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Doctor Who: Last of the Gaderene: 50th Anniversary Edition (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection) Paperback – 7 Mar 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; Reprint edition (7 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849905975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849905978
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection: Eleven classic adventures. Eleven brilliant writers. One incredible Doctor.

About the Author

Mark Gatiss is one of The League of Gentlemen from the award-winning television show, and the author of the novels The Vesuvius Club and The Devil in Amber. He has also written acclaimed radio and television scripts, including episodes of Doctor Who. He co-created and writes for the hit TV series Sherlock with Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 25 Jan. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For many years before Mark Gatiss gained some notoriety as a member of BBC2's cult comedy, The League of Gentlemen, he was a Doctor Who novelist of some note (and he's also the last actor to have played the Doctor on TV). Gaderene sees him returning to form. This novel is also quite timely, arriving with the Pertwee repeats on BBC2. Anyone wanting to migrate from the repeats to the novels would do well to start off with this adventure. It is literally imbued with the spirit of Pertwee's era.
An old friend of the Brigadier, Alec Whistler, is concerned about the goings on at the aerodrome in Culverton. A former spitfire fighter, he has a high regard for the place. A bored Doctor, whose feet are itching due to the end of his exile, agrees to investigate. Why has the fascistic organisation Legion International taken over the aerodrome? What's in their coffin-like cargo? Just who is the mysterious inspector from Scotland Yard? With the help of the local people, who are rather more friendly than the inhabitants of Royston Vasey, the Doctor breaks into the aerodrome. There's also something rather nasty in the marshes, and the squabbling of school friends leads to something more vicious...
With its shower of meteors and body snatching methods, the Gaderene aren't all that removed from the Nestene in Frontier from Space, but this hardly matters, since the novel is an enjoyable romp. Gaderene could easily have been a TV adventure, so true are the portrayals of the Doctor, the Brig, and Jo. Gatiss even manages to slip in the word 'chitinous' every now and then, revealing the impact that Doctor Who had on the vocabulary of a whole generation (although he wisely avoids forcing Pertwee to say it).
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There can be no doubt as to why this novel has been chosen to be part of this series of re-releases to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary; it is the ideal representation of the Third Doctor's era. Set in a very English East Anglian village where the Master is conspiring with a race of aliens to infiltrate and invade the planet, this story has all the hallmarks of many of the televised UNIT stories from this period. From the construction of the plot and the flow and pace of events it is easy enough to imagine that this might have been a novelisation of a four or six part serial under the helm of Barry Letts.

The Third Doctor's characterisation, which I often believe misses the mark in many Doctor Who novels, is absolutely spot on here. There is also a particularly accurate portrayal of Jo Grant in which you can hear Katy Mannning delivering the lines. Even though they have somewhat smaller roles to play, it is also clear that the author is well versed in the behaviour and mannerisms of The Brigadier, Yates and Benton. The UNIT team shines here as it does in the very best of its television appearances.

This is also Roger Delgado's Master to a tee. Supercilious charm and malicious menace are delivered with equal smoothness. His bickering, mutually untrusting, alliance with Bliss (although similar to all the Master's alliances and thus not particularly original) is perfectly in character and utterly enjoyable. As parasitic, body snatching aliens the Gaderene aren't the most original or unique of science fiction species but there is enough to them to function more than effectively within the confines of this story and alongside the Master.
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This is the 50th anniversary story representing the Third Doctor, as played by Jon Pertwee - the dashing, debonair man of action with all his gadgets, Scientific Advisor to UNIT, and Timelord initially exiled to Earth. Initially published in 2000, it is set prior to the TV story The Green Death, where Jo leaves to get married. So Jo features in this story along with the Doctor and UNIT. The original book cover features the Doctor's face, along with a plane from WWII (I guess it's a Spitfire, as this is a feature of the story, but stand to be corrected). As the Third Doctor stories often were, this one is Earth-bound, but that's what you really expect from a Third Doctor story, and that's what is so reassuring about the Third Doctor as a whole. All those great UNIT stories, with the Brigadier, Seargent Benton, Roger Delgado as the Master, various monsters set to conquer or destroy Earth, and great gadgets - ah, those were the days. This novel has many of those elements, and even has a Government bureaucrat, who so often turned up in UNIT stories, causing trouble, or blocking the Doctor's good intentions.

Set in the early 1970s, there is plenty of nostalgia in this story. The Doctor, starting to get itchy feet with his life on Earth, agrees to go to Culverton when the Brigadier is contacted by a friend who flew in the RAF in WWII, concerned about mysterious goings-on in the village. This is a great story, and a great Third Doctor story. The key to good Doctor Who novels, I thought as I read this, is that the author absolutely must get the characterisation of the appropriate Doctor just right - if that's not done, then it just doesn't scan as a Doctor Who story at all. This story has the Third Doctor down perfectly. And the story is absolutely one that is a Third Doctor story - you can just see it rolling past you on the tv screen as you read.

Absolutely totally recommended as a Doctor Who, Third Doctor, and great story.
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