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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars R' Rated Who In Novel Form
Doctor Who: The Highest Science.
258 Pages.
Paperback Novel.
Doctor: Seventh Doctor.
Companion: Benny
Main enemy: Sheldukher, Chelonians.
Main setting: Hogsumm, 2680.
Publisher: Virgin Books.
Writer: Gareth Roberts.
Release number: 11.

Trivia.
1)The Doctor again "plays stupid" so the Chelonians will not...
Published 1 month ago by Timelord007

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dismal!
After the controversial, but hugely imaginative, Transit, The Highest Science is a low point for the NAs' attempt to tell stories too big for the TV. I've liked a lot of Gareth Roberts' stuff down the years and the era with which he's most comfortable, the team-up of the fourth Doctor, Romana II and K9 gave us two of his best books: The Romance of Crime and The English...
Published on 15 July 2010 by DomTH


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars R' Rated Who In Novel Form, 28 July 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Highest Science (New Doctor Who Adventures) (Paperback)
Doctor Who: The Highest Science.
258 Pages.
Paperback Novel.
Doctor: Seventh Doctor.
Companion: Benny
Main enemy: Sheldukher, Chelonians.
Main setting: Hogsumm, 2680.
Publisher: Virgin Books.
Writer: Gareth Roberts.
Release number: 11.

Trivia.
1)The Doctor again "plays stupid" so the Chelonians will not kill him.
2)Bernice drinks Bubbleshake, an oral appetite suppressant containing Fabi weed extract. It has many side effects, one of which is brain disintegration.
3)Bernice cannot find any alcohol in the Tardis.
4)Sheldukher is one of the most wanted men in the galaxy.
5)Chelonians are large cybernetic turtles who hate humans.
6)Bernice Summerfield knows some aikido.
7)The Fortean Flickers are metaphysical phenomenon associated with random events.
8)A prelude to this novel was published in DWM 196.
9)The 2009 special Planet of the Dead features elements of this story; whereas a tube train passes through a Fortean Flicker to Sakkrat here, a red London bus passes through a wormhole onto San Helios in the 2009 story.
10)The writer of both pieces, Gareth Roberts, was to use the Chelonians in Planet of the Dead, but the heat of the Dubai desert where filming was to be was thought too severe for an actor to wear a heavy Chelonian turtle costume in.
11)On regaining consciousness, the Doctor cries out, "Where am I? Who am I? & who are you?" (Tv: Time and the Rani).
12)This story has been adapted into a full cast drama by Big Finish Productions due for release December 2014.

Plot Synopsis.
Sakkrat.

Many legends speak of this world, home of an ancient empire destroyed by its own greatest achievement: the Highest Science, the pinnacle of technological discovery.

When the Tardis alerts the Seventh Doctor & Bernice (Benny) Summerfield to the presence of an enormous temporal fluctuation on a large, green, unremarkable planet, they are not to know of any connection with the legend.

But the connection is there, and it will lead them into conflict with the monstrous Chelonians, with their contempt for human parasites; into adventure with a group of youngsters whose musical taste has suddenly become dangerously significant; & will force them to face Sheldukher, the most wanted criminal in the galaxy.

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a excellent New Adventures novel & Gareth Roberts debut that here has the beginings of Robert's trademark style of writing, the humour the horror & plenty of people being killed off left, right & centre.

The Chelonians are a wonderful new race of monsters & make a formidable enemy for the Seventh Doctor to go up against while the criminal mastermind Sheldukher is such a fantasticly vile slightly over the top villain as he's plain evil for the sake of it makes the character all the more dangerous.

This is Bernice Summerfield first real adventure with the Seventh Doctor who's character splits fan opinion to this day but without doubt Benny has made a long lasting impression with her lust for adventure & sarcastic wit & even has her own audiobook range at Big Finish Productions.

Roberts manages to capture of the character traits of the season 24 Doctor's more clownish behavior of which is lighter in tone than the the tragedies echoed in Love and War plus the darker New Adventure novels that followed after this story.

The Highest Science sees the Doctor tracking a device named the Fortean Flicker while a group of people & a race called the Chelonians get transported to the same planet & proceed to run around killing each other until the novels strange resolution that features a bodycount that would put Rambo to shame.

