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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Midsummer Night's Doctor, 3 Feb 2007
By 
Ray Ellis (Nr Reading) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Nightdreamers (Signed and numbered Deluxe edition) (Hardcover)
Between 2001 and 2004, Telos published 15 original Doctor Who novellas (of which this was the third), each in a standard and a deluxe format. Each featured a short novel (or long short-story) by an established writer, together with a foreword by a noted Doctor Who luminary - in this case Katy Manning, who played assistant Jo Grant to Jon Pertwee's third Doctor. In addition the deluxe format book was leather bound, one of a numbered limited edition (1400 copies of Nightdreamers deluxe edition were printed) and featured a colour illustrated frontispiece - here provided by artist Martin McKenna. The deluxe edition was also signed by the author, illustrator and foreword writer (Katy Manning providing an impressive John Hancock of a signature in this one).

Although these books can be read in an afternoon, the high price and sometimes obscure storylines make them more of a guilty pleasure for adult fans, rather than a short adventure for children. And they look better on the book case than the battered Target novelisations, Virgin New Adventures and BBC paperbacks they were intended to sit beside.

Nightdreamers is set very soon after the TV adventure Planet Of The Daleks and features the third Doctor and Jo Grant, who are pulled towards the forest planet of Verd by an intense gravitational force. The Doctor is captured by a troupe of players, who believe him to be a Nightdreamer and want to take him to the Nightdreamer King, who they believe will grant all their wishes.

The players are bewitched by the puckish Sly, as are Princess Ria and her lover Tonio; and all awake to find themselves in love with other people. The whole is clearly an homage to A Midsummer Night's Dream (including a few uncredited quotes which is a bit naughty). Normally, I don't like pastiches of other works in Doctor Who books (eg. "The Indestructable Man" and anything by Dave Stone), but here I will grudgingly admit that it seems to work and gives an element of depth to the pseudo-feudal setting.

But the pastiche element and the number of characters possibly pads it out too much as there really isn't very much going on and it is therefore more of a long short-story than a short novel. There is also a complex political back story that could have done with a little more space for development.

But there is nothing to offend and Nightdreamers is an enjoyable romp to occupy a couple of hours.
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