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Man of teeth and curls,
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Festival of Death: 50th Anniversary Edition (Kindle Edition)
Oh, thank goodness that's over. There's a lot to like about this book, but it feels like it goes on forever. Republished to represent the fourth Doctor in the anniversary year of the show, it presents the man of teeth and curls with his companion the Time Lady Romana, and both are on great form (with Romana being particularly well portrayed as an equal to the title character). The writing is strong, and although it's occasionally self-conscious in how much it wants to be like Douglas Adams that's no great sin, and the results are fun. The plot is inventive too. The current show has made stories that play with the order of time - events happening out of sequence - a regular feature, but it's something that's surprisingly recent given this is a premise all about time travel.
When Morris wrote Festival of Death, it was still something that had yet to be done much. That's the book's biggest problem. The plot is clever, with the Doctor turning up at the end of an adventure he's yet to have and discovering that he averted death and disaster only by sacrificing himself, then travelling further and further back into the story to do the things he's already learned that he's going to do. What makes the story drag in the second half is that it's all over-explained. We end up seeing the same events several times, from the viewpoints of several characters, often in detail, because the story isn't entirely confident that you're following along. By the end, the repetition is insanely tedious, which lets down a very promising first half.