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< The Eight Doctors
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Vampire Science

Rating Votes
10
0%
0
9
13%
2
8
63%
10
7
25%
4
6
0%
0
5
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4
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3
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Average Rating
7.9
Votes
16
Writer:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: catten666Review Date: 5/5/19 7:01 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

What first struck me about Vampire Science is the way the Doctor and his newest companion, Sam, seemed to have already gelled and it is revealed about 40 pages in that they have been travelling together for some time. Given at this point the Eighth Doctor existed solely in novel form it would have been nice to actually see them get acquainted. I understand it lets other writers slip stories in between, but it still would have been nice to have a slight follow on from The Eight Doctors and allow any future adventures to be slotted in between this book and The Bodysnatchers.

Talking of Sam this is the first book where she actually gets some character building as her appearance in The Eight Doctors is limited. The authors do well to build her up from the get-go, and by the books end you feel like she has been around for a while and that you know her. Her personality does occasionally grate, but given she's meant to be fresh out of school and a bit of a political activist it just goes to show just how good the writers are, as these people tend to grate on you in real life too!

It is also the first story in which you get to see the Eighth Doctor in all his glory (the previous novel he is suffering from amnesia for most of it). Vampire Science sows the seeds of his traits, bits even comparing him directly to the Seventh Doctor. I found this to be very well written, and by the end you have a very good idea in your head of how the Doctor is and look forward to sharing more adventures with him.

Story wise, Vampire Science is very good. The premise in itself makes you want to read, and the story is interesting enough to keep you interested. It starts off a little slow, but it soon picks up the pace.

In summary, Vampire Science is a very well written, above average Doctor Who novel but I certainly wouldn't mark it down as a must read for the casual fan.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
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Unsure
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 2/4/19 11:03 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Eighth Doctor is perhaps the Doctor with the largest blank slate when it comes to character development. His line of novels began publishing in June 1997, one year after the airing of The TV Movie, and the Time War as an effect on the character would only come when the series was revived in 2005. All we get is that he’s a hopeless romantic who gets amnesia when he regenerates and during The Eight Doctors picks up companion Samantha Jones for a series of travels. Terrance Dicks focused on a celebration of continuity for his novel, but this leaves Eight and Sam as a blank slate. We know that Sam Jones is a vegetarian and liberal activist living near enough to Coal Hill School while having an overactive sense of justice. Vampire Science is the follow up novel and actually gives us the start of the Doctor and Sam’s actual travels. The biggest problem of the novel is Sam Jones: as a character she doesn’t come across as likable, but is written in this style where she’s just all snark and no care. It seems that the people running BBC Books were attempting to follow the formula to make a companion like the smash hit Bernice Summerfield, but she really doesn’t. Sam’s obsession is saving the planet from pollution and attempting to rebel against parents who would only dislike her if she became a drug addict or dared to join the Conservative Party. She’s a whiny teenager who thinks that everyone should be the ones treating her like an adult and going with the Doctor she can prove it. Sorry, but that’s not really a well-defined character overall and she’s really the only thing getting in the way of this being a great novel.



Vampire Science is written by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman. Kate Orman is perhaps my favorite writer of these Doctor Who novels or is at the very least one of the greats. Her novels may not always have the most plot driven stories, but tonally and thematically they are always rich and provide hours of contemplation. Vampire Science is of course no different here as the plot deals with Carolyn McConnell, an oncologist who’s deepest desire is to find a cure for cancer. Carolyn stumbles upon a group of vampires in the 1970s where she is saved by the Doctor and Sam, before we flash forward to 1997: vampires start attacking again and after her boyfriend is kidnapped, she has no choice but to call the Doctor for help. Perhaps the greatest theme of this novel is that of the existential dread of death and the insignificance of life in the world. Carolyn is a woman who retreats into despair with the Doctor on his way, yet when her eyes are opened to the possibility of a wider universe she can only become intrigued. Carolyn is definite companion material and in all honesty she would work much better than Sam. She has this great dynamic with the Doctor, a lasting image of the novel being Carolyn waking up to the Doctor in her kitchen making breakfast. Her boyfriend is kidnapped and there is a coven of vampires, but this man can make the entire world better, can give poor Carolyn hope, by making breakfast and forming a plan of action. He opens the door and she follows, she’s strong enough to save James and even attempt to save the vampires.



