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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

on 21 September 2005
Many moons ago I used to read a lot of science fiction but over the years my tastes have changed and I have drifted away. However, when the opportunity arose to buy some cheap DW books I thought I may as well see what they are like and I must say that the novels in the 8th Doctor series that I have read so far have been excellent.
'Frontier World' sees the Doctor and his two companions on a world ran by a bioengineering company that specialises in food production. There must be a reason why the T.A.R.D.I.S was drawn here and a little digging soon uncovers a plot to genetically engineer new live forms using alien plant DNA.
This novel is very fast paced and is a highly entertaining action romp. The characters are well rounded and the 8th Doctor comes across as a very interesting take on Who (pity it was never explored).
'Frontier Worlds' coupled with the also excellent 'Year of the Intelligent Tigers' means that I will definitely be reading more DW 8th Doctor books in the future.
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on 21 November 1999
This Doctor Who novel starts off in the manner of a Bond movie - the Doctor performing daredevil stunts whilst pursued by hired grunts on skis. There are even blood-red fisheyes. The only thing missing is the theme music, although the adrenaline of the prose more than makes up for it.
The TARDIS has been drawn to the planet Drebnar, home of the Frontier Worlds Corporation. The Doctor is determined to find out why, and so Compassion and Fitz become employees of Frontier Worlds. Whilst Compassion dedicates her time to spying on the company, Fitz dedicates his to spying on and seducing his female coworkers. But the TARDIS crew are not the only aliens to have landed on Drebnar. Before he knows it, the Doctor has become embroiled within a corporate plot of Frankenstein proportions, which even involves Frank Sinatra, seemingly back from the dead. Unless he succeeds, an entire system could be wiped out by human folly...
Following in the wake of Lawrence Miles' Interference, this is another very topical Doctor Who novel. The debate about what we eat and how it is produced is currently at the heart of our culture. Anghelides has displaced the debate by setting it on an alien planet. However, Drebnar is not exactly unlike Earth, and it could be possible to argue that the author has revealed a great lack of imagination by not bothering to provide much of an alien environment. Possible, but futile. Much of Drebnar's fun derives from the fact that it is so much like Earth. Okay, so this scenario is quite improbable, but since when has that been a handicap to Doctor Who? Especially when the Doctor has foes that delight in such paradoxes...
I suppose the television story which most resembles this is The Seeds of Doom. There's certainly the same amount of vegetation involved, and the Doctor's just as ready with his fists as Tom Baker was in that story (always a surprising scene, but then Seeds was written by Robert Banks Stewart, who later created Bergerac). To his credit, Anghelides makes no reference to The Seeds of Doom, and instead concentrates on telling his own story, which is highly compelling and very witty. This book is a joy to read. The characterisation is superb. Before Frontier Worlds, I've hated the very mention of Fitz Kreiner, because he was so flat and insipid. Why would I want to transport myself into adventure with such a wet blanket? A towel may be crucial to your average intergalactic hitchhiker, but a wet blanket is such a drag. But what Anghelides has managed to do seems impossible: he has breathed life into Fitz, given him new vibrancy. Anghelides does this by having much of the novel narrated by Fitz in the first person, and in doing so performs miracles. It's a device that works incredibly well here, and harks back to the very first Doctor Who book, when David Whitaker presented the Doctor's exciting adventure with the Daleks through the eyes of Ian Chesterton. It also helps that Fitz and Compassion are given jobs with Frontier Worlds: many readers will readily identify with the TARDIS crew's workplace experiences. Peter Anghelides too has developed his style considerably from Kursaal, and I shall be awaiting the next installment from his pen with a great deal of impatience.
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on 28 April 2014
I quite enjoyed Peter Anghelides previous Eighth Doctor adventure, Kursaal, despite the plot going off the boil a bit around the halfway mark so I was hopeful he’d manage to craft a more lasting story this time around.

The TARDIS crew are drawn to Drebnar by a signal and upon arrival The Doctor sends Fitz and Compassion to do some undercover work within Frontier Words Ltd, whilst he himself does some digging of his own. It soon transpires that Frontier Worlds are using an alien plant to alter genetics and must be stopped.

The Doctor is a little off in honesty and reads very much like the 3rd. I like this style of Doctor but it’s an Eighth Doctor novel. To compound matters he then goes missing for a huge chunk of the middle of the novel for absolutely no reason at all. This means that for the most part Frontier Worlds is truly a Fitz and Compassion novel. Both are well written, with the undercover sub-plot being very interesting to read and offering a much needed glimpse into Compassion’s psyche. Fitz is still as lovable as ever, more interested in shagging than doing any real work, either for Frontier Worlds or the Doctor but when push comes to shove he is there for him, albeit next to useless a lot of the time.

Anghelides has created a vivid world with Drebnar and filled it full of interesting characters. The Frontier Worlds founders are all as corrupt as they come and have prolonged their life using the alien plant to often disastrous effect. Sempitar comes off the worst, losing his sense of morality and is quite happy to extinguish life in the whole solar system just so he can make money.

Frontier Worlds is miles ahead of Kursaal but still isn’t quite as good as it could have been. The story and the characterization of everyone but the Doctor is excellent, but it does drag in some places and you can’t help think it could have been a good 40 pages shorter and suffer little ill effect for it.
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on 10 December 1999
Anghelides made it. The strange narrator changes, the atmosphere, the colors and the sound he shows to the reader are on the verge of a big novel, whatever the genre or time. The Doctor is now a dense, solid character. And the story a beautiful puzzle. It will unfold slowly, step by step, and Anghelides will give you the time to guess before you can discover or understand. I rate it 5 because it is a decent, professional and creative writing that is offered. Not some lunch-time-writing so often published in this kind of spin-off books. Thanks Mr Anghelides.
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on 30 December 1999
Frontier Worlds is a great book - it reads terribly easily, dragging the reader through a plot that blends genetic experimentation and sinister corporations in a style that owes an awful lot to a Bond movie. Where the book really, really succeeds though, is in the portrayal of Compassion, the Doctor's superbly amoral new companion. It's worth reading just for the scenes with her in as she plots, schemes, kills and scowls her way through with all the grumpy charm of a hungover Emma Peel.
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on 30 June 2008
This novel is simply brilliant. Comfortably the best eighth doctor novel so far, i found it impossible to put down. From Fitz's impersonation of Frank Sinatra to the Raab, an intelligent vegetable this novel will keep you gripped. At times this novel is also extremely dark. The standout point being when one of the characters is minced to death. If you've never read an eighth doctor novel before then this is a great one to start with.
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on 5 June 2002
"Frontier Worlds" is one of the best novels of the BBC Eighth Doctor range. It has mystery, intrigue, industrial espionage, action, green monsters and witticisms. The whole thing reads like a Bond movie and is no worse for it. The characters of the Doctor, Fitz and Compassion are spot on and Compassion is by far and away the best thing about the whole book. I would highly recommend this to any DW fan.
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on 17 June 2000
This book is one of the best of the BBC book range. It is gripping throughout. This appears to be more reminicient to "old" Dr Who than most other 8th Doctor novels, and I appreciate this. It falls along the "man-into-monster" plotline, although from the cover I had guessed the villan was the Krynoid. I was wrong and disappointed, but hey, I can't have everything.
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on 9 August 2001
I found this rather slow and hard work. All the ingredients were there for an exciting story but somehow they never managed to make up a satisfying whole for me. The characterisations were strong and memorable but the plot less so, a bit too much intruige and espionage and not enough solid action to keep the story fresh and involving. Just not quite my cup of tea.
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