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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who: The Doctor Trap
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

An original Doctor Who novel, telling an all new story not seen on tv. It features the tenth Doctor and his companion Donna Noble.

Like all in this range it runs for just under two hundred and fifty pages, can be read by readers of all ages - although this one might be a bit much for the very young thanks to a rather labyrinthine plot - and the two leads are recreated perfectly on the printed page, with dialogue you can imagine them saying on tv.

The story sees the Doctor fall foul of Sebastiane. The mysterious man who rules a world called planet one, which has some very sophisticated computers and robots. He acts like a victorian gentleman. And he likes to hunt. And what better to hunt than rare species? Like the last of the time lords.

Sebastiane is also slightly crazy and this makes him dangerously unpredictable.

So when the Doctor and Donna fall into his hands, they have a fight on their hands in order to survive.

Not least because the Doctor has a plan of his own...

The initial developments of the plans in this story result in a plot that whilst fast moving might have you saying 'what's going on here?' for a while. But stick with it because things to do quickly become clear, and when they do it's all very clever. And it all adds a gripping extra level of danger to the story. Because Sebastiane really is quite a superb villain, so very human and so dangerously unpredictable. A slight flaw is that if he wasn't, the Doctor might not get away with some of the things that he does, but that goes with the madness.

The Doctor and Donna are separated for a lot of the story but that does give her an intriguing plot strand of her own, and adds some interesting extra tension and questions of trust also.

And the pace of the book never lets up for a moment, the story constantly moving on and changing and throwing in some excellent twists at just the right points.

There are some digs at Doctor who fandom but they never gets nasty or snide, so they're not a problem.

A very involving and entertaining read and one of the best in this range.
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on 11 September 2009
I've really said it all in the title of my review.
This is a truly excellent audiobook, one of the best I've ever heard.
Russell Tovey makes the story come alive, so that it's more like listening to a real audio adventure rather than just a reading of a book. He does such a brilliant job of creating the different characters, especially the character of Sebastian. His talent for creating the different voices and tones of speech is unsurpassed in my view.
He really does bring the characters in the story alive.
Usually, audiobooks need the inclusion of music and sound effects to really work, but you don't get any in the audbiobooks featuring the current Doctor Who stories, as you do get in the classic Doctor Who audiobooks. But you do get the Doctor Who theme tune, which you don't get in the 'classic' Who audiobooks for some reason, (maybe the BBC not wanting to use any Dr Who theme in their audiobooks except the current Doctor's theme?) Anyhow, a lot of the time, the current audiobook versions are not usually as good as some of the 'classic' Doctor Who audiobooks, mainly for the lack of music and sound effects, but even without any of that, this story just LIVES, thanks to the excellent reading skills of the narrator. Brilliant!
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on 3 October 2015
The greatest hunters in the universe assemble on the enigmatic Planet 1, reigned over by the godlike Sebastiene, for the greatest prize of them all... the last of the Time Lords, The Doctor.

Messingham is no stranger to Doctor Who, having written Strange England and Tomb of Valdemar in the past, his tales usually marked by a high concept that feels like a merging of Who and an classic Edwardian concept. Here, we essentially have Who's take on 'The Dangerous Game': a group of alien hunters pursue the Doctor across different zones modeled after their home worlds, while Sebastiene has Donna and the TARDIS in his clutches. But on top of that, we have humanoid robots who run Planet 1, a duplicate of the Doctor who is also his number one fanboy and even Sebastiene himself having a fixation with 19th century Europe, hence his appearance and behaviour. That's a pretty odd mix, but how does it work out?

The problem is is that The Doctor Trap never feels like it makes most of the use of its premise, and it's a fairly tensionless story. The story starts a little too slow for such a mind game, trudging through backstory and setup, and the use of a doppelganger pretty much acts as a dead giveaway of what the story is going to do. The actual hunt isn't even until halfway through the book, and by then, maybe fills up two or three chapters before the idea seems to be drop in favour of a standard big confrontation. Most of the book is mainly spent seeing the Doctor manipulate Sebastiene's game from the inside, or Donna being trapped inside a mundane hell of a discount hotel and whining about the Doctor. The stakes never feel that high and Sebastiene is a little too kooky and silly to act as much of a threat or feel like a challenge for the Doctor. Even the humour doesn't seem very well thought out, going from Adams-ish parody and wit to just lame pratfalls with Sebastiene's robotic servants.

