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Doctor Who: Superior Beings Mass Market Paperback – 4 Jun 2001
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A Fifth Doctor and Peri novel. The planet Rocosia consists of nothing but immaculately-cultivated plant life, that dazzles visitors to the planet. However, as the Decimators try to destroy the planet, the Doctor is rescued by the Valethske, creatures who are holding Peri captive.
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Although it somewhat mars the sacrifice the Fifth Doctor makes for Peri (a girl he hardly knows), it is quite interesting to further explore the potential relationship between the two. It was never given much chance on screen, with Peri being introduced as Kamelian and Turlough are leaving and then the Fifth Doctor regenerating in the next story. The characterisation of Peri is also very believable and in sync with her on screen persona. In fact, much of the story is viewed from her outlook.
I'm not sure who the eponymous `superior beings' are definitely meant to be; the Eknuri, the Valethske, the Khorlthochloi. The book never really adequately explains it and perhaps it is all or none of the above. There is certainly more than one species who naively believe that they are superior and it is in keeping with Doctor Who that individuals who share this attitude usually find that it is detrimental to their survival. The very moral nature of the Fifth Doctor works very well within this situation. It allows the author to include the slightly contemptuous sarcasm towards such things that Peter Davison brought to the role.
The Valethske are a very well-conceived race. Rather than universal dominance they are driven by predatory needs. This is not the only side to them however and the inclusion of their insane mission provides another dimension to them and provokes conflict within their ranks. Veek is a very strong character and her personal story is certainly one of the highlights of the book. The cycle of Khorlthochloi development also makes them quite intriguing. But the Eknuri are a little dull and their inclusion doesn't seem that vital to the storyline.
The blurb exhibited on the back cover is utterly appalling. It makes the story sound frivolous, trashy and comedic. This book is none of these and the contents are much better quality than this blurb suggests.
one book to avoid like the plague, i'm afraid!
If you want to read a fifth Doctor novel, I'd go for "Deep Blue" instead.
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