The Good Time Travel Company is the franchise to end all
franchises - literally. Tourists can choose from destinations
such as ancient Egypt and the Wild West, all equipped with
luxury hotels and theme parks. But the Doctor knows that such
irresponsible holidaymaking could destroy the very fabric
Time tourism resulting in bizarre side effects? Numerous passages
of text more or less repeated just to drive home the weirdness?
This sounds more like the sort of thing Steve Lyons would
write, rather than the earnest Paul Leonard. But the wackier
elements of the Good Time Travel Company are played down (in
any case, Doctor Who has ventured on such a vacation
before, in Delta and the Bannermen). The holidaymaking
is merely the starting point for some mind-numbing duplication
see, the normal laws of time no longer apply. There is no
limit to the number of occasions a person can travel into
the same time zone and effectively replicate his or herself.
People who bump into themselves don't explode like the Brigadier
nearly did in Mawdryn Undead - although they may fall
victim to the temporal apartheid that is enforced by the Time
Police. It might be a good idea to take notes as you read
this book, to try and keep track of the various doubles that
weave in and out of the narrative, but I think the author
intended a certain degree of confusion to remain.
to the number of duplicates running around at any given moment,
Leonard chooses to write the Doctor out during the first half
of the novel, which is dominated instead by Fitz and Anji.
It is a credit to the BBC range editors that these made-for-prose
companions are sufficient to carry so much of the story. They
are joined by a couple of independent time travellers called
Jack and Iyeeye - or rather several versions of them. It is
with the character of Iyeeye, a brave Leela-like savage, that
we see the familiar Paul Leonard style shining through. Her
world is a tangibly alien environment, even though it is an
alternative version of Earth.
are points during the reading of this book that leave you
thinking, "What the hell is going on?" But in the end, I think,
the trip is worth taking.
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