Benny has a lot on her hands. Her ex-husband Jason has turned up, dropped an artifact rumoured to be part of a weapon with power 'beyond a sun', and been kidnapped. The book follows her and her students as they attempt to save not just Jason but an entire planet. A world where no-one owns anything and everyone is free is the setting for the main part of the adventure that can be humerous then, almost immediately dark. Bernice Summerfield is as far from a sci-fi heroine as it's possible to get in a sci-fi book and her reluctance in ALL the New Adventures was what made them popular. This is a must for fans of the series with a quite unexpected twist at the end.
This is the third New Adventures novel to feature Benny Summerfield as the chief protagonist, and in my opinion it's the best by far to date. Matthew Jones keeps the pace moving nicely, and draws some intriguing and imaginative characters. The sinister 'Sunless' are memorable villains, and Benny's roguish ex-husband Jason Kane provides the catalyst for a memorable adventure.
Audio CD **** As with the two previous Big Finish audio adaptations of Bernice Summerfield novels, this feels a bit flat in terms of production, however Lisa Bowerman is as excellent as ever; capturing Benny's voice exactly as I have always imagined it, and supported by a top-notch cast. The latter includes two former Doctor Who companion actressess: Anneke Wills who played Polly alongside the first Doctor, and Sophie Aldred who was Ace to Sylvester McCoy's seventh Doctor. Staying pretty faithful to the original novel, this is an entertaining listen and a worthy addition to the growing canon of Doctor Who spin-off adventures.
For the most part Beyond the Sun is an engaging and enjoyable adventure, with Benny and two students caught up in an invasion of a planet whose inhabitants seem to have no egos. Unfortunately it all falls to pieces in the finale, with some vague hand waving in place of a properly explained dénouement. Thanks to the poorly realised 'weapon' that the novel revolves around, the entire plot is revealed as having some very large holes come the end. A mostly enjoyable journey, but what a let down ending...