Top positive review
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Dr Who preserves the spirit of the Gospel of St. Mark
on 21 November 2001
I must say I expected this novel to be something of a send-up when I saw it described as 'I, Claudius meets The Life of Brian at the pub'. This almost persuaded me not to buy it! Thankfully I did, and avoided missing the wonderful passages where Dr Who (yes I will call him that if I want to) criticises the three pompous scribes for robbing St.Mark's writing of its soul as a side-effect of their translation. The book is influenced by I, Claudius in a way I found hugely enjoyable, and the input from The Life of Brian was happily understated. I did find it difficult to imagine that schoolmaster hero of my childhood, Ian Chesterton, stripped naked and being chased around a bedroom by the lascivious Antonia, though I felt confident throughout that Barbara would be never be betrayed by her champion to the extent of Ian actually bedding this strumpet from antiquity. I didn't like the top and tail of the novel with its glimpses at a future, henpecked Ian, but then I never have cared for this sort of inclusion: it disrupts the flow of the adventures, especially if one tries to read them in their logical order. Overall, though, a delightful little tome, and its content a welcome change from one new alien race after another being trotted past us, often the case in post-Hartnell Dr Who.