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on 8 May 2017
What a great book! Chocked full of great moments and filled with great refrences to the show. Loved it in its full!
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on 27 December 2015
Story Set: Between The Movie and The Night of the Doctor, An Unearthly Child, The War Games, The Sea Devils, State of Decay, The Five Doctors, The Trial of a Time Lord, Pre-Movie
Team: First Doctor, Second Doctor, Third Doctor, Fourth Doctor, Fifth Doctor, Sixth Doctor, Seventh Doctor, Eighth Doctor, Susan, Barbara, Ian, Jamie, Zoe, Jo, Brigadier, Benton, Romana II, Tegan, Turlough, Sam
Villains: The Master (Delgado, Ainley), Vampires, Sontarans, Raston Warrior Robots, Valeyard, Daleks, Drashigs, Deathworms, Giant Spiders
Writer: Terrance Dicks

The Eight Doctors is an amazing book. It occurs just after 'The Movie' and the Doctor is reading. He goes to check on the Eye of Harmony and finds a trap set by the Master. The Doctor then loses all his memories. Rassilon (who's now in the TARDIS for some bizarre reason) tells the Doctor that he will need to meet his first seven incarnations to regain his memories. This is an interesting plot, but could be confusing for fans who've only seen the show once or twice (and the show had been off-air for eight years when this was published).

The Eighth Doctor meets the First Doctor during 'An Unearthly Child', the Second Doctor during 'The War Games', the Third Doctor during 'The Sea Devils', the Fourth Doctor during 'State of Decay', the Fifth Doctor shortly after 'The Five Doctors', the Sixth Doctor during 'The Trial of a Time Lord' and the Seventh Doctor just before the Movie. My favourite of these interactions was the Fifth Doctor section, as there was a Sontaran, Drashig and Raston Warrior Robot battle which was interesting and very unpredictable. These short interactions between the Eighth Doctor and past doctors also feature the appearances of many companions such as Susan, Barbara, Ian, Jamie, Zoe, Brigadier, Benton, Jo, Romana II, Tegan and Turlough, and are all written amazingly well.

There is also a sub-plot to this story featuring schoolgirl Sam, at Coal Hill School. She is being bullied by drug dealers until the Doctor comes to save her at the start of the novel. She then becomes the new companion, however she is not introduced fully until the following novel, Vampire Science. I feel it was a wise move not putting Sam as a main character in this book as there were already enough ingredients. Finally, there is an interesting segment set before the TV Movie where the Master meets the Daleks. This does, apparently, contradict other stories, such as Dust Breeding (Big Finish, 2001), the Virgin New Adventures and the Doctor Who Magazine comic strips. But who cares? It's still a very enjoyable story with a nice cameo featuring the Daleks who I believe can make any story more enjoyable!

Overall, it's an amazing book. Unlike 'The Five Doctors' there isn't too much crammed in to it. There is a nice segment with each Doctor without it feeling too busy. Oh, and it's written by Doctor Who legend Terrance Dicks - what more do you need? 9/10.

Next up: Vampire Science.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 4 November 2011
Well, with Terrance Dicks you always get what it says on the tin, there's no doubt about that.

This story, published in 1997, picks up directly after the Eighth Doctor movie with Paul McGann. The Eighth Doctor now finds himself the target of a plot of the Master, and must visit each of his former selves to regain his memories. That's no spoiler, as it's obvious from the start that that is what's going to happen.

This is like a trip down memory lane for those of us who have watched Doctor Who over so many years that the stories all feel so familiar, as do the various Doctors. That's no bad thing, particularly in a light, entertaining novel like this, and it's an enjoyable read as you progress through the various incarnations and revisit familiar scenes with the added twist now of having the Eighth Doctor pop in and out of them.

The only bit I take slight exception to is the Fourth Doctor episode. In this, the Eighth Doctor meets up with the Fourth Doctor when the Fourth Doctor and Romana are in E-Space. I found that a bit odd, given that I have recollections of E-Space being particularly difficult to get in and out of, yet the Tardis just trundles in there with the Eighth Doctor and trundles out again. Ah well, perhaps the Tardis had it all figured out? Just seemed to me that there were plenty of other Fourth Doctor stories that could have been more readily suited to this type of `fleeting visit' story. A slight niggle, only.

