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Doctor Who: The Wages of Sin [Paperback]

David A. McIntee
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 1999 Doctor Who
From the wastes of Siberia to the intrigue of the imperial court at St. Petersberg, 1916, the Third Doctor, Jo and Liz are involved in the machinations of the mad monk Rasputin.

As history plunges onward inexorably, the Doctor's companions realize that history books can lie. But the Doctor can see the threads that hold all time together -- can he and his companions escape the depravities of this decadent Russia without unraveling the history of Earth?

Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (1 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 056355567X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555674
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 449,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Hartnell historical for Pertwee 24 Nov 2001
This book, with its bleak evocation of pre-revolutionary Russia, conclusively demonstrates that the decision to drop purely historical stories from the TV series was a lamentably short-sighted one. Pertwee would certainly have lapped them up! I certainly had no difficulty whatsoever picturing him enacting the scenes in 'The Wages of Sin'. The Doctor's hair's-breadth escape from the train was particularly exciting, I thought, and typical of the third Doctor. Where the other characters were concerned, Prince Felix and Rasputin provided an extended helping of nail-biting tension where Felix is attempting to administer a fatal dose to the mad monk. I was a trifle disappointed that we didn't meet Czar Nicky at all: it might have been interesting to have his point of view to contrast with that of Alexandra, piously attempting to conceal her fancy for a bit of rough beneath a veneer of saintly good works. Jo Grant and Liz Shaw rubbed along together rather uneasily; perhaps it might have been better to include one or the other, or even neither, for their contribution to the plot was rather marginal. The best character of all was the engaging Kit Powell, who played the role of the Doctor's companion far more effectively than either of the two women. I was really concerned in case he got himself wasted somewhere along the way! Perhaps the Doctor didn't manage to 'drop him off at Whitehall' quite immediately?
I hope I can safely leave that little hint with David A. McIntee.
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If you're a fan of Jon Pertwee's Doctor and are sick and tired of watching that old worn out video of The Daemons, then look no further than David A McIntee's novel.
With a style and panache which matches those frilly shirts and velvet smoking jackets of the early Seventies Who period, the author has managed to capture the essence of Pertwee's era and coupled it with the brooding sense of menace which must have surrounded 1916 Russia.
The Doctor, Jo and Liz Shaw take off for the Time Lord's first jaunt in his newly repaired TARDIS and find themselves stuck in a country on the brink of revolution.
Unfortunately for them, not only does Rasputin take a shine to Jo, but the trio end up embroiled in his murder while hunting for their stolen police box.
Is this the best of the BBC's new Doctor Who adventures?
Well, good luck in finding a better one. A must for enthusiasts everywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wages of Sin 27 Nov 2013
The Wages of Sin is a Past Doctor Adventure written by my favourite Doctor Who author David McIntee, and features my favourite classic Doctor, the 3rd. Needless to say I was looking forward to this novel, despite its historical nature.

The story of The Wages of Sin revolves around Russia in the days preceding Rasputin's murder, with the Doctor and his companions caught up in things whilst trying to get the TARDIS back. As with most historical pieces the story is already written to some extent, and as such you know what's coming next. McIntee does manage to make it exciting and nerve wracking to the end however, with a Rasputin who refuses to die.

The Doctor is the 3rd, and McIntee does a good job of recreating him on the page, including a Bondesque martial arts fight on the top of a moving train. The companions are Jo Grant and Liz Shaw, which is nice to see them meet, but not really required for the story. I've always enjoyed McIntee's brand of fan wankery in the past but this one is bordering Gary Russell territory. That said both companions are done well, in what little time they do have on the page.

Historical pieces are always hard to judge in terms of other characters as the vast majority are real life people and The Wages of Sin is no exception. Initially there seems like a lot of characters to keep track of, but once the story starts flowing it becomes easy to know who is who. I do like the fact that Rasputin is portrayed as a good guy in essence. So little is known of him, other than reports by people who disliked him, that he may well have simply been misunderstood. The non-historical Kit Powell is a nice "male" companion for the Doctor who I'd like to see more of as the 3rd Doctor didn't really have any male companions outside UNIT.

The Wages of Sin isn't quite as impressive as McIntee's previous works in the range, but nonetheless still manages to entertain throughout. Well worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ra ra rasputin! 10 Aug 2006
David A Mcintee's prose veers oddly from book to book, between supremely readable to overly clunky. Fortunately he's back with the former style here.

The third doctor and jo take liz shaw on a long promised tardis trip. They plan to head to tunguska in 1908 so she can see exactly what hit it, but instead end up in a pre revolution moscow and get to meet rasputin.

An interesting historical with a well rendered setting. And it fits the era perfectly. Who else but the third doctor would chase someone along the roof of a train in the middle of the russian winter?

A strong ending reminds us that the doctor isn't quite human and has to preserve the web of time, and this is spot on characterisation. A very good read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars This is a dull book 23 July 2000
By A Customer
David A. McIntee tries so hard to write good Who, yet time and time again he fails. This is another example of failure. The story is dull. The characters are dull. The overall tone is dull.
I mean, it's not bad in theory. The Doctor and two very good companions (ie Liz and Jo) go to Russia before the revolution and get tangled up in a plot to kill Rasputin, with whom Jo has fallen into acquaintance. Meanwhile the TARDIS is stolen, the Doctor can save Rasputin but doesn't, yadda yadda yadda. But in practice, it just doesn't work.
A good book needs colour, a good plot, strong characters and vitality, but sadly this book fails to deliver any of them.
Sorry, David. Next time, maybe?
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