Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's an evil force like you doing in a place like this?
Fear of the Dark is a Dr. Who novel by Trevor Baxendale. It's his fourth Dr. Who novel, and the first one to involve a different Doctor than the eighth. Baxendale does an excellent job with this one, creating his very own Who horror novel with some chills and a tight cast of characters. It's only marred by an ending that seems to take forever and some wooden...
Published on 8 Jan. 2004 by David Roy

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but too many cliches, advance and retreat, and corny characters.
This starts out ok, if a little more like an episode of classic trek than doctor who. In fact it's a bit like the episode Devil in the Dark, with a monster lurking about in the tunnels etc . The characterisation and dialogue for the doctor is pretty good to start with, and you can picture the fifth doctor. Nyssa has little do for most of the book except be ill or asleep...
Published 11 days ago by Pete


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's an evil force like you doing in a place like this?, 8 Jan. 2004
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
Fear of the Dark is a Dr. Who novel by Trevor Baxendale. It's his fourth Dr. Who novel, and the first one to involve a different Doctor than the eighth. Baxendale does an excellent job with this one, creating his very own Who horror novel with some chills and a tight cast of characters. It's only marred by an ending that seems to take forever and some wooden characterization.
Baxendale is known for his traditional Who stories, and this one is no different. One can imagine the dank cave sets, perhaps wobbling a little bit as they were wont to do on the television show. It has a limited cast, and even fewer actual speaking parts. The only thing that couldn't be done is some of the special effects, and even those may have been able to be faked. Yes, this is televised Who on a book budget. And you know what? I loved it.
One of the things the television series often had going for it was atmosphere. Fear of the Dark has this in spades. It's spooky and it's (yes, this word will keep coming up again) dark. The dank mood of the caves just wafts off the page, and when one of the characters is completely cut off and alone in the dark (there it is again!), I could feel my own gut clench a little bit. Even when the characters are in bright lights, the book still feels a bit dimmed. Baxendale does a very effective job in conveying this, and the mood is perfect for what Baxendale is trying to show us. It's positively chilling when the Dark is siphoning away any visible light, and we watch as even open flames slowly dim until they are just embers, and then finally even these go out.
Often, when books go for an atmospheric effect, they do so at the expense of the characters. Baxendale is bitten by this bug, unfortunately. Then again, he could be going for the horror movie effect, where the cast is limited and nobody outside the inner circle is given any characterization whatsoever. While this may be true, it doesn't really work in a book. Some of Stoker's men have a few lines, a brief bit of characterization, and then they're gone. Cannon fodder is the term, I believe. It gets worse when the ship arrives and Baxendale adds even more faceless people to go with the two new full characters. In fact, we don't even know what happens to some of the crew, though it's obvious by implication. They just disappear and are never referred to again.
There are a few exceptions to this, though. Stoker is definitely the best of the bunch, alternately suspicious of the Doctor and then relying on him when it's clear he has a better grip of what's going on then she does. We learn a lot about her in the course of events, and I really enjoyed reading about her. Less well-done, though still effectively, are Lawrence, Bunny, and Cadwell. Cadwell has his own agenda but he seems a bit too stereotypical at times. Bunny is given lots of background, but it is sort of stereotypical as well. He has left his family for one final mission with Stoker, and he constantly misses his daughter (though no mention is made of him missing his wife, which is interesting). Lawrence actually is given more then the stereotypical tough-guy captain role, especially his interplay with Stoker.
However, it's the regular characters where Baxendale shines. The Fifth Doctor, so hard to get right in print (especially when compared to Peter Davison's performance of him on the show), is excellent. He's kind and considerate of his friends but just slightly tetchy. He's irritable at times, especially when things are starting to go wrong. Basically, he's so in-character here that it becomes obvious when something is happening to him and he starts doing weird things. With anybody else, the characterization would be so off that we would believe it's just the author messing up. Here, it's obvious what's going on and a little bit scary.
Tegan and Nyssa are excellent as well. Nyssa is innocent yet quietly competent. Tegan is a mouth on legs, but you can tell that she genuinely cares about people, especially her friends. She is willing to die for her friends if need be, and while she does feel fear, she is willing to do what it takes to save them. The novel takes place right after the television episode "Arc of Infinity," where she has met up with the TARDIS crew after being abandoned by them at Heathrow Airport 6 months before. Thus, the book delves deeply into her psyche as she determines what her place is within both the crew itself as well as life in general. She wants to do something with her life, and as scary as traveling with the Doctor can be sometimes, she hasn't felt alive like that since she was stuck back on Earth. She wants to help people, and she will always get the opportunity to do that when the Doctor is around. I loved her character in this book.
I haven't said a lot about the plot of the book, but that's mainly because it is stereotypical of the genre. A small group of people are terrorized by a malevolent force and must defeat it to survive. The ending confrontation drags on a bit too long and I started to get bored, but otherwise the book was one that I couldn't put down. Sure, the plot is a stereotype, but when it's done well, I don't care. This book grabbed me, and while it almost let me go at the end, it was definitely worth the read.
David Roy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear of the Dark, 17 Jun. 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fear of the Dark: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Taking life easy for a few days, having a nasty cold, I've read a couple of the 50th anniversary editions of Doctor Who novels. The Fourth Doctor story, Festival of Death, was great and I've reviewed that.

