Doctor Who: Hope Mass Market Paperback – 4 Feb 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
Another in a long line of successful books by the BBC.
What Hope does so well is straddle the old "rad/trad" line. I can easily see this as a big-budget made-for-TV movie version of Dr Who for 2002...it has bad guys, action sequences, humor, monsters, and all the things that made TV Doctor Who so popular. At the same time, it has excellent, poignant characterization of the sort that we've seen in the original novels and it successfully carries over some of the themes established in recent EDA's. Thus, Hope, I think rises to the challenging task of satisfying all tastes in the hugely diversified ranks of taste in Doctor Who fandom.
As the story opens we see The Doctor pushing the TARDIS to its limit, but this backfires when the Time craft begins to break up. The travellers manage to land on the surface of a frozen sea of acid on the planet Endpoint, in the distant future. When the ice begins to break up, The companions flee to the nearby city of Hope, only to see the TARDIS sink to the bottom of the sea. In Hope, a policeman investigating a series of particularly grisly murders explains that the planet is toxic, so the humans on it had to evolve to survive; however, a serial killer has recently appeared on the scene and has has been decapitating people. The Doctor agrees to help a cyborg named Silver solve the crimes, in return for having his TARDIS retrieved and returned to him.
With hints that the so-called 'Brotherhood of the Silver Fist' are using abandoned Cyber-technology to turn themselves into super-humans, this novel has several intriguing premises. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to its early promise, and is ultimately less than the sum of its parts.
I also really liked seeing the Doctor stick around after the puzzle is unravelled. I'd say this book is one of my favorite's to date, definately worth reading but it helps if you've read 'Escape Velocity' first as a story line does continue on from it.
A refreshing must for EDA fans.
Be warned - he doesn't succeed on this level. Silver himself is a character who could have been more intriguing were he not given such huge exposure at the beginning of the novel. Masterminds shouldn't, as a rule, get their hands dirty. But Silver's in the thick of it all the time.
It's a shame that Clapham has a chronic inability to retain and build atmosphere without lapsing into utter trivia. Witness his well-written, evocative description of Silver Towers...confounded by the Doctor's deflating and uncharacteristic exclamation "perhaps they have a miniature golf course". Blade Runner? More like the Famous Five!
Characterisation is woefully flawed at the beginning of the novel. Silver has already been mentioned, but there are other characters like Powlin (the resident brooding detective) who could have been given a makeover to make him seem moody and cynical rather than flat and long-suffering. Should he really have been presented as an incompetent uber-companion who asks too many questions?
These are all concerns that make the first part of the novel seem trashy. However, it has to be said that Clapham does much to improve his plot and characters as the story progresses. Hope is most rewarding if the reader perseveres beyond the brain-numbing dialogue and childish description early in the novel.Read more ›