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  1. #26
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    Actually it's just Shining Darkness. No "The".

    I've also recently partaken of Wetworld, The Doctor Trap and The Stealers of Dreams.

    I didn't like any of them.
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

  2. #27
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    I'm reading "The Highest Science".

    It's very slow to get going but it's picking up now the Doctor and Bernie Inn have arrived at their main destination.

  3. #28
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    That is a slow burner & no mistake.

  4. #29
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    Plus there's that whole thing of a group of people who suddenly find themselves drawn into one of the Doctor's adventures when their chosen form of transport is abducted and taken to another world...I bet Gareth Roberts thought we'd forgotten that one.

  5. #30
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    I loved The Highest Science back in the day - Jinkwa & Fakrid (the two main Chelonians) were great, and the 'twist' was very clever. Plus I seem to recall a line in their which made me smile (and which I assume summed up Roberts' opinion of the later McCoy stories) something along the lines of, "And just like in the good old days, it was luck rather than planning that saved the Doctor's life."

    I'm surprised to find Mr SP didn't enjoyed Stealers of Dreams - IMHO it's one of very few of the new series books which could have been an EDA, and has a bit more depth & quality to it than its stablemates.

  6. #31
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    Precisely why it didn't gel with me. I prefer the books that would have been good on TV, like Sting of the Zygons, The Colony of Lies, Island of Death, or The Price of Paradise.

    None of that arty-farty "deeper-meaning" dreamy-wishy-washy rubbish.

    Just good solid and above all FUN adventure.
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

  7. #32
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    So much for stories 'too broad and too deep for the television screens'!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  8. #33
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    Although my nostalgia tends to view the NAs in a rose-tinted light, some were better than others. There are some of the best Doctor Who stories in that range, but also others that are probably "too dreary and too naff even for the television screens."

    Bizarrely (or perhaps not) Gareth Roberts IMHO produced two classics, namely The Highest Science and Zamper (I loved the twist with the spaceship in that - that would have been a superb part 3 cliffhanger circa 1979); but also one huge stinker in the form of Tragedy Day which I just felt I was never going to get to the end of. Oddly varied.

    Either way, I'm still reading Shining Darkness. That's Shining Darkness, and certainly not The Shining Darkness. Oh no.

  9. #34
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    I thought Sting of the Zygons was a very dull retread of all the best bits of Terror of the Zygons without adding anything new and exciting into the mix.

    I have just enjoyed Beautiful Chaos, which I thought was a very good read.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  10. #35
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    I'm having a catch up of TDAs, so just finished Ghosts of India (meh) and The Doctor Trap (seems very clever, but isn't really), and about to start Shining Darkness. The Many Hands was the only TDA I've enjoyed for a while, and mainly because of the nostalgia of the setting rather than the endless running around.

    As for Gareth Roberts, his peak of genius must surely have been his 4D-Romana II PDA season, which remain some of the best previous Doctor stories ever written (IMO)
    Bazinga !

  11. #36
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    Jon seems to be about as up-to-date as me, although not as easily pleased perhaps! Actually, although it looked like it was going to be good I was a bit disappointed with The Many Hands precisely because, as you say Jon, there's an awful lot of running around.

    I don't think I've ever actually read Roberts' English Way of Death, but I've read the other two - in fact, wasn't Well-Mannered War one of the BBC site ebooks? I have a nostalgic memory of reading it a chapter a week of a Friday lunchtime back in the day. Certainly I've read it, but equally certainly I don't have the book! A mystery indeed!

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    in fact, wasn't Well-Mannered War one of the BBC site ebooks?
    You remember correctly - it's still on the website, and I recommend anyone who hasn't read it to do so, if only for the stunning ending !

    Them's back in the days when they wrote real DW books .... not like these fly-by-night 200 page kiddies things...
    Bazinga !

  13. #38
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    Indeed Monitor, indeed.

    And now, back to The Shining Darkness.

    Edited to Add: You're right about W-MW Jon, I'm glad my memory wasn't playing tricks. And having just looked at the site... how could I forget those lovely Target-stylee illustrations, brilliant!

