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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 10/30/17 1:58 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Edge of Destruction is one of those stories that you either love or you hate completely. The plot shows the Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan stuck in the TARDIS and everyone starts acting weirder than what has come to be known as normal, mainly the fact that Susan tries to kill people with scissors, the Doctor drugs everyone, Barbara goes crazy, and Ian acts almost high.

The story keeps itself as a fun romp through the TARDIS corridors and ends in a conclusion that can only be described as weird due to everything going crazy from a switch being held down. Highlights too the props for melting clocks/watches and Richard Martin being able to direct a story well enough for everyone. I like psychedelic stories, but everything sort of works out and the story really won't be for everyone. Recommendation would be to sit back and turn off your brain to enjoy.
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 10/30/17 1:04 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Here we are.  The end of the Seventh Doctor’s Virgin New Adventures and the finale before a quiet little epilogue.  Marc Platt gives us his second New Adventure, based off the story that would change into the television serial Ghost Light.  Secrets will be revealed, plot threads will be tied up, the Doctor will be tested, Chris will leave, and the Cartmel Master Plan will be fulfilled in its entirety.  This is a review of Marc Platt’s magnum opus, Lungbarrow.  This novel is already pretty controversial among Doctor Who fans for the explanations that it gives and the implications that are made about the Doctor and the Time Lords that have caused much in fighting among the fandom.  To start this review off I’m stating right now that I agree wholeheartedly with Marc Platt’s portrayal of ancient Gallifrey, the curse of the Pythia, looms, and the implications of who the Other and the Doctor are.

 

Lungbarrow while famous for its implications, isn’t really famous for its plot.  That’s actually quite sad considering the plot is one of the novel’s strongest aspects.  The story starts where The Room with No Doors left off and like many stories, we don’t open with the TARDIS, but a prologue.  This prologue opens with a pretty humorous previously on Doctor Who description of events leading up to the novel and then a serious prologue chronicling the fall of the Pythia and the Hand of Omega being almost attracted to the Other, as if he’s the true master of the device.  We get a flashback to the idea of the Eighth Man Bound and the Doctor as a pupil disobeying a teacher.  The book then establishes that Dorothee, nee Ace, is captured by a time storm and brought to Gallifrey after a date with pointillist painter Georges Seurat.  Romana is the Lord President of Gallifrey, and Leela who is still happily married to Andred is searching with K9 into the missing House of Lungbarrow.  These plotlines that start here are actually subplots which all feed into the main plot of the story when the TARDIS is dragged off course and lands in an enormous surreal Victorian manor, where the furniture is enormous and a murder has taken place, but the word murder has been outlawed.  Quences, the head of the House, and Arkhew have been killed apparently by the Doctor.  Yes this is a novel that takes the form of an old fashioned murder mystery which actually allows the story to breathe and explore the characters who are mostly the Doctor’s family.  Now as this is a story dominated by character’s that’s really the only way I can tackle reviewing this one.

 

Starting with previously established characters we have K9 who makes a reappearance as both Mark I and Mark II.  They don’t get much in the way of scenes in the novel, but the ones that they do receive Platt injects some light relief from the drama and dark, creepy atmosphere of the rest of the novel.  Leela actually gets to go out on her own as she researches Lungbarrow for the first half of the novel which is rather apt as we get to see more of what she actually sees in Andred.  Apparently there really was a relationship going on off-screen in The Invasion of Time.  She’s still the noble savage and actually has more wit and survival instincts when it comes to the people of Gallifrey.  The second half of the novel has her teaming up with Romana and Ace who all have their roles to play in the subplot involving discovering what exactly happened over 650 years previous with the House of Lungbarrow and why nobody can remember that that’s where the Doctor came from.  Ace gets herself in the story which allows Platt to go introspective on how Ace has developed over the course of the Virgin New Adventures.  A doppelganger of Ace is created as a reflection of the character before any of the manipulation from Season 26 happened.  We get to see just how she has changed and how she views herself, and to be honest she doesn’t like who she sees today, but would never go back to the person seen before she met the Doctor.  Leela also makes some interesting comments on Ace in the second half of the novel which sees her as a warrior and they’re different perspectives on what the Doctor is to them is interesting.  Leela would have asked into the mystery but she was smart enough when travelling with him to know that it is better to keep her nose down and travel while Ace wanted the answers that never came.  Romana is intentionally bringing them together as a way to save the Doctor and to regain control of a rebelling Celestial Intervention Agency.  The novel shows that Romana as the Lord President is just as crafty as the Seventh Doctor.  She’s breaking through glass ceilings by being more open of establishing relationships outside of Gallifrey which has caused the CIA to have their little revolt.

