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Doctor Who: King of Terror Mass Market Paperback – 6 Nov 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
The Fifth Doctor with companions Tegan and Turlough head to Los Angeles at the request of the Brigadier who suspects that a multimedia company are up to no good. Through in a band of terrorists and the prophecies of Nostradamus and the result is a quality book.
The plot is very good, even if the powerful company threatening world safety is an idea oft used in Doctor Who novels. Topping begins the novel with a couple of UNIT members, Paytner and Barrington, who seem very uncharacteristic of a Doctor Who novel and are a welcome inclusion. Both characters have strong characterisation which makes both of them likeable.
The regular characters fair well mostly. The Brigadier is in top form, although his appearance doesn't seem long enough. Turlough has some nasty surprises in store for him and Tegan is as fiery as ever. The main problem is that Topping hasn't quite got the Fifth Doctor's character right. It's fine at the beginning of the book but somewhere around the middle the character starts to slip and this results in some uncharacteristic behaviour.
Overall, "The King Of Terror" is a good, solid novel. It's first hundred pages or so are fantastic and kept me reading well into the early hours of the morning. But the last hundred and fify pages aren't as good, and the lapse led to me loosing interest in the plot. That said, the plot is good with waring aliens being at the heart of events. It moves along quickly but I felt the ending was a bit of an anticlimax. "The King Of Terror" is a good book, but it's not as good as "The Hollow Men" which Topping co-wrote with Martin Day as it fails to maintain the quality of the first hundred pages.
Much of the same ingredients are used in ‘The Devil Goblins from Neptune’, co-written by the author of ‘The King of Terror’ and featuring some of the same characters. Most of the themes and much of the subject matter are also quite similar without any worthwhile development. It is more of a case of repeat rather than continuation.
The Doctor has a relatively minor role. Rather than being a Doctor Who story this feels more like a Doctor Who spinoff where the Doctor makes the occasional appearance. When he is featured, the characterisation of the Fifth Doctor is usually quite off and really doesn’t capture his nuances.
Tegan and Turlough are both shoved off into subplots of their own with mixed results. Tegan is reasonably characterised and receives a reasonable storyline which actually develops her a bit, but the whole romance she is given doesn’t quite ring true. The author doesn’t seem to have much of a role for Turlough other than to leave him imprisoned and tortured. Although this ‘experimenting’ on him serves a minor role in the plot it is far too dominant and often unnecessarily gratuitous.
Being a novel that inevitably features UNIT (considering the subject and style) the Brigadier also plays a role in events. He is much better characterised than the others based on onscreen characters. Mainly this is the Brigadier post ‘Mawdryn Undead’ and, possibly, the spinoff ‘Downtime’.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best Doctor Who novel I've read. Doctor Who for older readers. Much older in my case.Published 23 months ago by Ashby Haddon
The King of Terror features the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough, The Brigadier and UNIT. And is a very good read but I think that Tegan, who is my favourite companion, wouldn't say... Read morePublished on 1 Jun. 2014 by TARDIS Traveller
I was very, very disappointed with this book, having thoroughly enjoyed Devil Goblins From Neptune, which the author co-wrote. Read morePublished on 13 Sept. 2007 by Adam M. J. Tinworth
UMMM - what's going on with this novel? now, i'm a big fan of the fifth doctor and tegan especially, but i'm afraid this story lost me - well, not lost me exactly, more kind of... Read morePublished on 26 April 2002 by Mr. Ag Edens