Managra is a richly populated book, with a future Europe that – thanks to Time Lord technology consists of numerous countries, cities and even oceans stacked up side by side, each one artificially constrained into a certain time period from the 14th-19th centuries. Thanks to cloning the novel also features numerous ‘reprises’ of Byron, Mary Shelley, Torquemada, Count Richelieu and co, plus vampires, gods and demons. The main story concerns the power struggle for the Papacy, and the plans of the creature called Managra – a creature who treats the world as a stage and who can control the actions of its inhabitants. The book is stuffed with lovely little background touches and scenes, but the central plot doesn’t quite satisfy, as the book is written as a sequel to an untold adventure where the Doctor encountered Countess Bathory. Nevertheless, this is still one of the best ‘Missing Adventure’ books, and is a fantastic black comedy with some startling imagery. Recommended.
on 8 March 2009
The title of this Doctor Who 'Missing Adventure' (in case you hadn't noticed), is an anagram of the word 'anagram'. A Gothic extravaganza published in 1995, the story has an 'everything but the kitchen-sink' feel to it but as it is written in such a sumptuous and energetic style, such indulgences can be forgiven. The Fourth Doctor and Sarah-Jane seem to be having as much fun here as they did in their early TV stories, while the novel itself is far too complex and too lavish to have ever been made for TV; still, isn't that the point?
on 5 September 2002
Hey! I wondered how a fantastic book like Managra only got one star. Turns out the reviewers were talking about Gary Russell's pretty awful novel about alien cats. How did they get in here? This section is supposed to be about Stephen Marley's "Managra", which in my opinion, and that of others, is the most inventive, exciting, darkly funny novel to come out of the Missing Adventures series. The writing style towers above other Doctor Who writers and the imaginative scope places Marley in a class of his own. Wildly gothic, hilariously tongue-in-cheek, shot through with flashes of sheer brilliance, Managra is a real class act.