Top positive review
on 28 May 2014
Verdigris was the PDA I was most looking forward to reading when I first got it as it featured a cool cover and featured the 3rd Doctor, my all-time favourite. Since then however I have read the average The Scarlett Empress and the mind numbingly awful The Blue Angel, both also by Paul Magrs, which have seriously made me want to not bother with this book. Still it’s a short one and it has big writing. Much to my surprise I found myself enjoying Verdigris tremendously. Magrs’ usual meta fiction is present, and bits are very tongue in cheek, but the result isn’t as bad as The Scarlett Empress or The Blue Angel, as it happens in an era I am comfortable with. What I really liked about Verdigris was the fun poked at the era with Yates being reduced to an actual cardboard character a work of genius. I won’t ruin the book anymore, but there are plenty of little jibes and in references to the 70’s era which make it well worth a read alone.
Plot wise, Verdigris is a bit wobbly. UNIT have gone missing and a train carriage full of literary characters have turned up, along with Iris Wildthyme and her companion Tom. Tom is approached by a cult to help dispose of the Doctor. Things get really confusing when robot sheep appear along with the Master. The thing is as much as the story is random, it all makes senses in a linear way which is a huge improvement on The Blue Angel.
Despite my dislike of most of Magrs ideas he has had one excellent creation, the wonderful Iris Wildthyme. I prefer the model we get here, the old lady, but her super sexy Barberella model is also a joy to read. The relatively unknown relationship between her and the Doctor is great and the bickering is superb not to mention her constantly trying to bed him. The Doctor himself is spot on as the grumpy but kindly 3rd Doctor, full of pomp and ceremony. Jo and Tom are done well too, although the 70s Vs 00’s difference isn’t touched on nearly enough as it could have been. Tom is an interesting character but sadly the plotline about his Mum is left wide open, as his is possible romance with Kevin.
The other characters are all fairly minimal, with the various Destiny’s Children being the most built up, although not very exciting. No real complaints though, as the four man TARDIS crew own the show. Verdigris himself is a bit of a let-down as well, although it’s all tied up reasonably well at the end, I feel he was underused as a threat.
Verdigris is the Magrs book for people who don't like Paul Magrs. It’s not a serious book, it’s light-hearted, fun and a joy to read.