The First Doctor, Barbara, Ian and Vicki arrive in China in
1865, a land torn apart by rebellion, foreign oppression and
banditry. Struggling to maintain order are the British Empire
and the Ten Tigers of Canton, the most respected martial arts
masters in the world. But why do people seem to recognise
Ian, and can it be that Barbara has seen a ghost...?
the publication of this book, David A. McIntee has now written
novels about each of the television Doctors - well, apart
from Christopher Eccleston, of course, as the author wryly
comments in his afterword.
captures his chosen TARDIS team well. The Doctor is crotchety
yet sprightly, fluffing his words amidst sparks of inspirational
genius. McIntee, a man who loves his action sequences, brings
to mind umpteen martial arts movies and also Yoda in Attack
of the Clones when the elderly Time Lord uses his brains
to match the brawn of a much younger opponent.
author is also an incurable romantic, who depicted Ian and
Barbara as man and wife in his novel The Face of the Enemy.
He foreshadows that marriage in this book, as the couple declare
their love for each other in no uncertain terms. Their affection,
and the pain they experience in separation, makes for several
riveting sections. Having said that, I do think that some
of Ian's actions go a bit too far.
Vicki, as the newest addition to the crew (this story taking
place not long after The Romans), makes a few blunders
regarding the 19th century's level of technology.
to ghostly goings-on, plus the presence of some glowing-eyed
monks and two Chestertons, mean that this is not a purely
historical adventure. The involvement of the two Chestertons
brings forth a dilemma that echoes events in the Davison serial
Mawdryn Undead (though it proves to have rather a mundane
cause). However, the essence of the Hartnell era is encapsulated
in several educational passages, including discussions about
the Chinese Festival of Hungry Ghosts and the theory of stone
tapes: electrical "recordings" held in brick walls, which
can be picked up and "played back" by the human brain.
have to confess to being hitherto ignorant of the life and
(interesting) times of Wong Fei-Hung. I therefore found that
the author didn't give me quite enough historical or political
background information to fully comprehend events to begin
The Eleventh Tiger is an intriguing tale of love, honour,
clashing cultures, mystical powers and martial arts.
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