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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Chaos, beautiful story
One of the biggest reasons (if not THE biggest) why Series 4 of Doctor Who is my favourite is because of Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). A lot of that series' success can be attributed to such a deep, wonderful companion and the actress/comedienne who played her. Donna's impact (and Catherine's for that matter) on Doctor Who can never ever be forgotten or understated...
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by R. Wood

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Melancholy More Adventure Please
This is another novel that has been chosen to celebrate the 50th Anniversary release of Doctor Who this time the author is Gary Russell.

This is a good adventure that has to much emphasis on the Noble family & lacks the usual threat of a Alien invasion for the Tenth Doctor to deal with.

Gary Russell whom i am a big fan of as he co-founded Big Finish...
Published 9 months ago by Timelord007


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Chaos, beautiful story, 28 Sep 2011
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
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One of the biggest reasons (if not THE biggest) why Series 4 of Doctor Who is my favourite is because of Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). A lot of that series' success can be attributed to such a deep, wonderful companion and the actress/comedienne who played her. Donna's impact (and Catherine's for that matter) on Doctor Who can never ever be forgotten or understated.

Donna's friendship to the Doctor, her valuable contribution and loyalty, her personality and family, and her heartbreaking departure all come to mind when remembering just what a great character she was. For Gary Russell to revisit all this for Beautiful Chaos is touching. For him to actually capture the essence of Donna, her world and legacy in this novel is nothing short of remarkable.

From the 2008 series of novels, Beautiful Chaos takes place sometime shortly before the finale of Series 4 (Turn Left/The Stolen Earth/Journey's End), though the prologue and epilogue are set after Donna's tragic return to normal life. The main focus though, is reflecting on the happy days of the Doctor and his best friend. Donna had been travelling with the Time Lord for a year, but Donna feels it's best to visit home to see her mum Sylvia and her granddad Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins), who has just discovered a brand new star which is to be named after him.

The Doctor and Donna are invited to come with him to the ceremony, and all looks set to be a great night for Wilf. But unfortunately, the Doctor notices something weird about the constellation of stars gathering...he's seen it before. And it's coming back to Earth.

I loved reading Beautiful Chaos. It's a story that's written very well indeed, possessing all the heart and soul that made Series 4 of Doctor Who so special. Gary Russell has a great respect and appreciation for what Russell T Davies created, and captures it all perfectly.

At first glance, the novel may seem like another typical adventure in the lives of the Doctor and Donna, and there IS the notorious alien menace, and great adventuring we expect from Doctor Who, but Beautiful Chaos is so much more than that. It's mostly driven by the characters and their interaction with each other. Not only is the character portrayal faithful and accurate to the TV series, all the original characters and all the various sub-plots/scenarios manage to remain wholly fresh and interesting. Not a moment is wasted here.

Along the way, we get another refreshing dive into Donna's thoughts and feelings, along with a look at the strained relationship she has with her overbearing mother Sylvia (Jacqueline King). Throughout the TV series, we never really knew why Sylvia was the way she was. In Beautiful Chaos, we're actually given a valid reason WHY she's so antagonistic and cut off from Donna and Wilf. You feel genuine sympathy towards Sylvia as a result and it's one of those mature issues that's handled so very well.

It's not just Donna that receives fine focus, Wilf gets his fair share of the spotlight, too. Like her granddaughter, Wilfred Mott is such a colourful character and has a strong supporting role in not just the plot, but also with the Doctor and Donna. There are some really heartfelt and touching moments featuring Wilf, particularly involving Netty, an elderly woman who he's developed genuine feelings for. Tragically, she suffers from Alzheimer's Disease which is (needless to say) a huge strain for all involved. However, Gary Russell handles this carefully, turning a difficult, sensitive issue into something that grounds the story, humbles the reader and makes us all be thankful for what we have in life.

Anything else? The Tenth Doctor is brilliant (as always!) with his friendships and interactions with Donna, Wilf and Netty, the return of the Mandragora Helix (last seen in 1976!) makes for an excellent antagonist, the pacing and writing are virtually faultless, the ending is satisfying, and the wonderful epilogue with Wilf points out the moral of this story.

