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on 6 August 2013
A short and pointless story, that attempts to hint at the darker, less trustworthy Seventh Doctor. The plot itself, in which an alternate timeline needs to be reset, is obvious from the start (including the resolution - of course it will be reset), and even the younger end of the reading spectrum will have no trouble anticipating it if they watch the show regularly. This would have been fine, if the author had held nerve with the central question of the story - should the Doctor reset a timeline where the Daleks are a force for good? What would motivate him to do that, and how much damage and destruction would he be ensuring just by returning things to 'normal'? It's the only interesting idea in the story, and the author shoots it in the head by ensuring the Doctor ultimately has no choice at all. A waste.
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on 10 August 2013
I've been disappointed with this series, though it is cheap. The random authors who have no relationship to the Doctor Who series have not done a good job in showing the Doctors. This one in particular I found to be very trying. yes it has McCoy's Doctor, Ace and Daleks. However it just didnt feel like a story from the 7th Doctors tenure. Poor characterisation.
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on 10 August 2013
Two stars is over generous for this inadequate and uneventful attempt at a Dr Who story. Such a rich legacy of things ignored. Poor
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on 23 July 2013
This is, perhaps, the most out-and-out children's story of this short novella series so far. This is no surprise considering the status of the author and this series is, after all, aimed at the younger market (even though I'm sure that just as many adult Doctor Who fans will be enjoying them).

Due to its strong orientation towards younger readers the plot is relatively simple (even if the Seventh Doctor throws about some complicated sounding terms). It is based around the premise of `what if the Daleks were pleasant philanthropists?' Unfortunately a similar idea has only recently been used in the novel `The Dalek Generation'. This time it seems as if the Daleks are legitimately peaceful though . This, too, is not an original idea as it has already been visited in the Eight Doctor comic strip `Children of the Revolution'. The Doctor's efforts to come to terms with accepting `good' Daleks has also been featured before, on and off screen. Malorie Blackman handles this well though by concentrating on Ace's perception of the Doctor's attitude.

The Seventh Doctor is quite well characterised, the author capturing his mumbled musings that are half to himself and half to those around him. The slight rift between him and Ace is effective in its subtlety. The author gives us the more immature version of Ace, making it likely that this is early in her travels with the Doctor but at least after `Remembrance of the Daleks'. It feels very like the Ace from her first two or three televised stories. There is, perhaps, a lack of other characters, only Tulana being significant.

Perfectly pitched at children, this novella is ideal for its intended market. However, this means that it feels that it lacks a little depth for the older readers.
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on 5 August 2013
Darn it! I spend ages defending the 7th Doctor. He was my Doctor. The big grin and the sharp, dark eyes. The umbrella and the quick, lethal mind. There was such potential here. Yes, sure, you have to skip past the clown character he was at first and maybe avoid Mel, but there is potential. Sadly it's potential that flies right past the plate here. The story is an interesting one. One that is firmly in the devious 7th incarnation's court, but it doesn't hold together. Somehow it gets stuck somewhere between a clever twist and a story in need of a quicker way to tell it. Hey ho. Let's hope the often mistreated 8th gets a smoother ride.
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on 4 December 2013
I loved parts of this one. Malorie Blackman has a real ear for dialogue and if you read it out loud it sounds like the characters talking. I also loved some of the `scenes' she set (I won't spoil it - but particularly a very unexpected etiquette lesson) She doesn't get five stars because she kind of cops-out at the end though. Instead of leaving the ending ambiguous, and having us wonder whether or not the Doctor did the right thing, she more or less has the Universe vindicate him. But overall, really good.
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on 28 July 2013
I read this with a happy heart as Ace and the 7th Doctor were right there in my childhood I just wish the stories had been as good as this. Anyone who looks back on a childhood in the 80s with fond nostalgia should read this and remember the 7th Doctor with his question mark umbrella and crazy hair, not as the worst Doctor but as the Doctor with some of the worst story lines. This short story goes a little way to redress that. 11 Doctors, 11 months, 11authors, 50 amazing years.......
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on 23 July 2013
This has been my favourite story so far in this pleasantly nostalgic series. I must confess to a little bias as the Seventh Doctor was my first Doctor (so to speak) but this novella does him proud. Plenty of minor references (such as playing the spoons or being known as the Professor) are included without being contrived or intrusive.

The main story itself is interesting, unfolds nicely and works on the page in a way that wouldn't be possible on television. Without wanting to give too much away, the story sees the return of an old, familiar enemy whose strange behaviour exposes the prejudice of the Doctor and the reader.

This book is clearly written for children (in keeping with the aim of the series) but this has been no obstacle to this adult enjoying the book on the Tube ride to work. The impact and consequences of the Doctor's actions are clear without patronising a younger readership. The story creates a dilemma for the Doctor and avoids a trite ending. I was glad that there was no cop-out and I am sure that younger readers will sympathise with the characters.

It would be nice for Sylvester McCoy to record this as a short audio story in the future.
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on 24 October 2013
Slightly baffled by all the good reviews for this one. Although technically well written (hence the 2 stars), the plot is nonsensical and the characterisation of the Seventh Doctor and Ace is nowhere near right. I get the impression that the author has no real familiarity with the programme, or at least the era she's writing about. Disappointing.
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on 11 November 2014
This is an EXCELLENT short short..Stuck in a temporal plexus..The Doctor makes a redical decision..which causes them to land on Skaro..but not the Skaro..The Doctor and Ace know..The Daleks are peace loving and gentle..and share knowledge with other races and even have helped The Timelords..I loved this story..The Doctor's anger and loathing for The Daleks and even his confusion about what had happened..Ace's feeling of belonging and making a friend..Tulana..The Doctor thinks its The Daleks that have caused the alternate time line...but its a shock to find who did cause it...You feel both The Doctor and Ace's emotions and shock about meeting good Daleks..and you can really hear both Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred say every line with feeling..I one hundred and ten percent recommend this Brilliant Doctor Who story to ALL fans....its an amazing read.
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