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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 July 2000
I had very nearly given up on the BBC range. At around 30 books in I thought they were getting just a bit too "different", and for me, the rot had set in long before Interference. Doctor who is about a man who doesn't like seeing people eaten by monsters. It's about companions who get seperated so we can get both sides of the story. It's about misguided yet ultimately heroic high priests. It's about moments of horror interspersed with moments of humour (or is it the other way around). And, of course, it's about slime. At least that's what it's about to someone who was nine when Tom Baker took over and fifteen when he left. There were times when I was reading this book when I almost imagined Paul McGann in a hat and scarf and I'm sure Fitz called Compassion "Old Girl" at least once. This is the stuff that got me into Doctor Who as a child and so long as books like this are being published, I think I'll stay a while yet.
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on 12 June 2014
Trevor Baxendale is one of those authors whose books sound like utter garbage from the cover blurb yet hook you right from the start and turn out to be rather good indeed. Baxendale’s previous novel, The Janus Conjunction, was one of my favourites of the range so far and I didn’t like the sound of it from the cover, and likewise with Coldheart.

The main plot of Coldheart is that a planet has an ice centre with an intense heat exterior. Water is therefore in high demand and the obvious solution is to mine the ice. The TARDIS crew arrive to discover a city in turmoil and on the brink of destruction thanks to mutations to its populace caused by an alien parasite in the ice. It’s all very traditional and this is what makes it so enjoyable. Coldheart gets it’s claws into you very early on and from then on it’s really hard to put down.

The regulars are done well, with plenty of banter between them. Fitz gets the brunt of it, but he does refer to himself as “Captain” so he does deserve it. He also manages to pull again, this time a mute girl who looks like a camel. Still I’ve woken up next to worse. The Doctor is seemingly going through a hard time and putting himself more at risk than usual. This is mentioned at least twice so what it’s building too I don’t know, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Compassion goes from strength to strength and I really like the link she is slowly building with the Doctor. Baxendale has again created an interesting planet and inhabitants, and whilst the majority are fairly stereotypical they are not built up enough for you to really care.

Coldheart is another fine novel from Trevor Baxendale which treads the path many Doctor Who episodes have in the past, and no doubt will in the future. Instead of being to its detriment, the novel is actually much better for it, and it stands as a great standalone novel for all Doctor Who fans.
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on 25 June 2000
Trevor Baxendale gives us a surprisingly well-defined alien race and a promisingly different start to a book.
Then it all becomes about tribe leaders, arguments, errant sons, impending catastrophy and all the other silly little things that run-of-the-mill Dr Who and the Monsters books are always about.
It plays itself entertainingly out (well, as entertainingly as any book about something-nasty-in-the-pipes can be), with the predictable deaths of vast numbers of characters we care nothing about.
The series has developed a boring preoccupation with quantity of death over quality. It seems as though we never meet an alien planet these days without vast amounts of death following swiftly on. If we cared, then so much the better - but we don't. The characters are never differentiated enough for us to feel anything other than a vague distaste (after all, it's so much easier to kill off lots of people in graphic ways than create one character who we really, really care about).
It just happens, which is the best thing that can be said about it.
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on 8 May 2000
For those who are not "keen" on the internet lingo, "trad" refers to a "traditional" novel, which does follows the standard "format" for Doctor Who storytelling. Nothing new or groundbreaking here, just a solid work. Trevor Baxendale's 2nd Doctor Who Novel ("The Janus Conjuntion" being his first) is a well paced Novel, continuing some of the plot threads that have developed in recent Eighth Doctor Adventures (or EDA's). Trevor Baxendale has a talent for making the surroundings come alive, and within the first 25 pages you'll feel like you're on Eskon, easily visualizing the rich surroundings. His characters are interesting, if sometimes a little cliche (the xenophobic Tor Grymna), but never boring. I recommend this book for any Dr Who fan; Trevor Baxendale does not disappoint.
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on 16 May 2001
Trevor Baxendale seems to like creating planets with unusual environments (see 'The Janus Conjuinction') and here he has created a very interesting culture on the planet Eskon to go with it. Unfortunately, other aspects of the story are somewhat less original and impressive, rather clearly showing its' roots in stock SF stories such as 'Alien' and 'Tremors'. The conclusion is rather unsatisfactory, and seems rushed and unlikely, with some problems -eg Slimers- seemingly unresolved. The story is never dull, but nor does it ever really shine. In my opinion, not as good as Trevor's earlier book.
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on 16 May 2000
A fairly straightforward trad Who adventure. Good use is made of Fitz and particularly Compassion, but the Doctor doesn't seem very lively. The planet Eskon is well-described but the society of the natives is glossed over in favour of moving the plot on. Not a revolutionary book, but some nice ideas, and a good few hours entertainment.
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