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Doctor Who: Players Mass Market Paperback – 26 Apr 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 26 Apr 1999
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; First Thus edition (26 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563555734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555735
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 11.4 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,333,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

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

About the Author

Terrance Dicks worked on scripts for The Avengers as well as other series before becoming Assistant and later full Script Editor of Doctor Who from 1968. Dicks worked on the entirety of the Jon Pertwee Third Doctor era of the programme, and then turned to writing for the show, scripting Tom Baker's first story as the Fourth Doctor. Terrance has written many original Doctor Who novels for BBC Books.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wallis Simpson and Churchill in a Dr Who book? What could have been a mess is a truly vibrant and excellent book, very funny in parts. Churchill (what a thing to take on!) is quite believable.The story is great.It's an engrossing and well written book with particularly good dialogue. The only sadness one is left with is that the tv series was never allowed to develop to become as good as this because we have here a Doctor that could and should have had as much story time on air as Patrick Macnee in The Avengers. I was quite a Colin Baker fan when he was on tv though I thought the stories started to let him down really badly ESPECIALLY The Two Doctors and the entirely dreadful Trial of a Time Lord. But at the beginning, Attack of the Cybermen showed tremendous potential to return the programme to glory after the very boring Peter Davison years. In Players we have what should have been and of course IS! The Doctor here is arrogant and wistful in the way he was on TV but he has dignity and intelligence and reliability, and not a whiff of the heartlessness and prattishness that the TV story writers gave him.
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By A Customer on 17 May 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Terrance Dicks' best novel for some time. As usual, the author has returned to some of his favourite stomping grounds, including a flashback for the Second Doctor in World War One. The Sixth Doctor and Peri arrive in South Africa just an assassin takes a pot shot at the young Winston Churchill. Having saved Churchill's life, the Doctor believes that more sinister forces are at work, manipulating the actions of the Boers. Hindsight is the Doctor's greatest ally and his greatest fear: how much must he interfere to insure Churchill's future? Events come to the fore in the 1930s, spurred on by the intrigues of the Nazis, accompanied by the mysterious assassin... This is an excellent adventure story, very much in the mould of Indiana Jones or even Colonel Blimp. Familiar faces from the past reappear to aid the Doctor,and the 'Players' may turn out to be very old enemies indeed... Despite believing the Doctor to be an archetypal character, Dicks has got the Sixth Doctor exactly right here. This may even be the Sixth Doctor at his best, and it's a pity that it's never going to be on TV, for Dicks allows the Doctor to ditch that dreadful coat, to be replaced by a costume that Colin Baker might have preferred. 'Players' surpasses 'Exodus': although it employs real life characters from the same period, its overall slant is contrary to the earlier book and far more tasteful. I gave this a high mark because I didn't expect to enjoy it, but I did. However, Terrance Dicks could win higher marks if only he tried to do something a bit more original.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An enjoyable and clever story from Terrance Dicks, with the Sixth Dr and Peri portrayed the way Terrance would have produced that era: there's proper camaraderie between the two rather than constant sniping, and the Doctor actually wears sensible clothing! An intriguing new enemy and good use of Winston Churchill, with nods back to The War Games make this a story worth reading...
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Format: Paperback
Players is a Past Doctor Adventure written by Terrance Dicks, featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri and is about a shadowy group messing with the great conflicts of human history. It starts off with the Doctor and Peri landing in Africa, just in time to stop Winston Churchill being killed during the Boer War, an event which shouldn't have happened. We then hear about the Doctor's previous meeting of Churchill in a flashback to the 2nd Doctor's past, set after his trial and before his exile to Earth in what is now called Series 6b. After telling Peri the story, the Doctor sets the TARDIS to investigate in the early days of WW2.

The often disliked 6th Doctor is written as he should have been on TV. A bit brash and arrogant, but still well within the confines of the role of the Doctor. Dicks also seizes the opportunity to get him out of his usual costume, a little bit redundant in novel form, but still a show of what could have been had Colin Baker not been written for so badly back in the 80's. As previously mentioned the 2nd Doctor is also present, albeit in flashback and he is well represented too. The one downside to the Doctor(s) is Uncle Terry tends to be a bit generic, and at times you forget it's the 6th you are reading about.

The historical characters are all really well done, and portrayed just as you'd imagine them. The King being a Nazi sympathiser and more interested in marrying an actress than his role as a Monarch, von Ribbentrop being sneaky and underhand and Wallace Simpson seemingly manipulating events. History really does come alive on the page, a good thing in my opinion. The enemy of the novel are the titular Players, an enemy kind of like War Lord / War Chief from The War Games but different enough so Mr Dicks doesn't get a lawsuit.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 21 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the story chosen to be representative of the Sixth Doctor era for the 50th anniversary celebrations. Terrance Dicks is a prolific Doctor Who writer and his books always, to my thinking, verge on the fairly simplistic. This is no exception. The story is an `historical' one, featuring the Doctor and Peri as they zip through various stages of time with Winston Churchill as the key feature in each period, from the Boer War to the Abdication Crisis. I found this book to be a bit of a disappointment, certainly insofar as it does not, to my thinking, represent the `best' of the Sixth Doctor era, which would have been good for the 50th anniversary edition.

The characterisations of the Doctor and Peri are fairly superficial, and they largely seem to exist as props for the narrative which features mysterious `Players' tinkering with time and attempting to influence those periods in which Churchill becomes more powerful and prominent. The Doctor and Peri are not the characters that they could be, and really could be just about anyone who happens to be in the right place at the right time.

Overall, not a great Doctor Who story, not a great Sixth Doctor story, and while it's nice to have Terrance Dicks represented in the writers for the 50th anniversary commemoration stories, I feel certain there was a better story that could have been put up, and a better story lurking in the skeleton of this specific story.
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