The ending left me a little perplexed as it's a real downer, the Doctor doesn't stick around to figure out a way to save all the trapped humans of the 'eight-twelves' as we readers had to wait for another Novel titled Happy Endings some 39 novels later to come along for another author to sort out & one hopes this is conclusion is better adapted differently for the upcoming Big Finish Audiobook.

Overall, The Highest Science has a traditional Doctor Who element running throughout the novel & delivers one of the lighter toned yet violent adventures of the New Adventures range & while the ending is unsatisfactory it does move at a fair ole pace & is never a dull read making it a enjoyable if flawed novel.

Timelord Rating.
7/10
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An all time High, 20 Oct 2004
This review is from: Highest Science (New Doctor Who Adventures) (Paperback)
Well, just when I was despairing of reading another worthwile installment in the Virgin New Adventures series Gareth Roberts comes up with a very satisfying read. Some of the plot strands are unsatisfactorily resolved but the rest of the novel makes up for that; fast-paced, entertaining and intriguing from start to finish.
The Doctor has to use all his experience and ingenuity to deal with the insane but deadly criminal mastermind named Sheldukher as well as the bloodthirsty human-hating tortoise-like Chelonians, and the so-called 'Fortean Flicker', a disturbance in the space/time continuum that could herald an apocalypse. Bernice meanwhile becomes dangerously addicted to a narcotic soft drink (some for-once subtle satire) and caught up with a group of anarchic tearaways, with their own agenda.
The body-count is high, The Doctor is at his mischievous best and the aliens are impressive. All-in-all a decent addition to the series.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dismal!, 15 July 2010
By 
This review is from: Highest Science (New Doctor Who Adventures) (Paperback)
After the controversial, but hugely imaginative, Transit, The Highest Science is a low point for the NAs' attempt to tell stories too big for the TV. I've liked a lot of Gareth Roberts' stuff down the years and the era with which he's most comfortable, the team-up of the fourth Doctor, Romana II and K9 gave us two of his best books: The Romance of Crime and The English Way of Death.

The Highest Science hankers after that era but fails to make it work with the increasingly dark angsty tone that would characterise the NAs. The storyline is inconsistent - attempts at Douglas Adams-style digressions fall flat - Bernice taking a drugged out ride with a bunch of losers purely to get her to the right place to reconnect her with the Doctor is utterly contrived and seems to be there purely to eke out the word count and the Chelonians are neither funny or menacing, perhaps because the author tries to make them both.

Characters get killed off randomly almost because the author seems to decide he's bored and feels like throwing a murder into the mix. And the book really just stops at a certain point, rather than has an ending. Paul Cornell eventually resolves the ending 39 books later.

All in all, a very weak novel and thankfully not a direction in which the books continued. Some NA authors peaked with their first novels: IMHO, Paul Cornell's best book was Timewyrm: Revelation, Mark Gatiss's was Nightshade and Kate Orman's were The Left-handed Hummingbird and Set Piece. Other authors like Lawrence Miles and Gareth Roberts started low but became much, much better, eventually writing some of my favourite Who novels.

The Highest Science is part of the loosely-connected 'Future History Cycle' which began with Love and War and ended with Lucifer Rising. This sequence of novels was pivotal in developing the continuing style of the NAs and as such is a mishmash of styles and ideas, with many people loving some of the books and hating others. After Lucifer Rising, the series settled down and we lucky readers had years of great novels to work through. Of this cycle, the likeable Love and War is required reading for the introduction of warrior Ace and Bernice Summerfield, as are Deceit and the excellent Lucifer Rising. I loved Transit and The Pit is . . . well . . . a weird but often fascinating tale giving more background to Time Lord history, although it literally sells Bernice up the river to keep her out of the way (a change in schedule meant that the writers of Transit up to Deceit were all writing without a complete character outline for Benny and had to sideline her.)

Anyway, The Highest Science is readable enough fluff, but there were much better books before it and many more to come!
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Highest Science (New Doctor Who Adventures)
Highest Science (New Doctor Who Adventures) by Gareth Roberts (Paperback - 18 Feb 1993)
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