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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 Drama
Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos 50th Anniversary Edition.

Product Info.
Paperback Edition
256 Pages
Author: Gary Russell

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 &...
Published 11 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
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and Donna return to Chiswick with Wilfred and Sylvia, 20 Oct 2014
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I've finally managed to listen to this audiobook of a `Doctor Who' story.

I greatly enjoyed listening to `Beautiful Chaos' read by Bernard Cribbins. It's a really engaging and enjoyable story with the Doctor and Donna, and one that brought back happy memories for me from watching the 2008 series of `Doctor Who'.

This is a 2-disc audiobook based on the original novel by Gary Russell for the BBC Books range of new series adventures in `Doctor Who'. It's an abridged reading of the full-length story, making this 2 by 60 minutes approx. episodes (2 hours approx. according to the CD back cover). This isn't an audio drama as it's basically a reading and contains no sound design or music to accompany it which is a shame for such a compelling story as this.

Bernard Cribbins who reads this story is well-known nowadays in `Doctor Who' for playing Wilfred Mott, Donna Noble's granddad in the series. Bernard is also very well known for `The Wombles', has appeared in an episode of `Fawlty Towers' called `The Hotel Inspectors' and has appeared in the second Peter Cushing Dr Who movie `Daleks - Invasion: Earth 2150 AD'. I've met Bernard at a convention in Cardiff earlier this year in March. I didn't get the chance to chat to him much, but he signed the CD cover of this story for me which I'm very pleased he did. I really enjoyed listening to Bernard reading this story who's so into the characters and giving plenty of enthusiasm for what's going in the story for the Doctor, Donna, Wilfred and Sylvia. I can easily imagine the actors playing the characters in this one.

The story of `Beautiful Chaos' has the Doctor and Donna returning to Chiswick on Earth in the present day. Donna returns to reunite with her family - her mum Sylvia and her granddad Wilfred - on the anniversary of her dad's death. Something mysterious goes on as stars are falling from out of the sky. One of the stars Wilfred names after himself and he invites the Doctor to the naming ceremony. The Doctor knows there's something not right about one of these stars, as an ancient force resurfaces and is about to bring mankind down in its progress and it's a force he's faced before and knows pretty well.

Gary Russell is a huge contributor to the world of `Doctor Who in various forms such as being editor on `Doctor Who Magazine' and is one of the Big Finish supremoes in terms of writing, producing and directing. I like Gary Russell's writing in `Beautiful Chaos'. This definitely has the feel of Series 4 from 2008 in it. It could have been a potential TV story with Donna, Wilf and Sylvia in it like `The Feast of the Drowned' and `The Stone Rose' were with Rose, Mickey and Jackie. Why wasn't it? Gary certainly captures the relationships between Donna and her family authentically as well as the Doctor and Donna with their character relationships and sometimes bickering towards each other. Gary has also added his own `Doctor Who' fandom into this story by making it a sequel to a classic Tom Baker story 'The Masque Of Mandragora' as it features the Mandragora Helix' in the story.

Bernard Cribbins has done a remarkable job capturing the essences of the Doctor and Donna in reading this story. Since he's worked with David Tennant and Catherine Tate in the TV series, he knows how they act and sound like. I really like how Bernard captures David's energy as the Doctor and although he doesn't do an exact voice impersonation of the Tenth Doctor, you can definitely feel the Doctor's presence in the room with you. I also like how Bernard captures Donna from working close with Catherine Tate and getting the rough manner right as well as the compassionate side to the character as well. I like how Bernard reads Donna's story of coming back to Chiswick and finding it difficult to cope with her mum on the anniversary of her dad's death.

Bernard also gets the chance to shine again as Wilfred Mott, who's become a recurring member in the Donna Noble family following his first appearance of `Doctor Who' in 'Voyage of the Damned'. I like Wilfred in this story, and it definitely does feel like a Wilfred story as much as it is a Donna story with her coming back to her family. Wilfred names one of the stars after him and has managed to find a new lady flame called Nettie. I like Wilfred's grandfatherly relationship with Donna as well as the Doctor, echoing many of the episodes featuring Wilf from that series.

Sylvia Noble, Donna's mum gets an appearance in this story. I could easily see Jacqueline King as Sylvia in this story, and being pretty mean to Donna as she usually does in the series. Gary has done a great job in capturing the soap opera like feel between the Nobles, which is something that was pretty evident in the Russell T. Davies era of `Doctor Who'. I really like how Donna's dad's death is touched upon since the actor Howard Attfield who played Geoff Noble in `The Runaway Bride' passed away before filming of Series 4 commenced as he was meant to appear before Bernard Cribbins took over. It adds more depth to Donna's fractious relationship with her family which Gary Russell has captured so well.

I was delighted to find the Mandragora Helix returning as the villain for this story. I remember watching `The Masque of Mandragora' on DVD before listening to this audio recently. The Mandragora Helix s a malevolent entity of energy that came from a dimension where the laws of physics depended on astrology and the movement of the stars. I like some of the references to the TV story in this. The Mandrogora Helix tries to stop mankind's progress in `The Masque of Mandragora'. Now it attempts to use the technology of the 21st century to manipulate the minds of people and do something far worse which only the Doctor can stop it.

`Beautiful Chaos' is a lovely audiobook to listen to read by Bernard Cribbins. I'm glad to have the CD cover signed by him. I enjoyed Bernard reading the story with the Doctor and Donna returning to Chiswick and having Donna's family involved including Wilfred and Sylvia. It was also great to hear the Mandragora Helix adding more to the story and a making it a nice fan gesture. The book was reprinted in for the 50th anniversary edition series of books with the Doctors and it's no surprise that this was chosen to be the Tenth Doctor book. Gary Russell must have made Russell T. Davies proud writing this story as it captures the feel of Series 4 in its glory.

The next story for the Doctor and Donna is 'Turn Left'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Melancholy More Drama, 12 Nov 2013
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos 50th Anniversary Edition.

Product Info.
Paperback Edition
256 Pages
Author: Gary Russell

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 tensions 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.

Timelord Rating.
6/10
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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
By 
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 Beautiful Chaos, 24 Oct 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Completes Donna's story beautifully, 27 Feb 2010
I bought the abridged CD reading of this book last year and was not wildly taken with the adventure. Recently, however, having had the luxury of time, I have yomped my way through all the new series novels and this one stands out. The story as written is so detailed that considerable amounts of text had to be excised for the audio CD and I think that the quality of the story suffered as a result.

The abridgement does not do the story of Donna's family justice at all, and the closing chapter of the book actually made me cry - it is a lovely addendum to the story of Donna Noble and leaves you feeling considerably better about her being returned home to her mother's care. Sylvia Noble has generally been portrayed as a bitter and judgemental battleaxe - this story rounds her out very well.

I thoroughly recommend getting hold of this book whether or not you have heard the audio CD.
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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 Wilf`s book debut`s a little belter!, 17 Mar 2010
Great book from Gary Russell, who does his a fine job of portraying the TV characters accurately. The supporting cast are well drawn too and the plot is intriguing, featuring the return of a villain from the show`s Classic incarnation that never feels contrived or an excuse for a sequel.
[And you can give yourself brownie points if you work out who the villain is before the reveal. I did and gave a little squee at getting it right!] A very enjoyable read and recommended.
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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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Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos: 50th Anniversary Edition
Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos: 50th Anniversary Edition by Gary Russell (Paperback - 7 Mar 2013)
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