This is not great literature; it's not meant to be. What it is, is a story incorporating memories and familiar tales of the Doctor and various companions, introducing the Eighth Doctor, and all done by an author who has made a career out of novelising Doctor Who stories. A light, entertaining, very enjoyable read and one that can be dipped in and out of a bit at a time, while you absorb the story, and the overarching Gallifrey and TimeLord story.
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on 28 April 2000
I thoroughly enjoyed this, and am sorry that the novel seems to have attracted so much negative attention. In my opinion, the book is an excellent introduction to the Paul McGann incarnation of our favorite Time Lord, following the events of the 1996 TV Movie. Admittedly nostalgic, I thoroughly enjoyed the revisiting past Doctors, and agree with another reviewer that the rapport between the Sixth and Eighth Doctors deserves to be revisited, perhaps in a novel of their own ? All in all, well done Mr Dicks !
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on 16 January 1999
While this has been universally lambasted by the fan-critics, it is difficult to deny that the Eight Doctors make themselves quite enjoyable to the reader, even if at least three of them are completely unrecognisable from there screen personas. The third Doctor ends his stint in the novel with the most ridiculous (and inconsequential) scene in the history of Doctor Who, and Terrance Dicks must have been watching a different seventh Doctor to the one I was back in the late eighties. Dicks' own characters are also highly unbelievable, including a school teacher who's never heard of crack, and a teenage drug baron who seems to have escaped from a really bad episode of Grange Hill. The book is, however, extremely easy to read and I whizzed through it in one afternoon, and never once got bored during that time. Which must count for something.
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on 28 July 2009
In an effort to introduce the 'new' fans to the 'old' Doctors, Terrence Dicks has created a mess. Moments after the closing of the TV Movie (or, "The Enemy Within"), the Eighth Doctor once again gets amnesia and most go to meet his past selves in order to reclaim his memories. Bad characterisation follows bad characterisation, Eight gets himself turned into a Mary-Sue who is forced to help all of his past selves, who have seemingly all become a bit rubbish for some unidentifiable reason (the scene where he is trying to explain something to an increasingly dense Sixth incarnation is utterly appalling), and a new companion is introduced in one of the most rushed scenes ever to grace a book. It's truly awful. New fans, if you want to have an introduction to the old Doctors, watch their serials! Far more canon than this tripe.
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This book starts the whole ongoing saga of the eighth doctor post the tv movie off. And in trying to start the range and introduce the past history of the show to new readers, we have a rather contrived story that nonetheless succeeds in doing what it set out to do, and lets the eighth doctor meet his predecessors in the process. Some of the encounters are more interesting than others, particularly with the third who does something unexpected but in character.

Terrance dicks writes his in usual style, which is a long way from being great literature but is nonetheless clear and readable. The book also gives the doctor a companion, who is a rather generic modern teenager at this stage, but there's potential there.

Not great literature, but a decent read
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on 20 August 2012
So I've started to read the Eighth Doctor Adventures (and the Past Doctor Adventures). I've read a few before, at release but for the most part am oblivious to the story arcs. I've decided to review them all so what better place to start than the first book. I have actually read The Eight Doctors before. It was one of the few I actually owned on release. I read it twice and then sold it on eBay as it was going for a lot. However when I decided to read them all, I had to re-buy.

I really like this book, I know it is cheesy, and some of it doesn't hold up to much scrutiny (like just how easy the 8th Doctor entered/left E-Space) but it introduces the 8th incarnation well, pays homage to the shows roots, and throw up a fairly interesting story.

Terrance Dicks knows Doctor Who inside out, as you'd expect for being behind much of the original series novelizations and scripts. This makes him the ideal writer for this story, as the 8th Doctor re-visits his past selves at various points from the classic TV show. These feature continuations from TV shows, and it's all done very well for the most part. Certain Doctors seems to get favoured over others, the 1st and 7th's involvement are far too short, whereas the 4th and 6th's are far too long but it doesn't really detract too much of your enjoyment.

