The Doctor, Fitz and Anji arrive in Edinburgh in 2003, but
it is not the 2003 they were expecting. The British Empire
still exists, terrorism is rife, and the computer hasn't been
invented. The stakes are higher than ever before as the Doctor
struggles to restore Earth history...
was unavoidably reminded of the classic New Adventure,
Timewrym: Exodus as I embarked upon this novel. Whereas
the Seventh Doctor and Ace discovered a Britain under Nazi
occupation, the Eighth Doctor, Fitz and Anji find a 2003 that
more closely resembles 1953 in terms of its technology and
culture. In fact, this whole "distorted timeline" story arc,
which began with last September's Time Zero, is more
than a little reminiscent of the "alternate universe" series
of New Adventures.
Having said that, you might have expected the TARDIS travellers
to be on the lookout for alterations in the timeline by now.
Yet Anji readily leaves her companions in Edinburgh, intending
to resume her former life, and is extremely slow on the uptake
when she fails to register the more sinister overtones of
oddities such as the prevalence of 1950s fashions, the blank
looks that her credit card elicits, and the lack of automated
train ticket machines. The author explains that Anji's lack
of attention is down to her being rattled by the blatant racism
she experiences, but still...
Britain in 2003 is a grim location indeed. Knowledge of advanced
scientific principles is ruthlessly suppressed by the state
and police brutality is widespread, as Fitz discovers to his
misfortune when he is arrested as a suspected terrorist. He
is innocent, of course - not that his mockery of a show trial
allows him any opportunity to defend himself. As with the
recent Kaldor City audio release, Hidden Persuaders,
there is an element of political satire in the Prime Minister's
"war with terrorism".
particularly harrowing scenes follow. Whereas in Bishop's
previous novel, Amorality Tale, the police were corrupted
by an alien drug, here the violence is carried out by ordinary
human beings. Nevertheless, as with his previous novel, Bishop's
narrative remains irresistibly readable.
was a long gap between the author's first Who novel,
Who Killed Kennedy? and Amorality Tale. Let's
hope he will keep his books coming on a more regular basis
from now on.
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although
Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless
of the number of items ordered). Click on the
logo of the desired store below to purchase
All prices correct at time of going to press.