on 12 July 2013
Relatively well written and enjoyable, this is a suitable story for the era of the Fifth Doctor. Despite much action, it is a story where the Doctor is allowed to stand around a lot, almost in the background at times, managing to command situations by his presence and calm tones. This lends itself particularly well to the Doctor's fifth incarnation.
Although it somewhat mars the sacrifice the Fifth Doctor makes for Peri (a girl he hardly knows), it is quite interesting to further explore the potential relationship between the two. It was never given much chance on screen, with Peri being introduced as Kamelian and Turlough are leaving and then the Fifth Doctor regenerating in the next story. The characterisation of Peri is also very believable and in sync with her on screen persona. In fact, much of the story is viewed from her outlook.
I'm not sure who the eponymous `superior beings' are definitely meant to be; the Eknuri, the Valethske, the Khorlthochloi. The book never really adequately explains it and perhaps it is all or none of the above. There is certainly more than one species who naively believe that they are superior and it is in keeping with Doctor Who that individuals who share this attitude usually find that it is detrimental to their survival. The very moral nature of the Fifth Doctor works very well within this situation. It allows the author to include the slightly contemptuous sarcasm towards such things that Peter Davison brought to the role.
The Valethske are a very well-conceived race. Rather than universal dominance they are driven by predatory needs. This is not the only side to them however and the inclusion of their insane mission provides another dimension to them and provokes conflict within their ranks. Veek is a very strong character and her personal story is certainly one of the highlights of the book. The cycle of Khorlthochloi development also makes them quite intriguing. But the Eknuri are a little dull and their inclusion doesn't seem that vital to the storyline.
The blurb exhibited on the back cover is utterly appalling. It makes the story sound frivolous, trashy and comedic. This book is none of these and the contents are much better quality than this blurb suggests.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2001
Walters captures the fifth doctor effortlessly - try to imagine any other incarnation speaking and behaving in the way Walters describes the Doctor. And the Valethke are a wonderful creation - they are relentlessly evil and ruthless in their purpose....imagine how it would feel to see the Daleks or Cybermen treated as real threats, rather than the comedy villians they became. It was a joy to see the Doctor come up against a foe that seemed genuinely threatening for a change, where you had no idea how - or if - he could survive.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2001
Superior Beings is a very poor entry into this series of past doctor boks. the characters are poorly drawn and the whole thing feels pointless. races are introduced in great detail only to be pushed out of the story and serve no real purpose. the doctor doesn't feel like the fifth doctor atall and just about the only redeeming feature is how well peri is charaterised which is strong and also reflects her American nationalty which is something few books have failed to do. A shame given how enjoyable Walter's Dry Pilgramage and Dominion were.
one book to avoid like the plague, i'm afraid!