The Eight Doctors also serves to introduce the new companion, a teenage girl called Sam. She is immediately likeable, and just like Doctor is shown to fight on the side of good. My only criticism is a cliff-hanger is introduced near the beginning of the novel involving Sam, which isn't resolved until near the end, by which time you've forgotten pretty much all about her, which is a shame. The other characters are all well written, especially the Time Lords. After watching the new series where the Time Lords have been absent (save 1 episode) it is nice to be reminded of the great society they once were, and makes me long for there return in the present series.

All in all The Eight Doctors isn't groundbreaking, but it does offer a great introduction to the history of the show to newcomers, and gives current Doctor Who fans an inoffensive romp through time. What's not to enjoy?
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on 16 February 2013
After writing for Doctors two to five and being the writer of the majority of the Target novelisations, nobody knows the Doctors better overall than Terrance Dicks. He is the obvious choice to produce a story involving the first eight Doctors.

Admittedly the pretext for the Eighth Doctor needing to visit his previous incarnations is a little tenuous and the whole novel gets a little continuity obsessed at times. But if you can accept this it is a very enjoyable story with a well-constructed and thought out plot. Dicks is writing style is as precise and paced as always, making this a remarkably entertaining read.

As you might soon expect the Eighth Doctor meets each of his other selves in order, helping each to solve a particular issue revolving around several of the TV serials. Obviously more often than not Dicks uses and refers to TV serials that either he or his fellow writers and friends Malcolm Hulke and Robert Holmes were involved with. It is a Time Lord heavy based story that attempts to draw together and round off the Doctor's various interactions with his fellow Time Lords.

The individual characteristics and variations of the various versions of the Doctor are all captured brilliantly by Dicks. The First and Seventh Doctors only get quite brief roles but perhaps this is to be expected as Dicks had less to do with them during the course of the programme. However, the Sixth Doctor, whom Dicks also had little to do with, is wonderfully portrayed (even better than some of his actual TV appearances). The Eighth Doctor is probably the only version that isn't really given much individuality, often coming across as a bit of a generic mix of the previous Doctors and adopting several characteristics of the Third and the Fifth. Dicks can be excused for this though as the Eighth Doctor was relatively new and unknown at the time of the writing of this book.

Not only are there eight Doctors but Dicks also gives us a variety of encounters with villains from across the series (although revisiting Berusa seems a shame as his story felt perfectly complete with the events of the `The Five Doctors'). He also manages to fit in introducing the new companion who goes on to travel with the Eighth Doctor for many books.

This is one of the best written and entertaining of Doctor Who novels. It is a shame that this wasn't made for television rather than the Eighth Doctor story that we got.
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on 16 November 2008
I finished reading this about 2 weeks ago, and to be honest I enjoyed parts of it, but found the whole thing to generally a bit plodding. I realise Terrance Dicks had alot to do...reintroduce Paul McGann's doctor to the audience, introduce new fans to the show's lineage and create a nostalgic trip down memory lane for the longer term fans. As a result, we get a book which although readable and enjoyable, has too much to accomplish in few too many pages.

The eigth doctors encounters with the first, second and third doctors are brief, one-chapter affairs, his meeting with the fourth lasts two chapters, three for the Peter Davisons and Colin Baker's doctors, and a biref encounter follows with the seventh. The book was also a bit of a let down because at no point in the novel are all the doctors assembled together in the same room, which is a shame because i thoroughly enjoyed
the three doctors and the five doctors on TV.

What I did enjoy was the plotline with the Master, which isn't fully resolved in this novel, the intoduction of Samantha Jones (the doctors new companion) and her background story. I liked the the trial of a timelord reminiscence and the material on the Valeyard, and I also liked the characterisation of the doctors themselves on the most part, the only exception being that of the first.

Ultimately, it's not the best doctor who novel I ever read, and maybe my hopes for the book having read the title were too high, but it is an accessible read and is probably a very good intro to the series.
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