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Doctor Who: Made of Steel - Terrance Dicks

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Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Author: Terrance Dicks / Paperback / 112 Pages / Book is published 2007-03-01 by BBC Books

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      09.05.2010 17:50
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      Doctor Who short story featuring companion Martha and the Cybermen

      Having watched all of the more recent Dr Who seasons (from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant and most of the televised Mat Smith ones so far), I was curious to see what the literature on the Doctor was. I have read one short story featuring an episode where the Doctor is on his own, against the Sontarans in a University sports complex, but this one brought in one of Tennant's Doctor's companions: Martha (played on TV by Freema Agyeman).

      Here, author Terrance Dicks tries to create a story using Tennant's characteristics to portray the Doctor, and to try and do the same with Martha. The plot takes place after the Cybermen were banished into the void by the Doctor and his then companion Rose, but now it seems as if there are still a few Cybermen left, and they are determined to get hold of the Doctor so he can reopen the void and allow them world domination.

      The plot was a rather bland and simple one, and at no point did I feel any kind of excitement or feel like the pages were flowing quickly. As a short story, it was just under 100 pages long in total, but it was arduous at points, and whereas normally I wouldn't hesitate to read a book of this length in one sitting, this has taken me a good few days to try and knuckle down and complete it. Everything is rather gentle and as if we're just going through the motions. I didn't get a great feeling of Tennant's Doctor, although I felt Martha was well written.

      Some of the other characters could have had a bit more development, even though the book is short. They weren't in it very much, and the two military characters who are the main support characters in the book didn't have much to get their teeth into. This meant that I didn't get an affinity going with them, and when they were in peril, it felt just like any other person in the book. Had they been developed a bit more, other than their initial introduction, the pace may have quickened for me a bit. As it was, it just trundled along at these points as well.

      Overall, a disappointing read, to be honest. I understand that short stories are more designed to encourage reluctant readers, but I have read some great ones recently, and would really have liked to see someone get their teeth stuck into a Doctor Who short, with the bulk of the characterisation presupposed from the TV show. Sadly, this isn't really one I can recommend. As part of the Quick Reads, it no doubt has appealed to some reluctant readers, and is well priced at £1.99, but isn't one I would go for again.

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