2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Doctor Who: Autonomy (Hardcover)
Having featured in three TV stories, plus assorted previous novels, comic strips and spin-off videos, the Autons are undoubtedly one of Doctor Who's classic monsters. The trouble with their repeat appearances however is to find something new to do with them. Daniel Blythe doesn't exactly re-invent the Autons here, but he uses them well, placing them in a closed environment that is a mixture of mega mall and theme park, and letting them run amok.
The storyline isn't always hugely original, with the author wearing his influences on his sleeve. We get a satirical treatment of 'The Apprentice', with Hyperville's boss putting several trainees through their paces; obvious caricatures of David and Victoria Beckham in football star 'Goldenball' Paul Kendrick and his pop sensation wife Shaneequi; even a trip through 'Westworld' territory before the end. None of that familiarity really matter however, as Blythe writes at such a frantic pace that the adventure barely flags from beginning to end. His 10th Doctor is also gloriously spot-on, adding immensely to the fun, and whilst the plot tends towards familiar moments of the Doctor trying to bring the humanity out in his opponents it's all slickly done. As is the norm for these late-period 10th Doctor novels, the Doctor travels alone here, with investigative journalist Kate taking the role of one-off compaion. In terms of character Kate is practically a young Sarah Jane Smith in all but name, but she works well here, and her journey through Hyperville works effectively as the book's heart.
Ultimately, 'Autonomy' may not win any prizes for originality, but as an enjoyable adventure this is very well done. There's also something very appropriate about having the Autons return for one of the last novels of Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who, a point driven home with one particularly cheeky reference to 'Rose'...