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Terrance Dicks Is Back!
on 28 October 2000
"Endgame" sees the return of Terrance Dicks to the novels of Doctor Who, this time with the Eighth Doctor facing the return of the Players from his previous Sixth (and Second) Doctor novel "Players."
"Endgame" is set in the time of the Cold War. Trueman is in the White House, Stalin is running the USSR and the Players have invoked an endgame which can only end with annihilation. Into this comes the Eighth Doctor still without his memory, and a Doctor who has become disillusioned with his existence. Throw in three notorius double agents and you have the makings of the best Doctor Who novel since "The Turing Test"
Dicks has such a no nonsense approach to writing that every page of "Endgame" is a joy to read. With a strong plot, an intriguing situation, the return of the excellent Players, Dicks has produced a refreshing change of pace from the usual style of novel that the Eighth Doctor series has become.
There are some neat touches to the novel as well. The Eighth Doctor almost meeting his previous self of Timewyrm: Exodus (Some of the dialogue and prose from Prologue Two is lifted directly from the second New Adventure) as well as further allusions to that story as well. Since the Doctor lost his memory it has become a little bit of a habit to feature famous historical individuals, nad Dicks includes spies like Guy Burgess and Kim Philby as well as the leaders of the USA and the USSR.
The plot is well paced and develops logically and quickly. Dicks is a master at churning out good readable books and this is no exception. The best thing about this novel though is that the Doctor is starting to seem more like the Doctor again by the end of the book. One of the characters tells the Doctor that he seemed to come alive at a particular point in the novel, and by the end of this one the Doctor, although still nowhere near himself yet, seems to have come alive once more and this bodes well for the concluding novels in this arc.
Overall "Endgame" is a well written and well plotted novel. Terrance Dicks has produced a good traditional feeling Doctor Who story. Recommended.