taken over various planets belonging to Earth, Earth have fought back and have the Selachians on the back foot, with only one planet still left in the sharks control. The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie help to free the last planet however Zoe gets captured and history says the Earth commander, Redfern, will destroy the Selachians home planet with a massive bomb, which is exactly where the Selachians have taken Zoe.

The 2nd Doctor is done well, however the grimness of the novel and the worrying about preserving the timeline doesn’t suit him. It may have been better suited to a 5th or 7th Doctor novel as the comic element is lost. Zoe and Jamie are also true to form with both getting some character building.

Sadly the remaining cast all fall a bit flat. Redfern and Mullholland are interesting characters but nothing is done with them, other than what you expect, Michaels and Paterson seem to get a lot of character building for not a lot of payoff and there are countless named dead soldiers / prisoners.

The Selachian’s history get expanded upon, which I enjoyed as I liked them from The Murder Game. The one Selachian who may have redeemed his race turns out not to, which isn’t great and likewise this novel sees them wiped out totally. I’d have liked for a splinter group to have survived and set up a peaceful colony on another planet but it wasn’t to be.

The Final Sanction is more of Steve Lyons brilliance. The story may have been out of place from the era it was set in but it’s tricky to envisage it on screen due to budget constraints anyway. Not quite up to scratch with his previous works but still well worth the read.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor,Jame and Zoe go off to war!!! 11 Jan 2000
This adventure features the second Doctor,Jamie and Zoe. They accidently get into a war. Zoe is captured by one of the sides in the war. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Jame must try to find a way to save Zoe and get histroy back on track. To make matters , worse the Doctor encounters a miltary leader who he knows must kill millions of people and a planet destroyed!!!Eventually the Doctor saves his companions and puts history back on track. Both Jamie and Zoe also learn about the horrors by the end of the adventure!!it's fast for a while , then slows down in the middle other than that a great new adventure of the second Doctor!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Selachians return in a great book 27 Oct 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on
In 'The Murder Game', Steve Lyons introduced a new alien race to the Doctor Who universe - the Selachians. These delicate, dolphin-like water-breathers wear powered armour decorated to make them look like sharks, and have a code of honour that prevents them from any substantial friendly interaction with other races.
'The Final Sanction' depicts a war between humanity and the Selachians, into which the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe stumble. Recognising the period they are in, the Doctor tries to take his companions away from this time but the TARDIS has vanished.
When Zoe is captured by the Selachians, the Doctor is faced with a dilemma: to save her, he must risk disrupting the true course of history. Will the Doctor risk disruption of the timestream or will he leave Zoe to a gruesome fate?
By taking a new look at this fascinating race, especially what their lives are like when not engaged in battle, and bringing into doubt one of the strongest tenets of the series, Mr. Lyons gives us a novel that is well worth reading.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Final Sanction: Final Destination? 21 July 2000
By Gareth Thomas - Published on
This was an excellent book I bought for the sheer liking of the teaming of the 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. When I began reading, I found the book enthralling, and I couldn't really put it down. But, as I approached the middle, it dipped and I didn't find the plot could keep me reading for more than half an hour. Then, as I got to the last six or seven chapters, I picked it up again and it made me want to read more and more. Having not read "The Murder Game", I didn't know who the Selatians were, but by the end of the book, I certainly did find out! The book follows the typical Steve Lyons writing mould, including some interesting characters with good characterisations and a good characterisation of the Doctor and his companions. Read it for the sheer fun of it - read it if you're bored. Just read it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical second Doctor 16 Jun 2014
By G. C. Levine - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting concept. But where does it fit into the entire series of problems that our heroes faced? Or will face.
5.0 out of 5 stars If the humans had named their soldiers Jets it would have been perfect 18 Feb 2010
By Michael Battaglia - Published on
Again with the fish-people as villains? I'm starting to think that someone at BBC Publishing had a bit of a fetish.

This time the fish-people are actually recurring villains, with the Selachians having starred in the last Steven Lyons Who novel "The Murder Game". I vaguely remember them from that novel but don't quite remember what happened there, so either I read it a long time ago or it just wasn't that memorable. Anyway, we're not reviewing that book, we're reviewing this one, so let's stay relevant.

The Second Doctor and stalwart companions Jamie and Zoe are dropped into the middle of the final stages of a war between the humans and the Selachians, one that really isn't going to end well for anyone. As usual, everyone is separated from the TARDIS and then separated from each other, at which points things swiftly go downhill. To make matters worse, they're smack-dab in the center of a historical event where the planet is going to get a giant bomb dropped on it to end the war, an event the Doctor won't be able to stop . . . but if he doesn't, his friends may die.

Lyons gets credit for tackling a subject that the series rarely met head-on, which was historical events that didn't belong to Earth's past history . . . something the new series explores only occasionally, as evidenced by the recent TV special "The Waters of Mars", which also had the Doctor in the middle of something that had to end poorly for history to proceed properly. The Doctor knows the bomb has to go off and the fates of everyone involved, and does his level best to keep his friends out of the crossfire, but every attempt he makes only gets him closer to totally sending history off-track.

In this vein the book succeeds, where it seems to fall flat is when it delves into the tired trope of two enemies seeing the other from a different point of view. He shifts between making the Selachians seem like the oppressed and victims, and having them wantonly shooting people in the stomach and brutalizing prisoners. As gentle as they started out as, and as horrible as the things they did to themselves in the name of war were, they clearly have no desire to stop any of it. But we get moment after moment of the story telling us that the humans are just as bad in some ways, which I'd be more okay with if it said something new on the topic, instead of taking us through the same cliched scenes we've seen before.

But the scenes where the Doctor is attempting to handle a situation that is quickly spiralling out of control and steer it toward genocide are quite close to making it worth the price of admission. Even if the characters wind up being types more or less, the dilemma is interesting enough to keep the story moving and Lyons adds enough action to make up for some of the thinness. Zoe and Jamie do well enough, with Jamie relegated to junior soldier role and Zoe spending most of the story out of her element, to oddly good effect.

That said, the endless amounts of ways that the Selachians and humans come up with ways to kill each other are quite creative, and Lyons is able to convey enough of a sense of "What the heck did we get ourselves into?" into the proceedings to give it a certain amount of grit, with the Doctor showing actual regret that he even got involved in this mess. It's examination of pre-destination and the nature of time, while not deep, shows some level and thought and frankly, the last line in the story is not only one of the more perfect for the series, but one of the best for that Doctor. Not wonderful, but surprisingly better than it could have been.
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm a shark - Grrrr!! No you're not, you're a dolphin!!! 24 April 2002
By Daniel Firli - Published on
'The Final Sanction' see the return of the vicious armoured shark-like aliens - the Selachians from a previous Lyons book 'The Murder Game'. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive during the end of the war between humans and Selachians. They are immediatly caught up with the fighting when Zoe is captured by the Selachians and taken back to their home planet, which is destined to be destroyed in the war. The Doctor must risk either saving Zoe and altering the history of Time or letting Time run its course.
Steve tries to convey the message that the Selachians aren't the violent creatures they make themselves out to be giving a detailed history of why they are like they are. But this feeling of pity is soon dropped as the Selachians shoot plasma rifles into the bellies of prisoners, rips their arms off, etc.
Characterisation of the Doctor and Jamie are pretty much spot on whereas Zoe tends to be a bit more 'gung-ho' as usual, which is a nice change as opposed to her usual cerebral damsel in distress mode.
The story is a gritty space-war story so dont expect much light-heartedness. Well worth a read!!!!
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