This is the eleventh book in the series of Missing Adventures, featuring stories from the time of the First to Sixth Doctors which fit in between the known tv series stories with said Doctors. This book was first published in 1995, and takes place between The Seeds of Doom and The Masque of Mandragora. It features the Fourth Doctor travelling with Sarah Jane, but also delightfully features Harry Sullivan.
Set in 1998, the Doctor and Sarah decide to enjoy a quiet drink at a pub in London; but despite the Doctor’s protestations that he never gets involved in anything, they seem to find that they have become involved, when a man who is later found dead gives the Doctor a cd. But what’s on the cd, and what can it possibly have to do with MI5?
This is a marvellous book. As one would expect from a story written by Justin Richards, the setup is very carefully planned and the narrative unfolds at a perfect pace. While we read much of the Doctor and Sarah Jane’s involvement in the story, and of course that of Harry, we also find ourselves following the action from the perspective of the ‘bad guys’. This is all done in such a way that the reader is always brought into the story from varying perspectives, and in different ‘voices’, which allows us to be right in the midst of the action as it unfolds.
The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry are all absolutely perfectly written in this story. The mannerisms, the quirks, the expressions and the actions are all exactly as you can imagine them playing out on the small screen, and the story is one that would have worked wonderfully well on tv (apart, of course from the violence which the story involves, and which would never have been acceptable on tv in the 1970s). A great story, a great Doctor Who story, and a great addition to the Missing Adventures range.
This 'Missing Adventure' in the post-TV series Doctor Who strand centres on a rebellion an alien world and a linked kidnapping in Central London in 1998. The head of MI5 is assassinated whilst a seige situation is violently dealt with by SAS troopers. The Fourth Doctor is caught-up in events when a computer disc is surreptitiously slipped into his pocket by a dead man. Along with companion Sarah-Jane Smith, The Timelord tries to prevent the breakdown of society on Earth and at the same time attempts to thwart an invasion by outer-space warriors. This story is canonically in-between 1975 TV stories 'The Seeds of Doom' and The Masque of Mandragora. One of the better 'Missing Adventures' it benefits from focusing on the most popular and charismatic of the Timelord's incarnations and the show's best companions; out of the thirty odd books in the range it is certainly one of the five best.
Out of 33 Missing Adventures stories, just one of Seven that I really enjoyed, the others being Sands of Time (5th Doctor), Romance of Crime (4th Doctor), English Way of Death (4th Doctor), Shadow of Weng Chiang (4th Doctor), The Device of Death (4th Doctor), The Plotters (1st Doctor). All these stories worked well because the stories were not over complicated, easy to follow, logical development of characters and plot. 'System Shock' is set in 1999 and is a very 'internet/technology' based storyline but set 4-5 years into the future (book published 1995) so not necessarily scientifically accurate but great story.