 



The main murder mystery takes place with the denizens of the House of Lungbarrow who are all suspects in the murder of Quences and Arkhew. Quences was the head Cousin for the House of Lungbarrow in his day, and he only really appears in a few scenes for the novel which allows Platt to work on indirect characterization.  What we know is that as a leader he took his time when making decisions, and actually would listen to the Doctor who was ostracized because he was Loomed with a bellybutton, which only appears on people born of natural birth.  It makes it all the more weird when the prime suspect is the murder case as the Doctor had respect for Quences.  Arkhew is also a character for exposition, but for the introduction of the ideas of Lungbarrow and how it works to Chris.  Chris has to play the detective in this novel and Arkhew, while also being reasonable, has to keep him up to speed and what it allows Chris to do is also great for the novel’s progress.  The rest of the house is on a spectrum of being against the Doctor in some way or another, with the first of these being Innocent.  Innocent is the closest thing the Doctor has to a friend.  She still was awful to him as a child, calling him snail because that’s what his bellybutton looked like, but she’s willing to give the Doctor a fair trial. This is because the rest of the House has gone just a bit insane after the Doctor fled from them and she knows if she doesn’t give the Doctor protection under Housepitality, he will be killed and things will get a lot worse for them.  Next is the Housekeeper Satthralope, who didn’t want to face the reality that Quences was killed by someone and convinced the House itself, not its members but the architectural structure has been convinced that Quences is dead.  Sattralope reminds me of Maggie Smith in her harshness for the rules.  She doesn’t know how to deal with anything that’s going on and is just a fun character.  Owis is the comic relief character who was Loomed to replace the Doctor illegally and the House seems to have made him this lovable idiot.  He feels like the dumber part of a Robert Holmes double act a la The Ribos Operation or The Talons of Weng-Chiang.  Glospin is the other part of that double act and he is terrifying.  He’s pretty much the First Doctor if he was totally and completely evil.  Now I just love the character and a lot of the things that he does makes you just want him dead because of what he does to everyone in the House.

 

To summarize, Lungbarrow is a novel that hits all the right notes to have all the weird concepts present to make it a success.  The Time Lord characters all feel alien, Badger, whom is the android on the cover of the novel, is an excellent mentor for the Doctor, the surreal imagery from Platt is great to put this world together.  There are scenes that take us in an action movie like direction while others go to a horror or thriller direction for the story and sees the end for the New Adventures leaving The Dying Days as an epilogue with the Eighth Man Bound.  100/100
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 8/9/16 12:04 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

You may be asking yourself why a type of footwear is the title for a Doctor Who story. Well that’s because this is a story comes in a black and white disc that can be played in any real order and still understand the story as Morris works it out so the story doesn’t have to feel forced with the odd gimmick. He even uses the gimmick as a way so to prove that everything isn’t black and white and is put into the shades of grey in a social commentary that is still relevant today as the message is you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The order I’m listing this plot is the way I listened to it, but it can still be listened to in any order as I have done it both ways and you don’t lose a thing from the story. The Doctor and Mel land on the planet Puxatornee where they have to get some crystals to defeat some Quarks on the Space Yacht Pinto. The planet is derelict where they are criminals and are captured and forced to go back in time to stop the destruction as everything happened due to the President’s secretary being killed by an agent of the Slithergee race which started a war. The twist is when they get back to the future the timeline has changed so much that the Slithergee have peacefully taken over by basically using feminist tactics acting like as they as the minority must be the oppressed one. The Doctor and Mel leave as the Doctor and Mel arrive and the plot is basically repeated over again in what is a time loop.