Although the tragedy of fate will always be painful, we should be thankful for the good times we have with those we love. Remembering the good times more than the bad.

Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos is a different breed of novel from BBC Books. It has a lot of heart and soul, more so than a lot of other hardback books in this series. It's mature, deals with several adult themes and may befuddle/disturb children who are reading it. But I think that's what makes it so special, and ultimately worthy of Russell T Davies.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A noble read, 13 Jan 2009
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A cracking story with the unexpected return of a particularly nasty enemy memorably encountered by the 4th Doctor and Sarah Jane. The adventure belts along very satifactorily and the stakes are as high as ever for the human race, but the highlight for me was the interesting exploration of the Noble family at home. Gary Russell offers a particularly sympathetic treatment of Donna's Mum, Sylvia, and provides some understanding of her harsh demeanour towards the world and Donna. Wilf is such a marvellously well drawn character, thanks to Bernard Cribbins, he just leaps off the pages. The family interactions together and with the Doctor were as interesting as the adventure. It makes Donna's departure even sadder.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the more mature entries in the range, 6 Mar 2009
As a Doctor Who writer Gary Russell has produced some great stories and can be relied upon to come up with an entertaining and thought-provoking read that comes straight out of the blocks and immediately captures the readers' imagination. Beautiful Chaos however, starts slowly, as The Timelord and his companion Donna return to Earth so that she can spend some time with her Mum and her Grandad; although the living legend that is Bernard Cribbins made was superb on TV as Donna's Grandad, these scenes seemed to me to drag on and to lack any real pathos. Meanwhile, a mysterious computer-based entity known as Madam Delphi is using the technology to either destroy or enslave members of the human race, in order it would seem, to build an army that will enable her to take over the world. It soon becomes clear that this entity has been thwarted by one of The Doctor's previous incarnations, as an ancient evil reawakens and threatens the cosmos once more.

As well as the return of a great Doctor Who villain, there are some nice moments that are reminiscent of the classic series: An archaeological dig becomes a nightmare as the diggers are gradually taken over, an electrician is reduced to ashes as he repairs a socket that is a conduit for madam Delphi's deadly energy and a ruthless businessman serves as recruiter for the alien's burgeoning army...
I also liked the fact that the cataclysmic events soon to overtake Donna in the TV series are hinted at here, giving the story some real tension, and The Doctor himself is unusually sober and ill-at-ease as he spends time in the company of Donna's family and attends an astronomy dinner with Wilf, his companion's Grandad. The book has a depth and a classic Doctor Who feel that will no doubt strike a chord with older readers, although I think this makes it less accessible for younger ones, especially the overly wordy middle section. Overall though it is a great addition to the collection and I look forward to the audio version which I feel has the potential to do the story greater justice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Melancholy More Adventure Please, 12 Nov 2013
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is another novel that has been chosen to celebrate the 50th Anniversary release of Doctor Who this time the author is Gary Russell.

This is a good adventure that has to much emphasis on the Noble family & lacks the usual threat of a Alien invasion for the Tenth Doctor to deal with.

Gary Russell whom i am a big fan of as he co-founded Big Finish Productions & has gave us many wonderful books, Novels & classic Who audio adventures including Doctor Who The Encyclopedia in Books, Business Unusual, Scales Of Injustice in Novels & Real Time + co-writing Zagreus & Minuet In Hell for Big Finish audio & many many more Doctor Who releases including Torchwood.

But as a reviewer of this novel Beautiful Chaos i base my review as it features the Tenth Doctor,Donna Noble & Wilfred Mott.

Wilfred Mott has been given a star named after him & as the Doctor & Donna have recently returned to earth so Donna can visit her family, Wiff asks the Doctor to accompany him to the ceremony which the Doctor agrees to attend with his friend.

But some bright light is shining fron the heavens?, Decending to earth as the Doctor suspects its a ancient being from the darks times that will bring chaos down on Planet Earth.

Can The Doctor, Wiff & Donna find the key to the mystery of the light & save earth from utter chaos?

The problem with this novel is theres to much Melancholy & not enough of a dramatic impact to engage the reader in the main plot narrative.

Yes it's nice to have moments of character drama but not to the extent it overwhelms the rest of the story main plot arc.

