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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

on 10 August 2016
Not a classy c, but a capable and entertaining story. Grand on s ale, but at times not as engaging as it could have been.
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on 1 May 2013
Seeing I is the 4th and final part of the "Sam Is Missing" arc and thankfully is a lot better than the rest of the arc and is one of the best EDA's to date.

Seeing I starts with Sam looking for shelter and a job after being sent to sent to Ha'olam after the events of Dreamstone Moon. She soon gets a job with INC and starts to live her life without The Doctor. The Doctor continues to look for her, and finds her name in INC's records but it soon becomes clear that there is more to INC than meets the eye. However before he has a chance to find out, he is captured and put in a prison even he cannot escape from.

Jon & Kate got the 8th Doctor down perfectly in Vampire Science and that trend continues in Seeing I. The Doctor is both charming and a bit bumbling at the same time, and you know it's McGann. The novel has him locked up for the vast majority of it, but the authors keep us with him the whole time. As the Doctor struggles to escape his sanity takes a bashing and it's down to Sam to rescue him and restore his mindset.
We also catch up with Sam and you soon realize that previous authors have really struggled to write for her. Jon & Kate do the seemingly impossible and make her interesting, and someone you actually care about right off the bat. Throughout Seeing I, Sam matures greatly and even has a stab at normal life. It helps of course that the novel encompasses a 3 year period, but right from word go the authors have you on Sam's side.

When Sam does finally rescue the Doctor, it really is a truly brilliant moment and fairly emotional. It's good to see them back together and back on form, but that could be because Jon & Kate write well for both characters. Let's hope this partnership is as good carrying forward.

Seeing I is odd in that there are very few supporting cast. It is written as a Doctor & Sam story, with alternating chapters catching up with the other party until they meet. There are other characters around, but they are all mostly just background noise, it's just the leads doing what they do best, and with Jon & Kate at the helm, they do it well.

The enemy is kept well hidden until the end of the book.At the start of Seeing I we are introduced to INC which is a faceless corporation which has fairly unethical practices. Of course Sam instantly campaigns against them and the Doctor finds out that INC are using Time Lord technology so he is fighting against them too. Once the Doctor and Sam reunite, then it soon becomes clear that the technology was planted by a collective known as the I, in order to harvest data and they've come to get it back. I didn't enjoy this third of the book as much as the first two, put it serves to show exactly what the Doctor and Sam do bring to the table, and that they do need each other.

