on 3 November 2009
Transit marks the point where the New Adventures completely break with what t.v. Who would have ever been allowed to get away with, featuring on-screen sex and swearing. But it truth this doesn't now seem as radical as it was at the time, the swearing makes sense in the context of the characters and other books and torchwood make the sex seem mild. The biggest difficulty in initially reading the book is the heavy use of future slang and the constant jumping of location makes it occasionally hard to follow whats happening. But after a few chapters you get used to these location shifts and just let the slang wash over your head and realise that you are reading an excellent book.
The novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks, proved that Ben Aaronovitch was a great writer and this book is a progression of his style to full novel length. In fact in places you suspect that Aaronovitch is really enjoying being able to tell as story without having to factor in budgets and the limits of BBC art departments. The future setting is well realised and the parrellels with the London Underground system are clever without being overdone. This is certainly Kadiatu's best appearance (and one that makes you wish she had appeared more often) and despite being possessed for most of the story, Bernice continues to show why people are still writing for her a decade latter. And the Doctor is brilliant, but you expect that by now and as for the infamous scene where he experiements with getting drunk, I can easily imagine most Doctor's trying this when there companions backs are turned and they feel like trying something new.
on 18 October 2012
This book contains the origins of Kadiatu, one of my favourite of the Doctors compatriots.... I'm not sure if she can really be called a companion...
A serious story, a spoof on British Rail, a reference to the Martian War, and many other useful items in this book. A must have for any collection. READ IT.
on 2 April 2007
Like the later New Adventure 'Warlock' this book would have been just as good had it not involved the TARDIS crew at all, because it is an involving story with well-written characters. The use of made-up jargon is not excessive and is mostly understandable in context without the glossary. In any case it adds some realism to this futuristic dystopia. The chapters are long but nicely divided into segments, each headed up by transit station and thus easy to follow. Each segment interlinks with a manageable quota of characters binding the whole thing together.
In summary I found this to be an enjoyable and pleasant read, and actually one of the better new adventures. I preferred it even to Nightshade and Human Nature. The doctor is interesting, unpredictable and surprising (one might even say 'alien!') with some memorable (and therefore not so transient!) dialogue. And what a companion Kadiatu would have made for the doctor if she had stayed with him and continued to be so well written.
One word of warning: You won't like this if you think Doctor Who should all lovely and sugar-coated or if your name is Mary Whitehouse. Sure there are limits to what a kids TV show can get away with, but the whole point of these books was to explore Doctor Who within an adult framework as so many fans are adults, and it works, and this book works well in that context. For example, the doctor randomly getting drunk to celebrate the birthday of the universe is the sort of seemingly silly unexpected thing I could easily imagine Sylvester McCoy, Patrick Troughton, Colin or Tom Baker doing were Doctor Who an adult show. It's good to incorporate some hasher realities from time to time and variety is what made this series so enduring.
Oh and IMO this beats that very odd 289 pages of `where's-the-plot?' drivel and silly names Ben Aaronovitch later penned and called `The Also People'! Although to be fair, that salvaged some respect with the clever and witty dialogues between the doctor, his companions and Kadiatu. These two books are so different that I've never heard of anyone liking both!
on 12 October 2004
In all honesty I would say that this is the weakest of the Doctor Who Virgin New Adventures series so far. The storyline is nonsensical, the characterisations limp, the themes jumbled and the dialogue gibberish.
Ben Aaronovitch has hitherto been responsible for some of the sharpest and most exciting 'Who' in years during his involvement in the Seventh Doctor's era, however he appears to have lost his muse somewhat and this drivel is disappointing testimony to that loss.
Arriving on Earth somewhere in our future The Doctor encounters a series of anarchic and screwed-up characters and sees his new assistant Bernice (Benny) become possessed and homicidal. More than that I cannot recall, as the narrative left me cold and eager to finish (I absolutely refuse to leave any book no matter how awful, unfinished!)