The peace and quiet of a remote homestead in 1880s America
is shattered by the arrival of two shadowy outriders searching
for the healer. When the farmer refuses to help
them, they raze his house to the ground using guns that shoot
bolts of energy instead of bullets... In the town of Redwater,
the Doctor and Martha learn of a snake-oil salesman whose
patent medicines actually cure his patients. But when they
investigate, they find the truth is stranger and far more
dangerous. Caught between the law of the gun and the deadly
plans of intergalactic mercenaries, the Doctor and Martha
are about to discover just how wild the West can become...
Swallow already has a couple of Big Finish Doctor Who
audio dramas (Singularity
to his name, as well as several short stories in the same
companys Short Trips range of anthologies, but
Peacemaker is his first actual Who novel. However,
it is clear that he knows the show well. He is also very familiar
with the Wild West genre, having penned several novels in
the Sundowners series of steampunk Westerns.
Doctor has visited the Old West before, in The
and the author acknowledges this fact when the Time Lord says
of the gunfight at the OK Corral: Been there, done that.
Other continuity references include throw-away name checks
of the Silurians, the
and the Starship Brilliant from the preceding novel,
Simon Guerriers The
As in Guerriers book, the
are also mentioned, perhaps with the intention of building
towards the creatures return in Series 4.
story itself sits comfortably amid the plot developments of
Series 3. When the Doctor isnt around, Martha displays
a level of bravery that shows she is well on the way to becoming
the heroic character seen in Last
of the Time Lords.
Meanwhile, the Doctor goes through agony once again and, as
struggles against a powerful alien influence.
tone of the authors writing during a section of explanatory
backstory about the alien invaders mimics the style of Executive
Producer Russell T Davies very effectively. It exhibits the
same kind of mythic quality as we have seen in Daviess
Meet the Doctor article concerning the
in the 2006 Doctor Who Annual and in The Sound of
Drums when the Doctor discusses the Master.
boxes ticked in terms of the Western genre include an unscrupulous
travelling salesman with a native sidekick, a duo of lethal
outriders, a kind-hearted schoolmarm, an orphaned teenager
and an abandoned mine.
all the unpleasant events that take place during this novel
and the two that precede it, Peacemaker, as the final
book in this batch of three, ends on a positive note, reminiscent
of the closing space montage from The Time Meddler
and many a Terrance Dicks novelisation. Blessed is Peacemaker,
for it will be called something good. Darned tootin