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Return of the Slitheen
on 6 June 2005
The second of the initial three 9th Doctor novels features a momentous occasion that was bafflingly left out of the TV series - the 9th Doctor and Rose's first trip to an alien planet. Despite this momentous event however, it's not long before we're back in familiar territory, as the Doctor and Rose are captured and put into two separate prisons, and all the familiar prison-drama clichés are wheeled out.
Just when it looks as though The Monsters Inside is going to be a dull prison- breakout drama however, the Slitheen turn up, and things become a lot more interesting. Despite a rather nice costume design I'm not 100% convinced by the rather juvenile farting antics of the Slitheen on television, but their ability to disguise themselves as human drives much of the drama and suspense of this novel, with Rose never quite sure just who is human and who isn't. To add to the complexity we also have another family of Raxacoricofallapatorians on the loose, and Cole manages to blur the line between the traditional roles of good guys and bad guys to good effect.
It's by no means perfect, with an overabundance of technobabble and some rather bland supporting characters, but The Monster Inside is a fairly decent effort, and is recommended for all those who are frustrated by the fact that on television a Time Lord with a machine that can travel anywhere in the universe cant seemingly escape Earth's orbit.