The Council of Eight have painstakingly mapped out every moment
in history. They take drastic measures to ensure that it follows
their predicted path, dispatching hideous ape-like creatures
to nudge events in the "correct" direction. For their scheme
to work, they need to control or destroy the rogue element
known as the Doctor...
BBC's Eighth Doctor novels are a bit like The X-Files used
to be, in that every now and then we get a "mythology" episode:
a book that tackles the wider, over-arching themes of the
series and pushes the story arc forward. Previous novels of
this nature include The Adventuress of Henrietta Street
and Time Zero, and they tend to involve the introduction
of new characters and concepts, as well as the return and/or
departure of old ones.
cannot be much more specific about what transpires in Sometime
Never... without spoiling the plot for you, but what I
can say is that we finally get to meet Sabbath's superiors,
a group of crystalline vortex-dwelling aliens called the Council
of Eight. We also discover, at long last, why these beings
have strived to reduce the multiverse to a single unequivocal
timeline. Revelations about the Council's machinations and
the catastrophic consequences of their confrontation with
the Doctor are all very satisfying. These revelations tie
into aspects of several previous novels, such as the gemstones
in Timeless, the possible deaths of former companions
in Bullet Time, Heritage and Wolfsbane,
and the removal and restoration of the Doctor's diseased heart
in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street and Camera
the temporary re-introduction of a certain popular character
from an earlier book seems rather pointless to me, and doesn't
do that character any justice (sorry to be so vague, but it
really would ruin the story if I were to say more).
in the author's earlier Time Zero, there is some discussion
of quantum theory and Schrödinger's cat, which is entirely
appropriate since in many ways this novel finishes off what
the earlier one started. Richards also throws in additional
brain-straining theories about potential energy and mathematical
fractals. I had to read some paragraphs two or three times
to try and get my head around them!
my reservations about the treatment of a certain character,
this book successfully brings a sense of closure to several
long-running narrative threads of the Eighth Doctor's adventures.
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