To much of the novel is focused on the Noble family & the angst between Donna & her mum Silvia with a tagged on invasion plot to make it a Doctor Who adventure.

The drama of the ancient force is a good one but this seems more of an after thought & is incoherent with the drama & the Noble family squabbles which drag down the tenisons of the actual invasion.

A bit of a hit & miss this novel is but to credit Gary Russell it isn't the worst of the series & is a middle of the road release of reissues as part of Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Chaos, 24 Oct 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This is the story chosen to epitomise the Tenth Doctor (as played by David Tennant) era in the 50th anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who. As such, it has a prologue and epilogue that may be a bit confusing to those not familiar with the relationship and events of the Doctor's travels with Donna Noble. However, that's not insurmountable to an interested reader.

Unfortunately, I felt that this story suffered, as a Doctor Who story, in being far too much about the trials and tribulations of Donna's family life and not enough about a Doctor-related event. It read a bit like a family saga, where the author has suddenly remembered they're supposed to be writing a Doctor Who book so they bring in an old enemy from the Fourth Doctor's time and try to tie that into Donna's family saga - not very successfully in my opinion.

This book has charm in its amusing anecdotes about the Doctor, and Donna, and her grandfather seems like a lovely old chap. But there's a lot of familial angst which doesn't sit well in the story, and there's a lot of rather hastily cobbled together action scenes (well, they seem hastily cobbled together to me). So the result is not so coherent, and not so interesting as you might like it to be as a Doctor Who story, particularly as a story that is indicative of the Tenth Doctor era in the 50th anniversary series. A pity, as I felt it could have added up to much more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as well written as other DW books, 24 July 2014
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I bought this since I didn't have any 10/Donna books, and all the other reviews seemed to rave about it. So I thought it would be great, but unfortunately I would have to say it's just ok, hence 3 stars. Yes, there are more emotions and emphasis on family life in it which is interesting, and the actual plot is a good idea. I just think it isn't as well written as other DW books. I'm no author but there were times when even I would read a sentence and think of how that sentence could have been improved. Would be better if written in a more compelling, effective style.Therefore, was difficult to get into.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book, 26 Jun 2014
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I just loved David as the doctor! And since he left and I've read all his books I was really looking forward to this book .. And it didn't disappoint! Once I got into reading it I found my self really enjoying it, I also found myself reading the voice of the doctor in my head how David plays the doctor ! Haha hope I don't sound too mad ! But this is a really great book and a great addition to my collection on my kindle
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!!, 23 May 2014
By 
RachyT (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is quite possibly my favourite Doctor Who novel that I have read. So many links to previous episodes, brilliant foreshadowing and accurate characterisation. I love how we found out more of Donna's backstory and why her relationship with her mother is the way it is. For once the alien invasion seems to have taken a backseat as this story focuses on a more human aspect: family. It's a bit gritty but I mean that in a good way. I won't give too much away but the prologue and epilogue will make you emotional. All in all, this book is bloody brilliant and you really have to read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who, 16 Oct 2013
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definitely recommend, loved this. it has a great pace all the way through, in fairness most of this era of Doctor Who books are good .. well worth the money
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Marvellous Wilf, 13 Oct 2013
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Beautiful Chaos is among the best thought of among the New Series Doctor Who novels, and much of that appears to derive from a deeper than expected look into the marvellous Wilf Noble (as portrayed by Bernard Cribbins), grandfather of Donna, and the man who would ultimately kill Tennant's 10th Doctor on the tellybox. He is indeed well captured, full of charm and pathos, and that elevates what is otherwise a fairly dull adventure. Donna and the Doctor are both well captured in some aspects, but unfortunately these tend to be at the shallower end of their portrayals, perhaps in an attempt to move the pace along with forced banter. The story itself is so standard it doesn't bear much of a review, although there are some nice action set pieces to keep things snapping along. It by no means fails as a Doctor Who story, but it doesn't live up to the potential of its sub-ploys or the splendid Wilf Noble either.
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"Doctor Who": Beautiful Chaos: (Abridged Book)
"Doctor Who": Beautiful Chaos: (Abridged Book) by Gary Russell (Audio CD - 9 April 2009)
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