On top of that, Messingham writes a fairly generic smart alecky Doctor that only half the time sounds like 10, the rest being a jumble of 4, 5 and 7, and his Donna is very poor, as I barely imagined seeing Catherine Tate during the reading of the story, and instead more of a whinier Rose with just a touch more sass. In fairness, the prose is uncluttered and easy to read, which makes sense given the book's young demographic, and Messingham may not follow through on them but no one can deny he hasn't got an imagination on him, but it just isn't enough. Not recommended.
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on 1 July 2009
this was an excellent audio book brillently read by Russell Tovey. I really enjoyed the book must have for all Dr Who fans
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on 4 August 2015
Each holiday I normally read a couple of Doctor Who books. Especially if I had been previously reading something that was heavy going.
Most Doctor Who books are enjoyable enough and follow the same basic plan.
'The Doctor Trap' requires the reader to pay a bit more attention and is cleverly plotted. So I rated it 5*.
That is on the Doctor Who scale of stars. It's how much I enjoyed, not judged as literature.
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on 25 March 2009
The audiobook was an enjoyable story, but sufficiently puzzling at points that it required my full attention. Having subsequently read the hardback edition I could see why - as with Beautiful Chaos, I don't think that the abridgement covered all the background and plot points well enough, and would recommend the hardback if choosing between the two.

That aside, the audiobook is a good enough offering - Russell Tovey reads well and with reasonably good characterisation in his voice. I prefer the books actually read by David T. and Catherine T., but this would definitely sit happily alongside those.
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on 24 September 2008
"The Doctor Trap" is one of the first Doctor Who novels to feature Donna as the Doctor's companion. Though, through the first half of the book she isn't very present, as the Doctor and her get seperated on the first pages.
Sebastiene, the ruler of his own planet, has set out to hunt the doctor down and kill him. Therefor he brought a couple of hunters to Planet 1, all infamous for wiping out rare species. He even created a Doctor-double, made from the Doctor's "biggest fan", Baris. The Doctor manages to swap places with Baris, though and now has not only to rescue Donna, but also get back his TARDIS and escape from the planet.

When I read the book description, I was afraid this could be a second "Last Dodo", another Doctor Who novel where he is hunted for being the last of his kind. But "The Doctor Trap" certainly does not imitate that one. It is faster and more exciting. Again the Doctor and his companion are very well written (including some small banters the way I liked them on the TV series). Plus, I really had to use my brains at one point - the "Doctor Trap" and it's explanation (or the explanation Sebastien though it had), made my head spin. So confusing.
A really good read I'd certainly recommend to Doctor/Donna friends.
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on 20 July 2011
Really different from the rest of the series - being hunted on a world controlled by one man and a robot workforce, with someone who believes he is the doctor. The twists of plot are great.
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on 16 November 2008
"Excitement, tension, the thrill of the chase, these were a few of his favourite things."
- The Doctor Trap, p. 187

Sebastiene is physically flawless, incredibly powerful and more than a little bit maniacal. As the ruler of Planet 1, Sebastiene has everything he could ever want, but that will never be enough. He's taken to hunting down alien species, the more dangerous the better. For his ultimate prize, however, Sebastiene must enlist the help of the Endangered Dangerous Species Society, a group of the most ruthless hunters in the galaxy. Sebastiene wants to add the most dangerous being in the universe to his collection: the Doctor, the last of the Time Lords.

Sebastiene uses a genetic copy of the Doctor, a man named Baris, to steal the TARDIS and kidnap Donna. The doppelganger lures the Doctor to Planet 1, but it doesn't take long for the Doctor to turn the tables on his twin. He manages to switch places with Baris, which only complicates matters. Now he has to save Donna, recover the TARDIS and keep the hunters from killing Baris. Can the Doctor escape Sebastiene's trap or will Sebastiene find himself in a trap of the Doctor's design?

The Doctor Trap is an action-packed story filled with twists and turns, alternating between confusing and clever. Sebastiene was an interesting villain but I felt that the story would have been stronger without the final twist; it felt rather anticlimactic compared to earlier revelations.

This is one of the first novels to feature Donna Noble as the Doctor's companion. While they spend most of the story separated (one of my personal pet peeves with the Doctor Who novels), there are some nice moments of Doctor/Donna banter that the show's fans came to expect during Series 4.
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on 23 March 2009
This audio book is brilliant. The narrator couldnt have been better and the story is just absolutely fantastic
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