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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eight-ful memory..., 25 Jun 2008
By 
Don Kepunja "ownstunts" (Retford, Northern England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: "Doctor Who" the Deadstone Memorial (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)) (Paperback)
This great little Doctor Who book falls into the category `Simply Perfect'. Yes, it's somewhat traditional, after the free-wheeling, multi-direction experiments of the television interregnum, but if you've lost track of the dashing, indefatigable Eighth Doctor since Paul McGann's (excellent) performance in the 1996 TV Movie, and want to get to know him again before his hinted-at return to our screens (Dear BBC: Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!) then you could do worse than start here; Baxendale catches his wide-eyed irrepressibility to a T.

Published in 2004, Deadstone Memorial (genuinely brilliant title) nods to the then-unbroadcast new show, thrillingly dropping the Doctor into suburbia, and plunging him straight into action surrounding the seeming psychic-possession of an ordinary family. It's not that straightforward, of course, but fridge doors and dimensional portals rub shoulders in a way Russell T Davies would understand.

Single mum Hazel, in particular, is nicely sketched, a middle-aged woman whose brush with this most romantic incarnation of the Doctor uncovers parts of her personality buried by years of selflessness and duty. It's quickly, confidently shown by the author, their growing relationship caught perfectly in a night-time garden scene that (like all the best Doctor Who books) reveals something true about the Doctor, too - that his first love will always be danger.

The Eighth Doctor has had a strange, non-telly half-life, but here our hero truly lives and breathes again, and makes the reader sorry McGann himself didn't get out more in the curls, cravat and velvet coat. After the dark calculation of the Seventh, here is a Doctor just bursting for what's next, throwing himself in to save the day because... well that's what he's always done; and it's fun!

This figure really was the last of the Romantic-era Doctors; he shares much with his quicksilver Tenth incarnation, but the post-Time War Doctors are darker, damaged, a little distanced. The Eighth's appetite for everything is part of a healthy delight in the sheer, teeming boundlessness of it all, not a distraction from the darkness. He loves the stargazing, the dimension-hopping, the ghost-hunting, the mystery of dark, November woods; he's even back on the strong, sweet, UNIT-era Army tea.

This books ticks a lot of boxes that Whovians proud of the show's tradition - those willing and wise enough to step back now and again and revel, rather than plunge into anything else in the name of sheer perverseness - will enjoy. Elements in the mix here (and none of this is negative criticism, by the way; it's a lovely blend) include The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Mary Poppins, MR James, James Herbert, Buffy and Quatermass, and there are lots of intriguing references to past incarnations, past adventures; the Doctor knocks out a colander-and-wires lash-up his third self would be most pleased with (not to mention a Lancashire hotpot)... and does the First Doctor haunt the TARDIS corridors?

So, yes, it's trad, but trad meaning good: with this, and perhaps the estimable Big Finish's Chimes of Midnight nestling on your shelf, you'll be happy to call yourself an Eight Doctor fan. His elusiveness has been part of his charm, of course, and there are a lot of adventures out there, some better than others, if you want to know more. But this is where to start, if you've got a couple of quid in need of a new home; it's high time we and the Eight Doctor got reacquainted...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Baxendale�s best, 5 Aug 2005
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: "Doctor Who" the Deadstone Memorial (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)) (Paperback)
Plot-wise this is fairly standard horror Who material, with ghostly apparitions in the woods turning out to be thanks to a stranded alien presence, and a local family suffering bouts of child possession (with projectile vomiting in true Exorcist-style) being explained away as psychic powers, but Baxendale scores heavily in his excellent characterisation of the 8th Doctor, which perfectly captures the flavour of Paul McGanns sole TV performance. Basic stuff, but well-written, and with a cracking finale featuring an animated 'soil-beast', The Deadstone Memorial isn't exactly deep or thought-provoking, but it is an enjoyable adventure story, and easily the usually disappointing Baxendale's best novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 8th Doctor, 21 Aug 2013
This review is from: "Doctor Who" the Deadstone Memorial (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)) (Paperback)
This was my first look at the 8th Doctor since his one and only movie. I must say I was impressed. I really got a feel for The Doctor that the movie failed to convey. On top of that the story was brilliant, very scary and well written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars doctor who lands on your street, 17 July 2006
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who" the Deadstone Memorial (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)) (Paperback)
taking the same theme as the tv episode fear her a while before that was written, the doctor investigates strange goings on in suburbia.

Not quite as strong as the preceding novel the sleep of reason, which had slightly similar earth bound themes and excellent characterisation, this is nonetheless a nice read, with an admirable focus of scale that was missing from the range for so long during the sabbath story arc.

And out of all the books, it brings us the best characterisation of the eighth doctor. A very good book, and well worth reading
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suburban Horror Story, but with lighter touches, 28 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: "Doctor Who" the Deadstone Memorial (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)) (Paperback)
What can I say, an absolutly brilliant read, not quite as spine chilling as 'Fear of the Dark' by the same author but none the less a great book, lots of scary horror moments with some lighter touches to proceddings from the 8th Doc/Fitz characters
It makes a bit sad to think we never really saw the 8th Doc on TV bar the dissapointing TV movie.
Russell T Davies take note of how good this book is.
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"Doctor Who" the Deadstone Memorial (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback))
"Doctor Who" the Deadstone Memorial (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)) by Trevor Baxendale (Paperback - 4 Oct 2004)
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