a world on the edge, where crooks and smugglers hide in the
gloomy shadows and modern technology refuses to function -
and that includes the TARDIS. Will the Doctor's ship ever
work again? Is the lost treasure of space pirate Hamlek Glint
waiting to be found? And does his fabled Resurrection Casket,
the key to eternal life, really exist...?
a couple of Earth-based Tenth Doctor novels, The Resurrection
Casket takes us deep into space and far into the future
- though the technology on Starfall seems like that of an
age gone by.
Starfall lies in the midst of a zone of electromagnetic gravitation,
which means that nothing electrical will operate. There are
machines, including spaceships, robots and even a cyborg barmaid,
but they are all steam-powered. Though this narrative is not
true steampunk (a genre that Doctor Who has tackled
before in BBC Books' Imperial Moon and Big Finish's
Storm of Angels),
the effect is much the same. And a most enjoyable effect it
As with the same author's The
one of his main characters is a young boy, in this case a
wannabe space explorer called Jimm. I guessed his major twist
about halfway though the book, though another development
successfully took me by surprise.
reference to the planet New Earth suggests that the episode
of the same name is still a recent event for the time travellers.
Indeed, Rose's suggestion that the Doctor should have had
the TARDIS serviced when they were on New Earth implies that
this is their first landing in a futuristic setting since
then. The fact that the Doctor is still getting used to his
new fingers also indicates an early Series 2 setting.
are also subtle blasts from further in the past for older
Who fans, including references to trisilicate, a mineral
mentioned in the Pertwee-era Peladon stories, and a scientific
explanation for everlasting matches, as used by the First
Doctor in the novelisation Doctor
Who and the Daleks. Indeed, the whole notion
of pirates (both space- and Earth-bound) and the search for
their hidden treasure will evoke memories of The
Space Pirates and The Pirate Planet.
is easily Justin Richards's most agreeable novel based on
the new version of Doctor Who. All in all, it's one
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