Doctor finally makes his rendezvous with his travelling companion,
Fitz. Already Fitz has a favour to ask - to help his new friend
Anji locate her alien-abducted boyfriend, Dave. Soon the Doctor,
Fitz and Anji are involved in a privately funded space race,
the result of which could determine the fate of humanity...
book, the last of six "amnesiac Eighth Doctor living on Earth"
stories, has been eagerly awaited. It promises to reunite
the Doctor with Fitz, introduce a new companion in the form
of the sardonic Anji Kapoor, and restore the recuperating
TARDIS to its former glory.
first two of these goals are achieved relatively early on,
although Brake wisely keeps us keen by delaying the Doctor's
reunion with Fitz until page 68. Although the last five books
have worked extremely well without a regular companion, it's
quite nice to see that bumbling and incessantly horny (he
keeps telling himself that Anji isn't his type) '60s throwback
once again. Anji works quite well too, being an unwilling
adventurer forced to confront ideas that she had previously
dismissed as science fiction, a genre she doesn't even like.
As the first contemporary human companion since Sam left the
book series in 1999, Anji is refreshingly free of overtly
political soapboxes or Ace-style emotional hang-ups.
restoration of the TARDIS doesn't happen until quite late
in the day, but makes for a particularly enjoyable sequence
when it finally does. Surprisingly, the Doctor never does
regain all of his memories, so it would appear that he is
going to remain uncertain about how to pilot the Ship for
quite some time to come. This creates an intriguing and amusing
throwback to Doctor Who's earliest TV episodes.
apart from the development of the ongoing story arc, which
was presumably imposed upon Brake by series editor Justin
Richards, this book has little to offer. Bland human characters
interact with aliens that are neither alien enough to be believable
nor outlandish enough to be interesting. Several elements,
such as a secret CIA division that seeks to grasp a first-contact
situation before UNIT can get the chance, are deployed half-heartedly
and then removed from the plot as soon as their usefulness
is at an end. Dave's fervent interest in science fiction provides
many amusing moments, but constant references to Professor
X, a TV show occupying the same niche in the Doctor
Who universe that Doctor Who occupies in our own
(a concept originated by TV writer and novelist Ben Aaronovitch),
ultimately grow tiresome. The author intermittently mentions
Anji's concern for her kidnapped boyfriend, but this merely
highlights the fact that she doesn't actually spend much time
thinking about him.
is Pierre-Yves Dudoin's vessel supposed to be called the Space
Dart or the Star Dart? It changes from one page to the next.
is really only worth reading to fill in the gap between Father
Time and the next book, Earthworld.