This one is the Fifth Doctor story representative for the 50th anniversary celebrations. Fear of the Dark was first published in 2003, and is set after the tv story Arc of Infinity, when Tegan returns to the Tardis after the adventure in Amsterdam with Omega. Tegan, Nyssa and the Doctor are still feeling the loss of Adric, and Nyssa is haunted by nightmares of Traken. When the Tardis is attacked by some kind of psionic force, they land on what turns out to be the moon of Akoshemon, a planet where centuries of fear and horror have haunted the landscape. There the Tardis crew meet up with a team led by Jyl Stoker; but what are they doing there and what does it mean for the Doctor and his companions?

This is a great story; the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan are captured perfectly. I love the way the author has captured Tegan's quickfire temper, and there is humour laced among the action and mounting horror of the narrative. Beyond that, the story itself is a clever, multi-layered narrative, which starts off seeming like its going to be quite straightforward but along the way turns into a very complex story with many sidelines. That's a good thing; the characters all get a chance to develop into `real' people, and the mounting tension and horror of the story becomes a real tangible thing. The Doctor's fear of his own vulnerabilities makes the story never seem like a sure-fire neatly tied up opportunity, and there is real tension and concern in the story right to the end. Totally, utterly recommende. This is a great Doctor Who, and a great story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifth Doctor Classic Novel, 8 Nov. 2013
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fear of the Dark: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Trevor Baxendale has written the exellent 8th Doctor Big Finish audio adventure Something's Inside & here writes for the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa & Tegan.

This is a engaging story that takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of twists & turns in this very chilling adventure set on an ruined moon on the planet of Akoshemon.

The Doctor,Nyssa & Tegan arriving in the Tardis team up with Archaeologists led by Stoker at a archaeological dig were they are delving into the planets past history.

Akoshemons past history is of fear & darkness but now a great malevolent force is being reborn bringing more than what was told about Akoshemon past history.

An ancient evil is uprising that brings terror to the resident's of Askshemon as the Doctor's worst fears are about to be confirmed & the Timelord is about to to be pushed to his physical & emotional limits & beyond as the Doctor may not survive what evil forces awaits him.

Trevor Baxendale delivers a very dark & at time's gruesome adventure here for the Fifth Doctor & his companions, Yet Baxendale has actually nailed the Fifth Doctor's characteristics perfectly as i feel this is one of the most difficult incarnations to write for in Novels & audiobooks.

