This review is from: Doctor Who: Corpse Marker (Paperback)
Corpse Marker is a 4th Doctor Past Doctor Adventure by Chris Boucher and a follow up to his Last Man Running. I wasn’t overly impressed with Last Man Running, I found it to be a mediocre novel which tried far too hard and am hoping for better with Corpse Marker.
Corpse Marker is a follow up to the popular TV story, The Robots of Death. We catch up with 3 survivors, all of whom are shunning robots in the still robot obsessed society. Unsurprisingly the robots start acting up again, starting with hunting down the 3 survivors. The Doctor and Leela arrive and soon get caught up in events.
What follows is a mostly brilliant story which keeps you entertained and intrigued right until the end however as the novel draws to a close things do start falling apart. Firstly the ending is abrupt to the point you have to check you haven’t skipped a page or two. Secondly you begin to think of things throughout the book which were not explained fully. Third and finally you wonder why Boucher went to great lengths to make the characters in depth, when a lot of them were in no way integral to the plot.
Character wise The Doctor is well written which is a surprise given his blandness in Last Man Running. I was slightly annoyed with his lack of being able to get control of both robots and fliers, but it was nothing major. I still don’t have much time for Leela, but she’s less irritating here possibly as she doesn’t have a lot to do. No complaints though.
As mentioned the supporting cast consist mainly of the 3 returnees, Toos, Poul and Uvanov who are all built up really well. What is disappointing is that aside from Uvanov the build-up means practically nothing as the characters exist solely for one plot function. Carnell is an interesting character, who I’d be happy to see again, but aside from that all the others are forgettable, even the killer robots are a bit meh as they need an evil genius behind them.
As sequels go Corpse Marker is done very well. There is much to like about the novel, and the minor niggles I have didn’t hamper my enjoyment. The ending could have been improved but it’s still well worth a read.