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Shakedown (New Doctor Who Adventures) Paperback – 7 Dec 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dr Who; Television tie-in edition edition (7 Dec. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042620459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0426204596
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 11.4 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 766,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

This novel is an extension of the story firs t told in the successful video production. The story follows on from events described in this month''s Missing Adventure Lords of The Storm, as the war between the Sontarans and the Rutans nears its end. '

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
“He wondered what had happened to mild, gentle, womanly women. Like Ace – and Leela.”

This is a re-release of a novel first published in 1999, released again now as part of the Doctor Who – Monsters collection of stories featuring several of the Doctors in individual stories with various monsters – Zygons, Cybermen, Daleks and in this case Sontarans (and Rutans).

The Doctor (Seventh) is up to his mysterious ways again, and has sent Roz and Chris after a serial killer who is able to change his shape – killing, changing shape and skipping planets, Roz and Chris are having a tough time trying to chase him down. Meanwhile, Benny has been sent to the University at Sentarion City, where she blends in as a scholar and tries to find information on a mysterious secret that the Doctor has sent her to look for. But her search leads her into more danger than she had anticipated and she soon finds herself in dire trouble. The Doctor has been interfering with the Sontarans’ takeover of a planet, and finds himself in jail with a smuggler. But it’s all okay; the Doctor has a plan – doesn’t he? What could possibly go wrong?

This is a really great story, and I was surprised to remind myself that it was written by Terrance Dicks (who, let’s face it tends to dial down the suspense and deep characterisation of a great novel in favour of shorter novels full of action).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timelord-007 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
Doctor Who: Shakedown (New Adventures).
Based on: Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans
Doctor: Seventh Doctor
Companion(s): Benny, Roz, Chris
Main enemy: Sontarans,
Rutans
Main setting:
Megerra, 2376
Sentarion, 2376
Space Station Alpha, 2376
Tiger Moth, 2376
Publisher: Virgin Books
Writer: Terrance Dicks
Release number: 45
Format: Paperback Book, 272 Pages

Trivia.1)The Doctor has grey eyes.
2)The Doctor is known as "the Infamous General Smith" by the Sontarans because of his actions in the first third of the story.
3)The Doctor holds a Master of Arts with the University of Antares.
4)Lentas are grown on the planet Jekkar.
5)Vragg is a Sontaran beverage.
6)Chris and Roz pose as Pinkerton Agency members or "Pinks".
7)Bernice spends much of her time on the planet Sentarion doing research for the Doctor.
8)The Sontaran Military Code requires the death penalty for every infraction.
9)The Pinkerton Agency (aka the Pinks), also known as The Eye That Never Sleeps, is an infamous spy organisation that flourished as far back as the 19th century.
10)The Great Mother is the repository of the Rutan gestalt intelligence.
11)The Time Lords seem to support the Rutans in their war with the Sontarans.
12)The middle section of this novel novelises the Reeltime Pictures video production Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans & includes photographs from that production, The novel version also intentionally ties into Lords of the Storm, published that same month.
13)The novel as a whole provides what is basically a three-part adventure; before, during and after Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans.