Seeing I ties up the "Sam is Missing" arc nicely. Whilst it breaks no new ground in the same way that Alien Bodies did, it does advance time by 3 years, and serves to refresh the series, and Sam in particular, before the start of year two. It does help to have read Longest Day and Dreamstone Moon first which most casual fans will want to skip, but no one will want to miss out on Seeing I as it really is a very good story with great characterization.
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on 20 January 1999
The beginning does a good job of explaining how Sam, the Doctors traveling companion, goes about re-establishing a life after the TARDIS. Something we've all wondered about. A great deal of time passes, which the Doctor spends in a prison from which he can not escape. His trauma at being locked up reveals how dependant he really is on his companions and the thrill of adventure. We see the Doctor for the first time as helpless and depressed. The I, as villains go were not visious, merely uncaring for other species. Their murderous use of others to create new technology was greed based. In fact the corporation was probably more of a villian due to it's economic enslavement of the mass workforce and control over government to enforce it's rules. Not an entirely remote leap from the curent direction of most economic based governments today. The "torch" that Sam caries for the Doctor is a departure from the asexual nature of the Doctors in the BBC series but does reflect the characteristics of the eighth Doctor presented in the "made for TV" movie from FOX. I generally enjoyed the book. I was happy that the gruesome, sometimes psychotic villians found in other Who books was not the dominant theme here.....
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on 23 January 1999
Seeing I is a character novel really, focusing on the Doctor's inner struggle at being unable to escape from a prison for over three years, and also on Sam's attempts to make a new life for herself on the planet Ha'olam at the turn of the twenty-third century. Both characters are portrayed very well, although my only criticism is that when they are reunited towards the end of the novel, it is almost as if nothing has happened between them most of the time, with only a couple of references thrown in that they have been separated for so long. The other theme of the novel is the danger of widespread corporate control, and this is handled well, although not fully utilised to its best capabilities, a character called DOCTOR in particular could have been explored in much more detail. The book misses out on it's fifth crown mainly because of the extremely hurried climax which seems to end the story a little prematurely, probably a case of being forced to edit down the word count without sacrificing any of Sam's thoughts. Overall however, this was a very enjoyable read and I look forward to sampling more of the work of the husband and wife partnership.
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on 15 June 1999
One of the striking qualities of Seeing I is how familiar so much of it is. So much of the book is rewritten from Kate's previous book - Set Piece.
Sams struggle to rebuild her life without the Doctor is similar to Ace's own efforts in Ancient Egypt. Both girls stuggle to find purpose, drifting into and out of relationships but afraid of fully committing themselves to their new life.
The Doctor also finds himself stuck in a prison from which he cannot escape.
These recycled theme take up most of the book, and not enought room is left to explore the potential of the new, more involving issues such as DOCTOR (an all too accurate simulation of the Doctor) and the corporate nature of the enemy.
The Doctor lacks any real enemy to fight. His captor is genuinely concerned for the Doctor's mental well being. When frustration leads one of the jailors to beat him, he is punished. This is one of several fasinating ideas that is inadequately developed.
In the end some good old fasioned bug eyed monsters appear from nowhere to bring the whole thing to a disatisfying climax.
As every, Orman's style is compelling and it is an entertaining read, but so many good ideas are wasted.
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on 27 September 1999
I'm no expert, but please please please, whatever you do, get this. I don't know the ins and outs of why, but it's absolutely brilliant and a cracking end to the stunning four-book arc started in Longest Day. A don't-miss!
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on 24 February 2008
At last the Doctor trying to find Sam arc is over. This novel rounds of a hugely disapointing arc well enough. Sam is seen to be a completely different person from the one who first stepped aboard the TARDIS in The Eight Doctors. The Doctor has a really rough time in this novel and even spends three years in a prison. The time he spends in prison does get a little boring but it ofers us a glimpse at a side of The Doctor we've never seen before as he develops an extreme form of claustrophobia. The aliens in this novel were really easy to imagine, as they fill the Quota for the traditional bug eyed monsters.
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on 12 September 2002
i just want to say that i think it's a shame that the first person to review this book on here was so negative - i don't understand what some people look for in books - obviously it's a subjective thing, but SEEING I, to me, was a thoroughly enjoyable read - i agree with the previous reviewer - jonathan blum and kate orman write so well for the eigth doctor - i recently read VAMPIRE SCIENCE by the same pair and could hear and see paul mcgann jumping off the page as the doctor - the plot of SEEING I doesn't need going into here - my recommendation is read it!! plain and simple, you won't be disappointed
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on 12 August 2000
Well, this has made enduring parts one and three of the arc worthwhile. There are so many good points to this book I don't know where to begin. It's not based around some psychotic aliens trying to kill lots of people gruesomely or take over the universe, but about the principal characters themselves, and only in its second life, through novels, has Doctor Who the opportunity to explore these themes. Another brilliant twist in the plot that they just couldn't do on TV is the sheer length of time this book spans, and how from now on you have to remember that Sam's a young woman. DOCTOR as a reflection of the The Doctor is an original enemy, and watching the Doctor fall apart in prison, whilst sad, at last breaks through this invulnerability he seems to have been given in previous books. Great stuff, as usual, from Blum and Orman. I shall have to go back to Vampire Science now...
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on 28 February 2000
Wow, what a book! The team of Blum & Orman strikes again! These two seem to be the only people who can really nail the personality of the Eighth Doctor.
Sam finds herself broke and alone on a foreign planet and ends up spending time at a homeless shelter where she eventually grows up. True to form, however, she hooks up with a libertarian group that helps build shelters for inhabitants in the desert. Through this group she continues her work she started on Earth with Greenpeace and groups like that.
The Doctor, in the meantime, is trying to find Sam and by hacking into the database of INCorp suspects Time Lord technology has been used to scoot along the planet's development and INC's profits. He ends up getting busted by the INC and is taken to a minimum-security prison in the desert where he is to be held - forever. They are afraid of his knowledge gained while in the systems. No matter what he does he cannot escape and when he is indirectly responsible for the death of another inmate during another abortive escape attempt he totally begins to lose his sanity.
Once Sam finds the Doctor on the prison lists and breaks him out the real hurt/comfort scenes begin and the book will tear your heart out. I felt physically worn out after finishing this story. Classic Doctor Who and a worthy addition to the Cannon.
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