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Festival of Death
on 16 June 2013
"'Did the universe get out of the wrong side of bed this morning, or is it me?' he asked."
This book, first published in 2000, has been re-released as the representative Fourth Doctor story in the 50th anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who. This was written by Jonathan Morris, who has written quite a few Doctor Who and related books etc.
The story involves the Fourth Doctor and Romana II arriving in a hyperspace tunnel which has become the graveyard of a number of ships after an accident some two centuries earlier. Now it is where the Beautiful Death themepark is run, where tourists come to be treated to an experience featuring death itself. But when the Doctor and Romana arrive, they are surprised to find themselves known to people who are there. Have they been here before, and if so, what did they do? And how can they do it again?
This is a complicated time-travel back and forth in eddies of time kind of Doctor Who story, one which you have to keep your wits about you to keep track of who is where, why and when. But that makes for a satisfying read, and one in which the Doctor and Romana, and K-9, all have their own important parts to play in the story. The personification of the Fourth Doctor in this story is spot on. I liked the sly humour that is used in the story, and the characteristics of the Doctor and Romana were both well portrayed. The other characters in the story, including Evadne, Harken Batt and ERIC the computer are all well written in. I did think more could have been made of the backstory of the Rochfort and Byson, to see why they were the way they were, but that's just a small personal quibble. Great stuff; a great Fourth Doctor story, and totally recommended.