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on 11 February 2001
Fans of the First Doctor will love this-a splendid, spanking read mixing history and SF plot ingredients to make a satisfying whole.
The story is sound, and while yes I agree with another reviewer on this page that Steven is perhaps a little blandly characterised, the Doctor comes wholly to the fore. One can just imagine Hartnell giving it his all! This is the best 1st Dr novel yet published. Better even than The Plotters or The Witch Hunters. Buy It!!!!
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on 13 February 2001
This book takes place during the 12th Century in Kiev, a city under threat from the Mongol hordes. Partially narrated by companion Steven (Peter Purves) the Doctor, in his 1st incarnation, doesn't actually have that much to do - which is quite in keeping with the spirit of his era. The historical aspect is meticulously detailed, and chillingly fascinating. The s-f content is slightly less successful, feeling as though it's been grafted on: as such it is unneccesary. Quite enough happens for a standard historical of exceptional quality (and yes, undoubtedly a lot better than Martin Day's previous past Doc story, The Menagerie).
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on 31 May 2013
Bunker Soldiers was amazing. I couldn't put it down. The Doctor is expertly written and I like the way that most of the action is told from Steven's point of view. Unfortunately, Dodo takes a back seat. I know she wasn't popular, (I liked her,) but I think she could have been served. I think I may try, Man in the Velvet Mask. However I think it reflects how Dodo was served in the TV series. Still I learnt about Genghis Kahn and enjoyed this history lessen immensely.
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on 20 August 2015
The Doctor and Steven are deftly recreated here, and Dodo is pleasingly developed (her character, that is).

This is in the grand tradition of the 'historicals' of this era, although I won't expand on this. It's a great plot and well written. The alternate chapters written in the first person are particularly effective.

Loved it!
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on 7 February 2001
The First Doctor and his companions find themselves trapped within the city of Kiev, shortly before it is besieged by the Mongol Empire in 1240. As if that wasn't bad enough, the citizens of Kiev start suffering from a mysterious plague shortly after their saviour, a 'dark angel' that fell from the skies centuries earlier, is awakened.
This is a thoroughly entertaining novel set during a period of history I knew very little about, so I ended up learning as I was reading - always an added bonus whilst reading.
The majority of the story is written from the perspective of the Doctor's companion, Steven Taylor, which is another point in the novel's favour, as first-person narrative always goes down well with me. One thing that I found odd was that, although we're privy to Steven's thoughts, we don't actually find out anything about him. 'Who' fans will know that he's a space pilot from Earth's future, but he could just as well be a binman from the twentieth-century, his character is so lacking in this book. But that's a minor grumble at best.
Fans of the Doctor's historical adventures should not be disappointed with this novel despite the rather jarring scenes with the eponymous alien 'bunker soldier' which the city's inhabitants view as their guardian angel against the Mongol hordes. A welcome addition to the 'Past Doctors Adventures' range.
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on 2 November 2015
Entertaining historic Doctor Who story. Not only was the writing of the main characters very good, the supporting ones were believable too.
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on 14 February 2001
Bunker Soliders is written by Martin Day, who produced the worst Missing Adventure for Virgin Publishing 'The Menagerie' and so I was apprehensive to say the least about this one.
It's considerably better than his previous solo effort, but the book is still severely flawed. Having the book narrated by Steven is actually a refreshing change, but the character is bland and although Day tries hard to make him interesting, he's fighting a loosing battle. After the excellent use of this TARDIS team in Steve Lyons 'Salvation' Day's use of Dodo is not good. She doesn't really seem like much of a character here, and he fails to build on the character that Lyons built for her in his book. The best character here is the Doctor, and here Martin Day has succeeded spectacularly. This is the Doctor as William Hartnell played him, and the scenes involving the Doctor were the best within this novel.
The most significant fault of the book though, is although the plot is interesting with good ideas, the execution is not good. Very little appears to happen within the first hundred and eighty pages or so, apart from explaining the frustrations of the TARDIS crew as to their situation. When Day does begin advancing the plot the book picks up well and the last hundred pages are a joy.
There are a lot of First Doctor books better than this one (notably Salvation and the Plotters) but this book would have been a lot better with better characterisation for Steven and Dodo and with better pacing. Martin Day manages to capture the first Doctor perfectly, and has produced a good last hundred pages and these features are the books redeeming qualities.
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on 19 February 2015
good to have more first doctor stories
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