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Room with No Doors (New Doctor Who Adventures) Mass Market Paperback – 20 Feb 1997

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Publishing Ltd, London; Television tie-in edition edition (20 Feb. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0426205006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0426205005
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 545,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

The Doctor and Chris arrive in 16th century Japan to find the locals preparing for war over a god that f ell from the sky. Aliens too are interested in the god. The Doctor has to quell the war madness to prevent massive destr uction. '


Customer Reviews

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book tends to get over shadowed by 'Lungbarrow' and 'The Dying Days' that came after it and the delayed publication of 'So Vile a Sin', but its an important part of the Virgin books cycle and wraps up many of the key themes that run throughout them. Its main function is to resolve the emotional bagage built up over the previous books, but more than anything it sets up the up-coming regeneration that occurs in the telemovie and that theme runs across the whole plot. Having built the Seventh Doctor up so much over the course of 59 books, killing him off by a combination of stray bullets and botched heart surgery, must have seemed fairly naff. This book tries to retcon that by establishing that the Doctor knows he's going to die and that it will be pointless and without warning and it actually works very well. Kate Orman uses this novel to shut down the the Doctor's amnipulative ways and go someway towards redemption for the collateral damage he's caused.
Away from all this, the books still works well as stand alone story. Perhaps its main flaw is that you need that know alot about the preceeding books, but the japanese setting is interesting and well researched and the characters are well done (particularly Penelope Gate, who subsiquent BBC books imply is the Doctor's mother). Its also Chris' best appearance when he's not the emotional, complusive counter point to Roz or a manipulated pawn of the Time Lords. He gets to grow up and except who his, in much the same way that the Doctor comes to except that his death is approaching.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
'The Room With No Doors' is the 59th Virgin New Adventure and the series is really looking lethargic now. With Chris the sole TARDIS passenger, The Doctor's lone travelling companion continues to be riddled with angst and spends much of the novel wrestling with the momentous decision of whether to leave The Doctor or stay with him. At one point the Time Lord pretends to be killed by an arrow and allows himself to be buried alive in order to make an (unexplained) point to Cwej. He also makes many veiled references to regeneration - to be fair to McCoy it is definitely time he gave way to a younger, fresher incarnation.

