A highly chilling tale, featuring a First Doctor approaching death and facing a keen awareness of his own growing infirmity confronting alien involvement in history-, as well as providing the Doctor's companion Dodo- one of the series' least-liked companions during her televised career- with some VERY effective characterisation.
The plot might be complicated to understand at times- the precise details of HOW the aliens' plot went wrong is a little tricky to follow-, but the idea of WHAT they did proves highly intriguing, and the alternate history portrayed is a highly intriguing blend of historical mystery combined with the alien 'intervention' that we rarely got the chance to fully explore in the Hartnell televised era.
As well as this, the novel gives the First Doctor a chance to truly display what made him such an effective Doctor; no matter how physically weakened he might be, his mind is sharper than almost any of his future selves, leaving him resolte to find answers and undo what has been done even as he faces his own growing weakness and fear of his upcoming regeneration.
Even the unpopular Dodo receives some intriguing characterisation, her habit of 'playing' at who she appears to be- a theme that would be explored in greater depth in the later novel "Salvation", looking at an expansion of her initial arrival in the TARDIS- giving her an intriguing chance to play a new role in this new timeline, developing a more adult persona then she ever showed in the episodes.
While fans might appreciate it more for the continuity views, even non-regular fans of the Doctor should give this novel a chance, providing a new insight into the Doctor in his beginning as he approaches one of the defining moments of his future lives.
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