Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Doctor Who: Engines of War

George Mann
BBC Books

"The death of billions is as nothing to us Doctor, if it helps defeat the Daleks."
The Great Time War has raged for centuries, ravaging the universe. Scores of human colony planets are now overrun by Dalek occupation forces. A weary, angry Doctor leads a flotilla of Battle TARDISes against the Dalek stronghold but in the midst of the carnage, the Doctor's TARDIS crashes to a planet below: Moldox.
As the Doctor is trapped in an apocalyptic landscape, Dalek patrols roam amongst the wreckage, rounding up the remaining civilians. But why haven't the Daleks simply killed the humans?
Searching for answers the Doctor meets 'Cinder', a young Dalek hunter. Their struggles to discover the Dalek plan take them from the ruins of Moldox to the halls of Gallifrey, and set in motion a chain of events that will change everything. And everyone.
An epic novel of the Great Time War featuring the War Doctor as played by John Hurt.

I was so excited when I heard about this book. The War Doctor was such an intriguing character and John Hurt brought him to life so perfectly that this was a delicious prospect.  Add into the mix an author whose work I've enjoyed in the past and I was pretty stoked.

It didn't really live up to it's promise.  The book is an enjoyable enough Who tale but, with one exception where he uses the TARDIS as a bullet he is the same Doctor he's always been.  He's meant to be the one that's willing to go to places his other regenerations wouldn't but he just doesn't come across as such; he's too caring, he's too considerate, he's too Doctor.  If anything I kept picturing him as a slightly world weary second Doctor roped into fighting on behalf of the Time Lords prior to his enforced regeneration.  He just seemed, well, nice.

One of the main problems is that the dialogue given him simply doesn't sound like John Hurt.  The man is in many of my favourite films so his voice resonates in my head but - with one exception at the bottom of page 120 - I just can't hear him speaking the words he's given.

I'm not panning it; I enjoyed it.  It's a light and readable Who novel and that's perfectly fine but it isn't the darker hued, battle hardened, grizzly veteran, gravelly grandad one I hoped it would be.

No comments:

Post a Comment