Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Starts off promisingly, but then..., 14 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who: Independence Day (Mass Market Paperback)
"Independence Day" was a book I looked forward to for quite a while, but for a variety of reasons only recently got around to reading it.
Having read Darvill-Evans previous entry into the New Adventures series "Deceit" and finding highly enjoyable at the time - sometime in early 1993 - this was a huge disappointment.
The book starts out quite promisingly with a brief prologue featuring the underused Second Doctor and Jamie before proceeding to the main action with the Seventh Doctor and Ace. These early parts where the Doctor and Ace are together are actually quite good, but when the traditional device of splitting the Doctor from his companion occurs, that is where the problems begin.
The Doctor travels to this world which is populated by poorly characterised natives and evil oppressors who take these natives. I say natives, but they're actually human colonists who've been left on the planet when a corporation left them behind a considerable amount of time ago.
Ace's story begins on a space station and ends up with her being shipped into slavery. This whole storyline was unintersting and the characterisation of Ace was to say the least not good. Darvill-Evans in his characterisation of her goes for the early New Adventure approach and her character seems to be pre Love And War and doesn't really fit in with the way that the BBC Books have approached the character in the previous Seventh Doctor books. It also doesn't really seem to fit in with that New Adventure Ace. Therefore if this is a follow up to the last BBC Seventh Doctor adventure Prime Time, the changes in her character seem very drastic compared to how she was previously. But if Darvill-Evans has tried to create a Missing New Adventure then he hasn't succeded in capturing the right character either.
The plot moves very slowly and after about a hundred pages I felt like giving up with the novel. The other characters in the book are instantly forgettable.
Overall "Independence Day" is not a total failure. There are some good points to it, but unfortunately they are totally outweighed by the negative ones. This is a shame, because "Deceit" was good. Perhaps if he writes another for the BBC range he could bring back the character he brought to the printed page in "Deceit" - Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer. A character such as that would have helped "Independence Day" to become something better. Not the worst BBC Book ... but not a vintage entry which is a shame as the previous Doctor novels had become very consistent in terms of quality over the last year.
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