This is a chilling page turning adventure & although the ending drags slightly in no way does it diminish the quality written plot stucture of this wonderful fifth Doctor novel which is one of the better novels in the 50th Anniversary series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who..Fear Of The Dark, 18 Dec. 2014
The moon of Akoshamon..is where a great evil lurks..where it has grown since the planets birth..The Doctor,Nyssa and Tegan are literally blown off thier feet at the start of this briliant story..The Dark kills without mercy..twists minds and makes people fear it..and even The Doctor is frightened and fights for even his sanity..Trevor Bexendale delivers this novel with amazing briliance..All the charecters have their own background story..and are very likeable even the sneeky Cadwell..and he is the twist to the story..I loved the characters Jyl Stoker and Bunny Chaung..The fear they all felt..even The Doctor..it jumped out at you..You wanted them all the survive..The sadest death was Bunny's..all he wanted to do was to be with his family..Nyssa was a great key point in the story as The Dark possesesed her first..The Doctor..as strong as he is..you think even to the end The Dark has him..They all fight for thier existance....and it really is a fight..This is one novel I really do one hundred and ten percent recommend..to any and all Doctor Who fans...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who - Fear of the Dark, 20 Mar. 2004
This book is absolutely mind blowing. The fifth Doctor character is portrayed brilliantly as are Nyssa & Tegan. For a Dr who story it can get rather gruesome, but it works very well and the enemy is very believable.
Superb detail and descripton makes this one of the best books i've ever read. Very Very impressed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but too many cliches, advance and retreat, and corny characters., 24 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This starts out ok, if a little more like an episode of classic trek than doctor who. In fact it's a bit like the episode Devil in the Dark, with a monster lurking about in the tunnels etc . The characterisation and dialogue for the doctor is pretty good to start with, and you can picture the fifth doctor. Nyssa has little do for most of the book except be ill or asleep. Tegan is written reasonably well. The other characters are corny. There are some shameless and crude attempts to get us to care about them, such as repeatedly talking about the young daughter of one of them and how she needs her daddy to come home. These characters are too cartoon for us to really give two hoots about them.

When Captain Lawrence arrives in response to a distress call, and has an antagonistic relationship with the female leader of the rogue mining team, I groaned then laughed out loud to read that, you guessed it, they had a romantic past together. I will leave you to take a wild guess as to how their apparent loathing of each other turns out. . . . Suffice to say that this was cheese of the corniest nature.

There is to be fair a good degree of interest story wise for the first half or so of the book. This degenerates rather, into a repeating pattern of the doctor insisting that they go towards the danger and then have to run away. This all feels a bit pointless. The end result is that the doctor feels pretty useless and if anything more likely to get people killed. He is never in control and rarely appears to have much to offer, but instead gets dragged along by the events. It's sort of the antithesis of the tenth doctors almost messiah like powers. I accept that the fifth doctor was much more dithering and unsure, but in this story he starts to feel more of a blundering liability than he should. To be fair this is made at least in part inevitable by him being under the mental influence of the enemy, but that to me renders him pretty un-doctor like for much of the time, which is not really what I want in a doctor who book.

When the remaining humans finally decide to blast off of the surface, they take an absolute age doing so. This being despite the monster that can kill them in a second being hot on their heels! They even allow someone to give a long explanation of their back story and current position, including why they think as they do, when there is no reason why he can't do this after they have safely taken off.

The various futile encounters with the blood sucker and the 'Dark' finally come to a climax during one of the many to'ing and fro'ings into the caves etc . The doctor finally has a brief lucid moment of doctorish behaviour and its all over. So it's not terrible and entertaining in parts, but rather let down by corny additional characters, too much pointless advance and retreat, and a doctor who is not himself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who Fear of the Dark, 11 April 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fear of the Dark: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
On a moon of the ruined planet Akoshemon, an age-old terror is about to be reborn. Something that remembers the spiral of war, pestilence and deprivation - and rejoices in it. The Fifth Doctor joins a team of archaeologists searching for evidence of the planet's infamous past, and uncovers more than just ancient history. Forced to confront his own worst fears, even the Doctor will be pushed to breaking point - and beyond.

An adventure featuring the Fifth Doctor as played by Peter Davison and his companions Tegan and Nyssa
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fear of the Dark: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Peter Davison is very good as Doctor Who and it was nice to get a sense of him being truly scared for once. I've noticed that writers tend to make Nyssa into a medium for the baddies to use but this time it works because it isn't played on. Tegan is just being wonderful Tegan and this book is an excellent read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Survival horror, 2 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just like an original fifth doc adventure well written and spooky as hell love how the doctor is pushed to the very brink of desperation and fear recommended
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 2 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very enjoyable.. different and couldn't put it down! It's going to be one I read again and again. Great for the Doctors 50th anniversary
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Doctor Who: Fear of the Dark: 50th Anniversary Edition
Doctor Who: Fear of the Dark: 50th Anniversary Edition by Trevor Baxendale (Paperback - 7 Mar. 2013)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews