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Doctor Who: Prime Time Mass Market Paperback – 3 Jul 2000
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The malevolence of the Master is somehow lost in this rendition also. We see a tired Master, almost reclusive to the point of boredom. However, all said and done, I did enjoy the story and read it twice so that can't be bad.
My impression of the story was good, and the use of the Master could have benefited from a little more thought, if only to have given him a more evil ending....
How wonderful it would have been to see this on the telly. The Fleshmiths and their horrific world would have been interesting to say the least...
Highly entertaining stuff.
The book is already one of the slimmest volumes in this range and that doesn't even take into account all the blank pages slipped into the gaps between the television show style breaks and previews (rather like the way I used to try to pad out my school projects).
The similarity to Vengeance on Varos is so close that I'd be more inclined to believe that Tucker didn't know that Vengeance existed than castigate him for ripping from that TV story. I just keep hearing Martin Jarvis's voice directing the hidden cameras and seeing the man and the woman idly watching scenes of public torture on their tv screen. It's almost like watching one of those American adaptations of a previously classic British production. It's no fault of the author I think but it's hard for Tucker's shock tactics and attempt at satire to hit home with any force when most readers will have already been hit in the same place.
Characterisations are as good as ever as far as the Doctor and Ace are concerned, it's just a shame they don't have a fresh and exciting stage to perform on.
Ace's character doesn't really develop, as it hasn't really done since Illegal Alien. It's almost as if she's been stereotyped and that's a shame. Since Curse of Fenric she's had the potential to do so much more, but none of the writers seem to know what to do with her.
However, in its favour was the satirical look at the way the BBC itself is run, including I assume, the Dalek-General himself, Lord Birt. Also making a welcome return is the Master, and it was nice to see him on the receiving end for once. But once again, he is in danger of becoming nothing more than a stereotype (I know he's a baddie, but baddies always used to have the best parts).
The Fleshsmiths were a nice development on the replacing worn out body parts theme, but I felt more could have been done to stimulate our horror of them, and also our pity for them.
In fact most of the characters here were one dimensional. There were no surprises in any of them. It's almost as if the PDA authors are reluctant to develop their characters beyond what was achieved on TV. I think it was this more than anything that spoiled an otherwise excellent Seventh Doctor story.
Ace's chaercter seemed to be lacking something. I can't quite put my finger on it, but she, like the master, is a much more 'relaxed' version, gon is the fiery ace we saw defend a human colony against the krill.
the only other gripe i have is the lack of moral issues going on in the doctor we saw in the matrix i felt more should have been made of completey destroying a speices (the fleshsmiths) By the end of this body he should have become a deft hand at genocide.
Apart from that i felt it was well thought out and fast moveing, it was just a shame it was short compared to the others.
It is testement to Mikes talent that a plot, that could have been 2d and tacky in another writers hands, was readable, enjoyable, and kept you guessing to the very end.
If you liked illegal alein, matrix, and storm haverst then buy this.
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