The watery world of Selonart plays host to the Trans-Global
Regatta, the ultimate sporting event. But the Eighth Doctor
has his own race to win. Stuck in a parallel dimension, pursuing
his antagonist Sabbath, he must uncover a plot that could
devastate the planet - or even affect the whole of time...
neat contrast to the dusty world of last month's Heritage,
Selonart is a fascinating environment. Its frictionless waters
are perfect for racing. Although devoid of indigenous life,
the planet has somehow affected the development of the offspring
of the earliest human settlers, who possess a strange affinity
with the water and its currents. The Trans-Global Regatta
attracts hordes of wealthy and unscrupulous racers, who are
quite willing to exploit the natives (and Fitz) for their
planet's governor, Marius, is a classic type of Doctor
Who character. A vain and cowardly man, easily manipulated
by Sabbath, he would not have seemed out of place in one of
Malcolm Hulke's scripts.
evocative of the Jon Pertwee era, Sabbath is now firmly established
as a recurring villain, analogous to Roger Delgado's Master.
Having appeared in four consecutive Eighth Doctor novels,
his omnipresence is akin to that of the Master during Season
Eight. And, like Delgado's Master, he too finds his alien
allies rather difficult to control. The author reminds us
how dangerous this man is by having him bring about the death
of someone that I assumed was going to be a major character.
The villain adopts a disguise, but his personality is so strong
and distinctive that there is no need for the author to alert
the reader as to who Sabbath really is.
novel is also notable for its enjoyable first-person accounts,
told from the perspectives of the companions Anji and Fitz.
Anji's caustic commentary is particularly enjoyable.
the downside, the exciting and intriguing plot runs out of
steam before the end. And the alternate timeline setting,
which was so carefully established in Justin Richards' Time
Zero, has very little bearing on this story. The author
also fails to explain where a certain sea monster came from.
the most part, though, the novel races along very nicely indeed.
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