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Doctor Who: The Face of the Enemy Paperback – 5 Jan 1998
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Top customer reviews
Another ambiguity, the relationship between Ian and Barbara, is sensitively explored, as are the effects of their adventures with the First Doctor (you didn't think they could walk away from them unscathed, did you?). As if this wasn't enough, there's a surprise guest appearance, a surprise (well, to be frank, almost implausible) tie-in with a TV adventure, some touching revelations about the Master's past and a wonderfully lurid evocation of the London underworld circa 1976 (knew those old Sweeney videos would come in handy).
There's also no Doctor, but you'll be having too good a time to notice that.
Ian and Barbara fans will be delighted with the sensitive portrayal of their relationship and Ian's plight in the novel which is a high point and deeply moving. his interactions with the Master are also another higlight.
A must have Doctor Who novel.
A good story; one well in keeping with the time in which it is set, and the characters who people it; a bit of a shame there's not more of the Doctor in it, but that's a small quibble for what is a good story in the Doctor Who range of novels. I guess you could call this one an early "Companion Chronicle".
Despite the Doctor being almost completely absent from this book it turned out to be the best so far in the BBC range. Wanting a scientific opinion on a downed aircraft, missing for a week before its crash, the Brigadier calls on the services of Ian Chesterton accompanied by his wife Barbara. UNIT are about as faithful to the series as it's possible to be, as are all the rest of the cast. It' unlikely that I'll ever reread any of the books from either the Virgin or the BBC range but if I had to pick one it just might be The Face of the Enemy.
The Face of the Enemy's story is fairly simple. A plane is lost and then returned with radiation and damage caused by nothing in the Earth's atmosphere, whilst a gang owned bank is robbed by professional criminals. It soon becomes clear that there is more than meets the eye and the story becomes a sequel to the TV serial Inferno, exploring what happened to the people who survived on the parallel Earth and there current quest to take over our Earth.
As mentioned previously The Face of the Enemy features no Doctor. Therefore the novel relies on other characters to carry the book. All are well done but a special mention goes to the Master, who essentially plays the role of the Doctor. David McIntee has Roger Delgado's Master down perfectly, his mannerisms and his viewpoint of others are superb. It was a very refreshing change to get the story from his perspective, and they way he interacts with the other characters, especially the Brigadier is a joy to read.
The Face of the Enemy is probably the best PDA so far with only Illegal Alien coming close to matching it. The story is entertaining, the characters are superb and it is a thoroughly enjoyable read throughout. It is fairly continuity heavy, but it all makes sense and stays true to the shows roots. Highly recommended to all Doctor Who fans.
it starts off as a British Seventies cop show mixed with the usual Roger Delgado Master escape shenanigans.
However with the appearance of definitive First Doctor Companions Ian and Barbara it takes on a new dimension and class and becomes something altogether stranger with the replacement of government and authority figures by dopplegangers
The scenes between Ian and the Master are wonderful and the climax on a blasted parallel earth and it's moon leads to a confrontation with another of the Third Doctors Classic villains.
Recommended to anyone who enjoys a good read and a great story.
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