What's The Story.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 29 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
Ah an interesting one this. Terrance Dicks has essentially taken a script from a one-off independent video production featuring The Sontarans (and Sophie Aldred) but not The Doctor. Apparently quite successful when it was released in 1995; although judging by the publicity stills in the middle of the book I can't see why! The Sontarans were supposedly 'updated' but look more pantomime than they did in the early 70s whilst Carole-Ann Ford and Sophie Aldred prance around in fright makeup.
Anyway, back to the novel. The Doctor has sent Benny to the planet Sentarion to research the origins of the Sontaran/Rutan war whilst Chris and Roz arrive on on a planet which appears to be policed by genetically enhanced Ogrons and run by gangs of Wolfmen and mysterious gangsters. The adjudicators are apparently on the trail of 'Karne', in reality a Rutan - whose people are locked in perpetual conflict with the Sontarans. The Doctor appears to be aiming to aid The Rutan in their fight - knowing that if The Sonatarans were to win they would subsequently turn their attentions to the rest of the Galaxy - with undoubtedly disastrous consequences.
There are definite moments of classic Tom Baker 'Who' - an ensemble cast are picked off one-by-one; leaving just The Doctor, his companions and a dubious former acquaintance to pick up the pieces.
Overall this is an underwhelming story with moments of interest but little new to offer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Shake it, Uncle Terry! 5 Oct. 2003
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I like Terrance Dicks' prose. I can't help it; I grew up reading Terrance Dicks novelisations. My Target collection and I were inseparable. I took those books to school; I took them on holiday with me; if I had been a member of the child slave trade, you can be sure that I would have brought a grubby copy of INFERNO down the salt mines with me.
Good heavens, I don't think I meant to say exactly all that. Yet, I must point out that I am predisposed towards liking Terrance Dicks books. It can't be helped; it's now hardwired into my brain. But it's not something I'm ashamed about, even now, as the world of original Doctor Who novels has moved beyond Uncle Terry's monthly churn-out. For every Terry failure, there's a wonderful Terry success. For every regurgitated ENDGAME, there's a fantastic TIMEWYRM: EXODUS. For every boring Benny chapter in BLOOD HARVEST, there's a fun Chicago chapter in, er, BLOOD HARVEST. Well, you get the idea. In any case, I found SHAKEDOWN to be very much in the style of previous Terrance Dicks books (which is what everyone said about every Terrance Dicks book, except, of course, for the first one). And what I mean by that is that it combines the fun and adventure of a solid, uncomplicated story with a breezy, entertaining style.
Well, before I get utterly carried away (quiet, you), I should at least make an attempt at describing this novel. It's a Sontaran/Rutan story. It separates the Doctor and companions in true Terry-style, and places them each in their own subplot. Chris and Roz are on the trail of a Rutan spy, tracking it from planet to planet, as it endeavors to stay one step ahead while on a secret mission of its own. Benny is dropped off on a university world, where her task is to study the history of the Sontaran/Rutan War. The Doctor's subplot involves him not being in the story very much, but don't mind about that because this is a Dicks novel and it moves too fast for anyone to notice or care about that.
As the introduction, back cover, inside pages, back page advertisement and photo inserts (including a wonderful shot right up Michael Wisher's nose -- thanks, lads) tell us, this is partially the novelisation of a direct-to-video story written by (who else?) Terrance Dicks. So, Terrance Dicks is novelizing a script by Terrance Dicks; did the 70s never end? Truthfully, the novelisation only takes up about sixty pages in the middle, and doesn't have a huge impact on the rest of the book (although a handful of characters do filter through). The sections before and after the novelisation are quite entertaining -- much more so than the novelisation itself.
Terrance Dicks has written so many adaptations of Doctor Who and related stories that I imagine that he must be able to do them in his sleep by now (and he probably does -- poor Mrs. Uncle Terry). But strangely enough, it's the novelisation portion of this book that drags the most. The middle sixty or so pages add absolutely nothing to the rest. Nothing, zilch, nada. It's padding, and it's not even interesting padding. The solution to the Sontaran's problem is blindingly obvious, yet they never solve it, because the story can't let them solve it. It's formulaic and boring; it utterly fails to fill me with the desire to see the original straight-to-video production. There are also two strange places where the middle section makes an oblique and Benny Adventures-like reference to the Doctor. Possibly this came from the original screenplay that had to sidestep various copyrights, but the jokes seem very much out of place inside what is now a genuine Doctor Who story.
It's always easy to tell when Dicks is getting bored by certain parts of the story. He seems to have enjoyed writing the Mega City portions (very similar to the Chicago sequences in BLOOD HARVEST). The Shakedown novelisation parts aren't given nearly the same amount of care, and, as a result, they tend to fall rather on the flat side. A few other portions are also breezed over, as if Dicks knew they were needed in order for the plot to advance, but simply couldn't be bothered fleshing them out. I can easily imagine the following occurring during a typical novel writing session: "Ah, yes, now for chapter seven. Hmmmmm, this part of the outline isn't going to be any fun to write. Really dull, in fact. Oh, I know. I'll just highlight these bits of the outline. Yeah, click on 'cut'. Now to open the novel document. Yes, I click on 'paste' now. Yes. Excellent. Well, that was an easy chapter to write. Now, what have I got cooked up in eight?"
The above paragraph may sound like a criticism, but it isn't. Terrance Dicks knows what makes a boring section, and (in SHAKEDOWN at least) he's quite skillful at happily skipping over the boring (but necessary) sections in order to get back to the fun and games. Hooray!
From a technical standpoint, the book seems lazy and almost amateurish. There are pieces that are sloppy and not having been fully thought through. Benny disappears for just about a hundred pages (the book is only two hundred thirty three pages long) because Dicks can't figure out what to do with her. But, hey, it's a hell of a lot of fun, so who cares about those minor details? I wouldn't want to read a hundred of these books, but once in a while this sort of adventure is very appealing.
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