The 6th Doctor is currently in 1989 England and is helping out an old friend to remove a computer virus created by the Master when he is sucked into a more immediate problem. A mysterious company has plans to release a games console that is far too advanced for this time period. With the aid of a new companion, Mel, the Doctor must uncover the truth behind the company and the mystery behind plastic that seems to come to life and killing young children.
This is a fun Doctor Who novel and works well in its own right even if you are not equated with the 6th Doctor. The Doctor is quite eccentric in this novel and he works well in the 80s setting. The introduction of Mel and some of her back story is also a welcome addition and adds to the characterisation in the book. However, the central plot does suffer a bit from Doctor Who by numbers and the conclusion feels a little light weight.
Another problem comes with the writing style as Russell seems confused between the time he wrote the book and the time in the book. 1997 and 1989 may not seem too different but in the world of computers they are poles apart. Russell seems to forget that some advances were not made by 1989 and not all of is mistakes can be blamed on alien technology!
Apart from the issue of time, this book is a fun and quick read and would be welcome for any Doctor Who fan, new or old. A warning should be made for very young readers that quite a few people are killed during the narrative.
The Sixth Doctor is really brought to life: "Ha! Get out of that one you floundering fetid fungoid!" Plus the Brigadier gets to meet the Colin Baker version for the first time. Cracking stuff, filled with the wonders of the series. And thank God, finally Mel gets a proper introduction! If only Gary Russell were writing Who in th eighties, it might have been saved!
Not suitable for my tastes, I put it down after two weeks and it lay there, untouched, gathering dust a plenty for many a weekend afternoon. (I'll have to remember to stick with the REAL Dr Who stories and fiction, rather than the fan-fiction of a derranged maniac thankyou .)
Intro: Why I bought this novel: Knowing Colin Baker's Doctor, and having watched (and many months later, rewatched!) his full debut season on Dr Who, I wanted to read the story of how he met the accomplace, Melaine (played by stage actress Bonnie Langford in the Series).
The character appears during his Trial Series, in the future story Terror of the Vervoids, which I believe is his first time meeting this particular Character, but it is NOT her first time. Interesting, eh? So basicly the reason I payed for this book was to read about how she came to be the Doctors assisant, and this little story was, less than helpful in showing me.
Onto the analysis of what I thought of the product::::::: -
Mind you, I didnt find the book very inviting, I was dissapointing by the story, because of its "Earthly earth" beasd plot and settings. Reading through it, progressing the story, could not have been more uninteresting and reluctant a task for me. Mind you, again, it WAS not something I was entrely that well prepared for. Gary Russel, a name you will recognise if you're a Whovian (because of his work)is someone who works on fictional productions that tie in with the series. He wanted to show us the Doctor, Colin Baker's Doctor, in a story that CHRONOLOGICLY takes place after both of his Television Series.
So what you need to know about that PARTICULAR NOVEL he wrote, it ties in with the Series (albeit rather unsatisfactorily, due to its conflicting nature to that of THE SERIES) and it shows us an interpretation of the Doctor, that author Gary Russel ahd invisioned: Milder, pleasantier, and mellowed like a stale block of cheese. This wasnt the character I had come to adore in the real fiction work (TV stories and radioplays, even the FREAKIN comic strips from Dr Who Magazine where close enough! and all).
So overall, I REALLY HAVE TO SAY THIS!!! The book Business Unusual may SEEM promising, but to someone like me who has come to appreciate and enjoy the Television series and Colin Baker's REAL portrayal of the character, this book was just not walking the dog. -So to speak. I would advise you keep away from, and dont bother with it. Find better Fiction work out there. he Big Finish audio adventures are highly acclaimed and wonderful, if you sit through atleast half a dozen of them, I guarantee that a handfull of that pick will be regarded as classic work, unmissable work, to the average Whovian.
Bottom line is: theres far better, out there, and this aint it. ;)
Business Unusual is a run of the mill 6th Doctor adventure which wouldn't seem out of place in series 24 had Colin Baker not been fired. The novel really is Doctor Who by numbers and you can imagine the story on screen in all it's naff glory. The biggest draw of this book is that it features the 6th Doctor meeting Mel "naturally" as in the TV show she was pulled out of time to testify in his trial, and also that the 6th Doctor finally gets a story with the Brigadier.
The trouble I found with Business Unusual is that it never seems to get out of 2nd gear. The novel chugs along nicely, but there is never any really exciting bits which make you want to keep reading. It does pick it up a bit from around the third mark, but still never really seems to hold your attention.
For those of you like me who were excited to see the introduction of Mel and the Doctor/Brig the book is a real let down. Mel was a real annoying character on screen (as was the 6th Doctor if we are honest) so I was hoping she would fare better in novel form, just like the 6th Doctor does, however she is equally as annoying, if not more so. She is rude to everyone, has a "holier than thou" attitude all the time and constantly bangs on about being healthy. As for the Doctor/Brig, they don't get much action together, and even then it's lacking, so it's a bit of a let down.
The enemy are a continuation of Gary Russell's novel "The Scales of Injustice" which is a nice twist given the business name, "SeneNet" and they are fairly interesting for the most part but the novel doesn't really do them justice.
In short Business Unusual is a little slow going, but other than that it's a perfectly enjoyable 6th Doctor adventure.
Helping C.I.D. this time in similar fashion to the way earlier Doctors helped UNIT, the Doctor starts out at the end of foiling a nefarious plan of the Master's. There are elements that are carried forward from the Virgin Missing Adventure The Scales of Injustice by the same author but it's not essential to have read that book to enjoy this one. Whenever I come across a reference to Business Unusual I think of the 'Doctor gets burger' scene. I can just imagine Colin Baker playing that scene for all it's worth. Brilliant. Actually all of the Doctor's scenes are good. I loved the idea of a Time Lord desperate to avoid his future in the shape of a certain carrot juice swilling redhead from Pease Pottage. Oh, and the Brig's in it. What more could you want?