  14. #39
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    Oh, and another thing about The Stealers of Dreams...

    BIGGEST. COP-OUT ENDING. EVERRRR.

    You just have Doctor, Rose and Jack blundering about with no idea what's going on or if what's happening is even REAL for nine-tenths of the book, then in the last couple of pages everything is revealed. IMHO, rubbish.
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

  15. #40
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    I've still got a big stack of PDA's, MA's and NA's to read and i'm currently reading Empire of Death

  16. #41
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    Now THAT's a good 'un.
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

  17. #42
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    Getting back into the reading after a bit of an absence and read Bunker Soldiers (very good, especially the stuff with the Mongols), The Eyeless (totally wipes the floor with RTD's mediocre TV Specials) and half way through Zamper at the moment - not bad, traditional NA.
    'In search of some rest, in search of a break
    From a life of tests, where something's always at stake
    Where something's always so far...'

  18. #43
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    I'm reading a gigantic history of "Coronation Street" which I got in Oxfam at the weekend for 2.99p. It's really good!

    Si.

  19. #44
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    What has that got to do with Doctor Who books, Si?

    Bunker Soldiers was supposed to be a bit of a classic, wasn't it? Who's it by?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Bunker Soldiers was supposed to be a bit of a classic, wasn't it? Who's it by?
    It's by Martin Day and it's a very typical Hartnell in many ways. The usual 'can't change history' rule is made plain throughout, although there are some unusual twists. It's the first Hartnell I've read that features Steven and Dodo as companions and despite that it still manages to be entertaining. Since Mother Russia I've softened a little towards Steven, who ranked up there as my worst companion for a long time (before John Barrowman came along that is!). The scenes with the Mongol army are the most thought provoking as they deal with their moral right to conquest, and there's a really odd moment where the guard accompanying the Doctor gets tortured (maybe killed) and the Doctor doesn't lift a finger to stop it.
    'In search of some rest, in search of a break
    From a life of tests, where something's always at stake
    Where something's always so far...'

  21. #46
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    And Dodo causes the Plague. Maybe.
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

  22. #47
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    Shining Darkness is finished (a few too many characters for my tired old brain, but a pleasant enough read) and have quickly jumped ship and started The Story of Martha.

  23. #48
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    The Slitheen Excursion seems to be a bit Robot-y in that the story more or less finishes about 40-50 pages early, and then some more has to be tacked on to make the already-smallish pagecount up.

  24. #49
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    I'm reading a gigantic history of "Coronation Street" which I got in Oxfam at the weekend for 2.99p. It's really good!
    You should try and get hold of Bill Podmore's 'autobiography' of his time as Producer, Si. It was the 'golden age' (arguably) of the 70s/80s and is a very interesting read indeed.

    Your latest avatar gets a great deal of coverage in it...

    Edited to Add: Just re-reading the above, it could be very easily misinterpreted. Just to clarify, Pat Phoenix is mentioned in the book a lot because they had some 'professional disagreements'. I just thought I'd better clear that up, as otherwise it sounded like they were having an affair!!!

  25. #50
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    I may have to track that down. Even in the broad overview of the book I've got, it recalls the time when Elsie Tanner got married and Phoenix got rather too "involved" in the storyline, going behind the producers back and ordering a real ring and even getting "jitters" before she had to go out and film it, locking herself in a room and refusing to come out! They apparently had to "play along" and tell her it was her "big day" and she couldn't let the guests down before she'd come out and film it!

    What I find amazing though, is that while it's considered pretty amazing that there is still an original cast member about today after almost fifty years, in the early eighties when the show had still been going about 25 years, there were SIX of them still there. I was watching a clip from the eighties today, and bloody Minnie Caldwell is wandering around the background in the Rovers, with Albert Tatlock propped up in Number 1. They gave him a line and it sounded like he was having a stroke! He must have eventually died mid-take, possibly in the episode I was watching. The show has a curious habit of letting cast members stay in it literally until they can't act any longer. And beyond.

    Si.

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