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It might have been so much more...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who: Escape Velocity (Mass Market Paperback)
For a book that brought closure to one of the most unique (and to many traditionally-minded fans, troubling) eras of the Doctor's history, Escape Velocity seemed a bit flat. I don't know quite what bothered me more -- the rather low-rent menace of the Kulan or the contrived stereotypes of the supporting characters. With the exception of the major players -- the Doctor, Fitz and, most notably, new companion Anji -- every character you'll meet in Escape Velocity is an archetype/stereotype worn thin by years of TV drama (not surprising, given Brake's TV writing background). Most annoyingly, some of the plot elements are so ludicrously contrived that I'm amazed they got past an editor. In particular, Arthur Tyler's third-act revelation (it's scarcely a spoiler but I won't mention it here; you'll know it when you see it) is utterly unnecessary.
Still, this is the book that puts things to rights, ends the earthbound arc and reunites Doctor and TARDIS. For that, I can't fault it too much. What's more, Anji Kapoor has been treated to the best introduction any companion has enjoyed in a long time, even though it sometimes seems like Brake is stopping just short of summing up her entire personality in a series of bulleted points. In many ways, this is Anji's book, and faced with a Doctor we no longer quite know, not to mention a Fitz with troubling memory problems, it's reassuring to be able to head into a new "season" of books secure in the knowledge that we're familiar with at least one character.
One last thing: does anyone proofread or edit at BBC Books anymore? The BBC DW line has long been a source of comical typos, but Escape Velocity is a treasure trove of comma splices, peppered with misused apostrophes for good notice. Scary. If you read this, Justin Richards, I'll be happy to do a spot of gratis proofreading if your resources are stretched a bit too thinly...