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Doctor Who: The Slitheen Excursion Hardcover – 16 Apr 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846076404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846076404
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.1 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 415,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

The Doctor battles his old enemy, the Slitheen, in Ancient Greece – from the bestselling BBC Books Doctor Who fiction range

About the Author

Simon Guerrier is the author of the Doctor Who novels The Time Travellers, featuring the First Doctor, and The Pirate Loop, featuring the Tenth Doctor. He's written numerous short stories and 10 audio plays for Big Finish Productions (including the seventh Doctor's meeting with Oliver Cromwell) as well as an episode of the new Blake's 7. He's also the editor of How The Doctor Changed My Life, a collection of 25 short stories all by first-time authors, to be published in September 2008. He lives in London with a bright wife and a dim cat.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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Format: Hardcover
Simon Guerrier's latest original Doctor Who novel sees the Timelord travelling alone once more; however it isn't long before he picks up a new companion in the form of Classics student June.
The story opens in modern-day Athens, where June arrives at the Acropolis where she has a holiday job, just in time to help a beleaguered Doctor prevent an alien attempt to blow the ancient monument up. It isn't made clear why they should want to do this until the end of the book, but it provides an excuse for The Doctor to join forces with June and whisk her off to Ancient Greece, where he promptly goes into a trance-like state. While he temporarily recovers in order to save June from being mauled by a lioness, The Timelord continues to remain cataleptic, while June is taken-in by some locals and makes a shocking discovery once she reaches their home...
Yes, the nefarious Slitheen family have made a welcome return; posing as gods and acting as inter-galactic travel agents, the family are once more out to expolit and hunt; their two favourite pursuits. The travellers quickly get caught-up in events, and are soon fighting for their lives in the gladiatorial arena. However, this murderous scheme is just the tip of the iceberg and the family have an even more devious plan in mind; one that will test The Doctor and June to their very limits...

Guerrier's prose is always engaging and never strays too far into technobabble. His version of The Tenth Doctor marries well with David Tennant's excitable yet damaged television portrayal, and he clearly had fun with the never far from comic Slitheen family. Student 'June' sometimes feels like a bit of a rent-a-companion, but until the TV series casts a more permanent associate for The Doctor, it doesn't matter too much. Overall this is another smashing entry in the BBC Books strand; light, accessible, occasionally informative and always fun.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An original Doctor Who novel, presenting an all new story not depicted before in any other format.

It features the Tenth Doctor, travelling on his own without a permanent companion.

It runs for for two hundred and thirty seven pages. It's divided into twenty four chapters plus a prologue.

The Doctor is perfectly characterised and you can easily imagine David Tennant saying all the dialogue.

It's also perfectly suitable for readers of all ages.

The story sees a British girl called June encounter the Doctor whilst she's on holiday in Athens. Whilst he's encountered his old enemies the Slitheen, who are attempting to blow up an ancient monument. June and the Doctor are forced to travel back into the distant past to investigate what the aliens are up to. Which turns out to be running tours for aliens. But people are getting hurt as a result. As is the web of time. Can June and the Doctor put things to rights?

This has an excellent first third. The settings do come vividly to life. June is a fairly ordinary person. But that also makes her quite a strong character, so she's a good foil for the Doctor. And since a lot of the action is seen through her eyes that makes it for an interestinly differet look at the Doctor.

It does though sag somewhat in the middle with little action, lots of characters with made up names, and there's so much going on that that it simply doesn't grab as much as it did earlier.

Everything does come together well enough in the final third, though. Allowing for a few nice suprises at the end and a decent finale.

If the middle section of the book was as strong as what comes before and after this would rate four stars. But whilst it's not the best in the range it is still a slightly above average entry, and worth a look.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Considering the impact archaic and classical Hellenic culture has had upon the course of world history and the inspiration it provides for monsters/aliens in Doctor Who (minotaurs in particular), the Doctor doesn’t seem to visits this extensive and varied period very often. Onscreen there really only is ‘The Myth Makers’ even though several stories have extensively pillaged Greek mythology. Therefore this novel instantly has some appeal.

An alien attack upon the Acropolis in the modern day sends the Doctor back to the Mediterranean world of 1500BC. Once there he discovers a flourishing holiday resort run by the ever viciously entrepreneurial Slitheen. Aliens from around the cosmos come to watch humans slaughter each other in a form of gladiatorial combat in between touring the local sights as you average tourist might do.

It is an entertaining setup where in a reversal of the real world it is the various aliens that become the inspiration for mythical creatures. It also puts forward a science fiction reason for the eruption of Thera (although I was under the impression this happened in the 1600s BC from dendrochronology and volcanic residue in the ice sheets of Greenland – it’s a debatable subject).

The Second, Third, Fourth and Eleventh Doctors all faced some form of minotaur onscreen but it is only the Tenth in this novel that actually engages in the Minoan ‘sport’ of bull leaping which is believed to be the inspiration for the minotaur legend.

As this is a novel from the period when the Tenth Doctor travels alone, June fulfils the role of temporary companion for this adventure. In some ways she is quite a typical modern companion and, thus, nothing particularly original. But she is well characterised and comes over as believable and instantly likeable.
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