Overall the novel is Orman's usual mix of the bizarre and the plain unintelligible; fortunately there appears to be a dull light flickering at the end of this, rather murky tunnel...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting story...more quesitons 7 Dec. 1997
By jeffp@workerbee.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chris is feeling down because of what has happened on the moon in the previous story (Eternity Weeps). The Doctor knows that he's going to regenerate soon. This book is okay: not Kate's best work however. There are a few great points: when the Doctor is conversing with Chris about regeneration and what it's like. There is also a point in the book where the Doctor is (faking) dead and buried. A few chapters are from his point-of-view while he's under the ground (very interesting). I think the basic plot is clouded out by the fact that the Doctor is constantly worrying (foreseeing?) his regeneration and Chris' emotional problems. Oh yeah, this is another PSI story, just so you know. (Come on Kate, find another plot device. I'm tired of Chris having funky dreams!)
5.0 out of 5 stars The end draws nearer 8 Jan. 2007
By Michael Battaglia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What I really used to like about the New Adventures was how they formed a continuing narrative even as the stories themselves were reasonably self-contained. This way you had a sense of progression and that things were slowly leading somewhere, small plot threads carried over and became bigger plot threads, characters grew and developed over the course of novels, it kept in with the show's theme of constant change. With the Doctor regenerating into his eight incarnation on television and the BBC taking the license back from Virgin, the publisher did their best to draw things to a close and give their line a decent ending. This is the next to last book featuring the seventh Doctor, who they had been playing with over the last six years and nearly sixty novels and the first thing anyone notices about this novel is the everpresent air of doom surrounding it. The Doctor knows he's going to be regenerating soon and that his body is wearing out and he's not looking forward to it. He's afraid, because his previous incarnations aren't so thrilled with what he's been doing and they have something in store for him when he does finally regenerate. In the midst of this, the TARDIS drops Chris and the Doctor into feudal Japan, on the trail of a strange pod that has dropped out of nowhere, the presence of which is stirring up local rivalries. Orman was one of the best writers that the New Adventures stable had, and definitely among the most consistent. Her stories were always engaging and she knew how to get to the emotional heart of the characters. And regardless of the setting (which would have worked without the SF elements, but they do add a sense of fun) that's what the story is really about. The Doctor is winding down, and Chris is still coming to terms with the fact that Roz died and he couldn't save Liz Shaw. The scenes where the Doctor and Chris talk about his regeneration and Chris says, "I can't watch you die too" are heartrending, you get the sense of a man who has been through a lot and can't do it anymore. Add to that hordes of samurai, some intrigue and a few errant time travellers (the Victorian Penelope Gates and Joel Mintz, who comes from another book I read ten years ago and thus don't remember) and there's enough to keep the reader more than occupied. It's a solid enough story on its own and with the addition of the twin griefs of the Doctor and Chris and how they each work through it, it becomes something else entirely, more than graceful. I think this one gets lost in the shuffle between the bloody, Liz Shaw-killing Eternity Weeps and the Grand Revelation that is Lungbarrow, but it's a lovely little book, showing things as they were, one last time before it all goes to pieces and ends.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ronin With No Sword 4 May 2004
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
THE ROOM WITH NO DOORS is thankfully weightier than Kate Orman's previous solo outing, and is so much the stronger for it. ROOM is an atmospheric, thoughtful and enjoyable story which has only improved with age.
The story is set in Sixteenth Century Japan, where enigmatic samurai stalk the land on horseback, and feudal lords dream of defeating their rivals. Into this fascinating setting has landed a strange chunk of science fiction -- an alien pod with mysterious powers of healing and restoration. Naturally, this causes all kinds of chaos, and it turns out that the Doctor and Cwej aren't the only time travelers visiting this location.
The alien pod is, of course, mostly a big McGuffin, designed to give the local warlords something to scheme and stage huge battles over. Frankly, I preferred the pod when we weren't getting its scientific explanations and it was merely an excuse to make the plot move in a given direction. In fact, my favorite parts of the novel were the ones devoid of any science fiction elements at all (in other words, the sword-fights and archery were more interesting than the laser blasts), leading me to believe that I would have enjoyed the book even more if it had been done as a pure historical. It would certainly have knocked the spots off of SANCTUARY, the previous Doctor Who story with no sci-fi elements. For instance, take the opening sections of the book concerning the three samurai (two warriors, one of whom brings his son along to learn the ropes) on a mission, who stylishly go about their business being all cool and samurai-y. If the whole novel had been done in that manner, I would have absolutely adored it.
Not that I disliked the rest of the book. On the contrary, there's a lot to enjoy here. The Seventh Doctor's life is drawing to a close, his regeneration having aired on TV screens the previous year and his book series concluding in a matter of months. He can feel Paul McGann's wig approaching, and he worries about the unfinished business in his current life. Tying up some loose ends from this incarnation is handled quite well here. We see the Doctor's troubles reflected in his own meditations and in his relationships with the book's secondary characters.
Chris Cwej is also given a lot to fret over, finally coming to terms with the events of the previous few books. I wasn't reading these last few NAs in order the last time around; I ended up not having a complete collection, and read the ones I did have in a fairly random order. Now that I have finally read them all in the order they were meant to be experienced, I'm quite impressed with what they did with Chris during the end of the series.
The comic relief in this book comes in the form of the alien Kapteynians who are described as being giant space chickens. I found this funnier than I did the last time I read the novel, mostly because this time I was reading it while the Subservient Chicken was entering minute seven of its fifteen minutes of fame. I dare you to take one look at subservientchicken.com and tell me that the guy in the cheap chicken costume isn't exactly what the BBC would have produced had this been a television adventure.
As with many of Orman's novels, the secondary characters are delightfully memorable. Penelope, the time-traveling Victorian woman, comes across as a solid creation, interesting, but not overpowering. I think the temptation might have been to give her more of the spotlight, but she works a lot better as a one-woman Greek chorus, occasionally chiming in on the perils and ethics of time travel. The Zen monks are fun -- grinning a lot and saying counter-intuitive things, just as we expect them to. Kame, the ronin, is also a major source of entertainment. I wish he could have been brought along at the end of this adventure.
The only character who didn't quite work for me was Joel, and that's mostly because he was also in Orman's RETURN OF THE LIVING DAD. Not that there was anything wrong with him there. The problem I had was that he's supposed to be significant older in this book than he was then, yet I had to continually remind myself that he is no longer a kid. I could stomach the teenage angst'n'fanboy stuff when he actually was a teenager; it made sense in that context. But it seemed odd to see the exact same stuff coming out of a person who is now supposed to be older than Chris (thirteen years have passed from Joel's subjective point of view since RETURN, while Chris has only seen a couple of years go by). Maybe there was something about this character that I just didn't get.
I've seen a few posts in various on-line forums where the author claims that "very little about ROOM was deliberate". I certainly couldn't tell that from reading it. In fact, it came across to me as the opposite; it felt very deliberate and focused. The themes of isolation, punishment (self-inflicted as well as from outside sources) and redemption permeate throughout the whole book, and are revisited in a variety of ways. I enjoyed this book the first time I read it. I appreciated it much more this second time. And I fully expect that the third time I read it, my enjoyment will increase again.
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