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Doctor Who: The Janus Conjunction [Mass Market Paperback]

Trevor Baxendale
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Oct 1998 Doctor Who
Two planets, Janus Prime and Menda, orbit a Red Giant on the edge of the galaxy. The planets lie diametrically opposite each other on either side of the huge sun -- but where Menda is rich and fertile in the light of the sun, Janus Prime's moon leaves the sun in a constant state of eclipse.

Humans are colonizing the area, and a rival group sets up on Janus Prime via a mysterious transmit system left behind by the planets' former inhabitants. But what is its true purpose?

When the Doctor and Sam arrive they must piece together a centuries-old puzzle. How can Janus Prime's moon weigh billions of tons more than it should? What is the secret purpose of the hyperspatial link? They discover a terrible weapon is hidden in the glowing sands of the planet, one that if it falls into the hands of the warring humans could destroy the galaxy.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 1st Paperback Edition edition (5 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563405996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563405993
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 787,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

The Doctor and Sam arrive on the planet Janus Prime after the Tardis malfunctions. The planet is certainly one of the strangest they have visited: it has a single moon which is permanently eclipsing the sun, and its sandy surface constantly glows with a blue radioactive luminescence. It's also the home of a race of eight-foot-tall spiders which have been systematically converted into cyborgs and are now used as guard dogs by a visiting group of mercenaries.

Also on Janus Prime is the Link, a hyperspatial fold in space/time which emerges on the planet Menda diametrically on the other side of the red sun. The Mendans have been using the Link to cross between the worlds and minor skirmishes with the troops on Janus Prime have broken out. But what is the secret behind the twin planets? Why are there strange obelisk-like alien artefacts in both places? What is the significance of the spider-creatures, and can the Doctor save both himself, the planets and Sam as she contracts a nasty and potentially fatal liquefying dose of Janus radiation?

The answers are revealed within this gripping and exciting novel. The relationship between the Doctor and Sam is described beautifully. The unravelling mystery and the handling of the radiation-scarred troops and the horrific deaths that await them makes for great reading. The settings are excellently defined and the solutions--when they come--are not obvious. However, it could benefit from more explanation right at the end when the Doctor tries to save Sam.

This is a novel which takes the concepts of Doctor Who and makes something special out of them. A wholly satisfying read, and a superb addition to the range. More please. --David J Howe

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A really bad Eighth Doctor EDA... 6 May 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Janus Conjunction, although it starts out well, is a terrible novel...The character of the Eighth Doctor is unconvincingly written and completely off - as a matter of fact, he's almost exactly like the Third Doctor, but much more annoying. Sam's character is also done terribly. She contributes nothing to the novel and only serves to annoy the reader. All the characters in the story are flat and boring. Even Lunder, the only close to 3D character, you begin to hate after awhile because of his attitude.
The plot works, but it's very pedestrian. It's just a bunch of running around back and forth between Menda and Janus Prime - nothing particullarly exciting happens. The radiation melting the soldiers is just a new twist on an old idea (from page 18 of Vampire Science). There are some serious scientific errors in the resolution of the novel concerning the moons and the weapon, but by the time you reach that point in the book, you will probably only care that the book is almost over.
Overall, avoid this book at all costs!!! Perhaps this would have made a good Third Doctor and Jo story, but it's absolutely terrible with the Eigth Doctor and Sam. It's not a pain to read through, but by the time you finish, you WILL be thoroughly dissatisfied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
will all the patronising and, obviously, far more intelligent people than me stop wittering on about how "the science doesn't work" and "the characters are all too 2 dimensional" or "they were just like the proverbial doctor who monster!" - THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT MADE DOCTOR WHO IN THE FIRST PLACE - we all know how the daleks put doctor who in the history books by being something to hide away from - this book goes right back to the essence of the tv show - a reasonably small core cast, some terrifying monsters and the doctor saving the universe from certain destruction - we didn't need to know how the doctor came up with the formula to save sam and the others, we just had to accept that he did - like we did all those years ago when we were kids - enjoying the show for what it was - these books aren't text books they're science FICTION - so to anyone who has read the bad reviews below, ignore them - this book in unputdownable (yes i'm sure that word doesn't exist, but look at me daring to use it!!) and reminds you what doctor who is really all about
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable novel 1 July 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Janus Conjunction" is a well written and enjoyable story. Some people have crticised it for it's lack of characterisation and it's dodgy science. To be the honest, the characters are all pretty one-dimensional and it's hard to care wether they live or die. I didn't think the science was all that bad and i thought that the scientific method behind the Janus conjunction itself was well explained. It's true that there's nothing groundbreaking here, but then I dont think that it set out to acheive like that. Zemler was almost devoid of character and motivation. We dont see him that much and when we do he is mostly just sitting in a chair in a darkened room. It seems to me that his only reason for being in the novel is to set the Janus conjunction in motion. Lunder was quite irritating right from the start and I was very disappointed when, come the end of the novel he was still alive. And Julya just seems to be there to give the Doctor someone to explain things to. However, the setting was fantastic and i really wished that I could have seen it on screen. The spiders were good and I enjoyed the doomsday weapon plot. Not the best EDA novel but a highly entertaining read nonetheless.
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By finna
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A most interesting story with many fascinating ideas. The concept of Janus Prime being permanently eclipsed in darkness by its' own moon is brilliant and the characterisation is strong and believable. The idea of two factions of humans breaking apart and warring against each other after arrival on Menda also works very well, and as an alien race the Janusians are eerie and effective. The strong story is let down slightly by a rather weak ending, particularly with regards to the resolution to Sam's problem, but this is more than made up for by the high standards of the rest of the story. Overall, an exciting, thought-provoking read, with some nice incidental touches.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Janus Conjunction 21 Aug 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Janus Conjunction is an Eighth Doctor novel by Trevor Baxendale and one of the best of the range so far.

The Doctor and Sam arrive on Janus Prime, a planet permanently dark due to a fixed eclipse. The only light is a blue glow of the planets radiation. Upon arrival they save a Mendan from soldiers and then promptly get split up with the Doctor heading to Menda and Sam getting captured on Prime. It turns out a colony from Earth came to settle on Menda but crash landed, destroying their armed escorts way home. Once settled on Menda they find a link to Prime, where the armed escorts, led by Gustav Zemler retreat to. Sadly they all contact radiation poisoning due to prolonged exposure to Prime, and cannot leave without their bodies turning to slime. As it is their bodies are literally melting away at a very slow rate. Realizing Sam is in danger, the Doctor helps the Mendans to understand the link's technology and heads back to rescue her.

The Eighth Doctor is still wildly variable from novel to novel. Baxendale sadly doesn't do him very well and he comes across as more Pertwee than McGann however I have a soft spot for Pertwee style stories so I can't say I was that disappointed. He doesn't do anything un-Doctor like so no issues really.

Sam is back to the whiny teenage version, despite Baxendale referencing her maturity since the events on Dreamstone Moon. She gets captured and all she can do, whilst in great pain and wounded, is to try to be smart and flash but it comes across as rude. She even gives a guard the middle finger. Real maturity there. She gets slightly better when she is dying but still is so obnoxious that I half wished she would just die.
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