This is a great plot as even though halfway through you can guess what happens, you are still interested as you don’t know how they are going to get to the future that is set up in the first half which is great. It allows Jonathan Morris to take his commentary about basically the idea of oppression and how it relates to the majority and minority and how power of being previously oppressed can lead to more unjust actions. It’s a great commentary that can be applied to today’s culture in some great ways that more people should be taking notice of. Morris does this by doing what was done in Inferno and creating parallel universes not where people are evil, but just made different situations. The main characters are Stuart, played by Francis Magee, and Reed, played by Audrey Schoelhammer, who in both universes want things to be better and will do anything to get it, but one universe has them be security men and the other has them be citizens which really shows how different people can be. Bonnie Langford is also good as Mel here as she has to be the one to ask the questions for the audience which she does very well and she provides insight to just how much she knows about what the dangers of time travel actually are considering how much her life was messed with by the Time Lords. Sylvester McCoy is in prototype Season 25 mode as he stays mainly quiet in the arguments as he knows the grass always seems greener on the other side, but rarely is.





The atmosphere is great here as both versions of the planet are destroyed in some way and almost every character is killed in some horrible way. Morris is great at doing dark and he can do comedy, but not always at the same time as here some of the comedy almost lessens the drama of the story. There are also problems with the style of this release as after the first half you know how this is going to end and what is going to happen to the Doctor and company as this is just there to fill in the gaps. Also the professor in this story is just annoying to me for some reason and I just don’t really like him.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
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NR
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 8/9/16 12:02 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Isn’t it odd that Doctor Who has never really done crime drama before? I mean they’ve done mysteries with stories like All-Consuming Fire, but never really anything with a crime drama formula that has worked well. I mean The Twin Dilemma may have thought it was crime drama but other than that nothing really present in Doctor Who. That makes it all the more odd that Andy Lane’s third novel, Original Sin, decides to go down this route for its story which makes it become another in the streak of great novels that has been flowing from story to story. The plot sees the Doctor and Benny go to thirtieth century Earth after failing to save a dying Hith, a giant slug species subjugated by humanity that have been using passive resistance by changing their names to reflect the species’ situation. It’s a really clever idea and I credit Lane with making it work well. Anyway the story has two main plots with the prologue with the Hith’s passive resistance leading to riots while the second plot is several characters investigating a Hith’s death which is just the opening to a large conspiracy with the twist that the Doctor and Benny are incriminated as murderers as someone has messed with a mind probe record of the death to see they were the murderers by Adjudicator Roz Forrester and her squire Chris Cwej who will eventually become the new companions as someone has to replace Ace. The end of the conspiracy reveals our villain who I won’t spoil if you do not know who the villain is already as the twist is well set up.





Most of the novel focuses on Roz and Chris as they are to become the new companions which is a good idea and allows Lane to have fun with the whole good cop, bad cop dynamic. Roz is an Adjudicator whose partner was murdered by an alien making her slightly xenophobic. She is a logical and experienced Adjudicator who is almost your stereotypical cop as she has a sense of justice but knows that people can be bribed. Roz gets the better dynamic with Benny of the two as they both have dark paths and have good senses of humor. Chris Cwej on the other hand is the opposite of her as Chris is the new cop on the block who is all wide eyed and ready to get to work. He is amazed by the technology of the world, will frequently use that technology in the fads like body bepples which basically makes him look like a teddy bear for most of the novel and is a skilled pilot. He also has a strong sense of justice and what I like about the relationship between the two is that they are purely business partners here and have nothing going for them. Roz begrudgingly respects Chris as she sees a bit of herself in him and doesn’t want to see him go through the same loss she went through when she was starting out.





Benny here is filling the usual companion role with all the charm of Benny. Even though it hasn’t really happened the stuff Benny does in the novel feels like things that Benny would do as character as the thirtieth century is actually in her future so she doesn’t know what to expect. She isn’t xenophobic which just shows how times can change with the times and events happening around the galaxy. The Doctor is also great here as he gets himself arrested and has to find a way to convince Chris and Roz that he and Benny are both innocent of murder and shouldn’t be put to death even though he ends up breaking several other laws which is great as they are silly laws. The villain is also great as it is a return from the Classic Series with the reveal that he has been the one funding basically every plot that has involved some sort of robot in the shows history which I find fascinating and extremely plausible. Once you know who the villain is you will probably agree with me about this fact as well. The other characters are also great with the Hith being a great alien race miles above the gastropods seen in The Twin Dilemma and Beltempest is another character who is the head of another agency who is being paid off by the villain. Beltempest is our comedic relief as he has gotten himself a body bepple so he can look like an elephant which is hilarious to imagine.

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