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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

TOP 100 REVIEWERon 28 August 2012
This is a Third Doctor and Jo story, which pretty much doesn't have the Third Doctor and Jo in it! Apart from a brief appearance at the very beginning and the very end, they are absent as the Doctor tries to get the Tardis working - but without them, the Brigadier finds himself relying on the expertise and assistance of some of the Doctor's oldest friends - Ian and Barbara return - some years after they left the First Doctor, and married and settled back on Earth, they are asked by UNIT to assist in some weird matters. I found the characterisations of these old companions good, and I always like the Brigadier - Benton is there, as is Yates, and several other familiar (to Doctor Who fans) faces. So it's all good from that perspective. I did find all the "tough guy underworld London baddy" scene a bit over the top; but maybe that's just me.

A good story; one well in keeping with the time in which it is set, and the characters who people it; a bit of a shame there's not more of the Doctor in it, but that's a small quibble for what is a good story in the Doctor Who range of novels. I guess you could call this one an early "Companion Chronicle".
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on 18 February 2014
Absolute perfection.

it starts off as a British Seventies cop show mixed with the usual Roger Delgado Master escape shenanigans.

However with the appearance of definitive First Doctor Companions Ian and Barbara it takes on a new dimension and class and becomes something altogether stranger with the replacement of government and authority figures by dopplegangers

The scenes between Ian and the Master are wonderful and the climax on a blasted parallel earth and it's moon leads to a confrontation with another of the Third Doctors Classic villains.

Recommended to anyone who enjoys a good read and a great story.
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on 17 August 1999
Absolutely essential reading for fans of Roger Delgado's Master and Ian and Barbara. In each case, McIntee manages to expand the character considerably while remaining true to the performance set by the original actor. The Master in particular is a real joy - the next best thing to a lost TV story - and in a speech on honesty, in which he defends his 'principles', McIntee nails the ambiguous appeal of the character as Delgado played him: that for all his evil there was a perverse sense of decency about the man.
Another ambiguity, the relationship between Ian and Barbara, is sensitively explored, as are the effects of their adventures with the First Doctor (you didn't think they could walk away from them unscathed, did you?). As if this wasn't enough, there's a surprise guest appearance, a surprise (well, to be frank, almost implausible) tie-in with a TV adventure, some touching revelations about the Master's past and a wonderfully lurid evocation of the London underworld circa 1976 (knew those old Sweeney videos would come in handy).
There's also no Doctor, but you'll be having too good a time to notice that.
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on 15 April 2011
The Master, UNIT, Ian & Barbara. Concurrent with The Curse of Peladon.
Despite the Doctor being almost completely absent from this book it turned out to be the best so far in the BBC range. Wanting a scientific opinion on a downed aircraft, missing for a week before its crash, the Brigadier calls on the services of Ian Chesterton accompanied by his wife Barbara. UNIT are about as faithful to the series as it's possible to be, as are all the rest of the cast. It' unlikely that I'll ever reread any of the books from either the Virgin or the BBC range but if I had to pick one it just might be The Face of the Enemy.
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on 11 February 2011
A definate must for Doctor Who fans. though the Doctor is missing from the action this time the story manages to move along at a great pace and introduce new characters well and also introduce the existing characters into the narrative. the characterization of the Master, the Brigadier and Ian and Barbara is well handled and exciting, there's also an appearance from Harry Sullivan and it's very interesting to see the characters come together.

Ian and Barbara fans will be delighted with the sensitive portrayal of their relationship and Ian's plight in the novel which is a high point and deeply moving. his interactions with the Master are also another higlight.

A must have Doctor Who novel.
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on 12 February 2013
The Face of the Enemy is a Past Doctor Adventure which doesn't actually feature a past Doctor. Well the 3rd is there briefly, but he isn't integral to the plot. The story takes place whilst the Doctor and Jo are busy during the TV serial the Curse of Peladon and features Ian and Barbara, UNIT, The Master and a brief cameo from Harry Sullivan. A risky, but tantalising move for a Doctor Who novel.

The Face of the Enemy's story is fairly simple. A plane is lost and then returned with radiation and damage caused by nothing in the Earth's atmosphere, whilst a gang owned bank is robbed by professional criminals. It soon becomes clear that there is more than meets the eye and the story becomes a sequel to the TV serial Inferno, exploring what happened to the people who survived on the parallel Earth and there current quest to take over our Earth.

As mentioned previously The Face of the Enemy features no Doctor. Therefore the novel relies on other characters to carry the book. All are well done but a special mention goes to the Master, who essentially plays the role of the Doctor. David McIntee has Roger Delgado's Master down perfectly, his mannerisms and his viewpoint of others are superb. It was a very refreshing change to get the story from his perspective, and they way he interacts with the other characters, especially the Brigadier is a joy to read.

The Face of the Enemy is probably the best PDA so far with only Illegal Alien coming close to matching it. The story is entertaining, the characters are superb and it is a thoroughly enjoyable read throughout. It is fairly continuity heavy, but it all makes sense and stays true to the shows roots. Highly recommended to all Doctor Who fans.
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