Top positive review
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on 7 July 2013
There can be no doubt as to why this novel has been chosen to be part of this series of re-releases to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary; it is the ideal representation of the Third Doctor's era. Set in a very English East Anglian village where the Master is conspiring with a race of aliens to infiltrate and invade the planet, this story has all the hallmarks of many of the televised UNIT stories from this period. From the construction of the plot and the flow and pace of events it is easy enough to imagine that this might have been a novelisation of a four or six part serial under the helm of Barry Letts.
The Third Doctor's characterisation, which I often believe misses the mark in many Doctor Who novels, is absolutely spot on here. There is also a particularly accurate portrayal of Jo Grant in which you can hear Katy Mannning delivering the lines. Even though they have somewhat smaller roles to play, it is also clear that the author is well versed in the behaviour and mannerisms of The Brigadier, Yates and Benton. The UNIT team shines here as it does in the very best of its television appearances.
This is also Roger Delgado's Master to a tee. Supercilious charm and malicious menace are delivered with equal smoothness. His bickering, mutually untrusting, alliance with Bliss (although similar to all the Master's alliances and thus not particularly original) is perfectly in character and utterly enjoyable. As parasitic, body snatching aliens the Gaderene aren't the most original or unique of science fiction species but there is enough to them to function more than effectively within the confines of this story and alongside the Master.
I'm not often taken with Mark Gatiss' offerings for the television series (apart from the recent `Crimson Horror'), usually finding his Doctor Who novels to be the better stories. That is certainly the case with `Last of the Gaderene'. In another dimension this could have easily been a televised Third Doctor story. As such there couldn't be a better novel to represent Pertwee's incarnation of The Doctor for the fiftieth anniversary.