Joanna Harris, the leader of this vampire coven, a woman who has been living for nearly a millennium. A woman who spent centuries attempting to develop a cure or a potential substitute to satiate the hunger of the vampires and a woman who has been manipulating humans into joining her. Harris leads men and women metaphorically to the edge of a cliff of despair, slowly over the course of months, even years, and then offers them a choice. They have been brought to their lowest point and have nowhere left to go but over the edge, suicide is the only option. Except it isn’t. Joanna Harris gives them a choice, they can become a vampire and join her or continue living their lives, knowing full well that suicide is what awaits them if they do. The Doctor still wants to help her find the cure, he wants to gain her trust because he doesn’t want to see a war between the humans and the vampires. The Doctor doesn’t like needless bloodshed and even though they have killed countless people and are mortal enemies of the Time Lords, he is going to help them. He goes so far as to set up a psychic and physical link between the two as a show of good faith and trust, something both parties betray over the course of the novel. Harris’s latest victim is one Dr. David Shackle, an emergency room Doctor in a low income area of San Francisco. A man who cannot come to terms with death and the inevitability of being forgotten. He spends much of the book attempting to be a big help, but once Harris makes her offer he finds himself unable to refuse and the final page of the novel ends his story. He is perhaps my favorite character of the book due to the intense despair he feels.



Like any piece of science fiction, Vampire Science remains topical through themes about immortality, this time through the younger vampires. Our chief example is Slake, real name Edwin Pratt, a young vampire who is itching for war, itching to cause chaos because he’s young and needs a cause to fight for. Blum and Orman craft a message about when it is right to take action: people always want some injustice to fight against and as those injustices get smaller and smaller as humanity gets better and better, fighting gets worse and worse. It hasn’t changed since the dawn of time and people always try to find a cause. Sam has her cause, Slake wants a cause, Shackle lost his cause, and Carolyn found hers again after it became routine. Cause and effect is perhaps the best description of this book.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
8
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NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: nukirisameReview Date: 11/26/18 4:25 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

While The Eight Doctors abandoned the new direction the TV Movie had headed in to instead douse itself in 30+ years of lore and go a bit mad, Vampire Science takes everything that worked in the TV Movie and runs with it. A dashingly romantic Doctor running through the streets of San Francisco changing people's lives, though this time with less Terminator and more Dracula.

The characterization of Eight really is the highlight of this book. Blum and Orman manage to make him sparkle throughout the whole thing - any scene with the Doctor is guaranteed to have at least one moment that'll warm your heart, my personal favourite being when he explains his plan to find out more about the vampires while kittens are climbing all over him. Or when he reflects on how easy a cat's life is compared to his. Lots of cats.

Of course, the plot does manage to be quite dark when it wants to; Sam being bitten by a vampire could've easily been a throwaway scene in any other story, but here it's treated as an extremely traumatic event for her that's one of the catalysts for her reviewing her relationship with the Doctor. Sam in general works a lot better here than the few scenes she had in The Eight Doctors, though she still feels very generic. I won't lie, I was crossing my fingers that she'd actually stay behind and Carolyn would take her place at the end, but alas.

On top of Carolyn being such a brilliant candidate for a companion, the book has another winning guest character in the form of Shackle. His depression, suicidal tendencies and eventual surrender to the vampires is very well-handled. I really loved this book's take on the vampires; likening the recently-turned to a couple of edgy young adults playing with powers they don't understand was a great decision. The eldest vampire, Harris, is a woman of science dedicating her time to researching a way for vampires to feed humanely, though even then her idea of humane is very different from ours. The vampires here are full-blooded characters and it makes the moral point of this story - the Doctor's drive to always end conflicts peacefully - that much more impactful.

Overall Vampire Science is just what the EDAs needed, a proper start to the range. It can be a bit slow at times but never really stops being entertaining thanks to Blum and Orman's superb characterization of the Doctor. I might change my score depending on how better or worse the later EDAs are, but for now, this is a very high 8.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TheBigChurroReview Date: 11/5/17 2:40 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Finally months after finishing The Eight Doctor's and starting Vampire Science, I have finished it. With delays due to life, work, uni and Big Finish :P
Vampire Science really kicks off the Eighth Doctor Adventure novels properly with a traditional Doctor Who story, with the new Tardis duo having an adventure in modern day San Francisco. The novel starts with the two hunting down a group of vampires causing mayhem in the 70s where they meet Caroline, who is offered to travel with our heroes to which she declines. The next chapter we see Caroline 20 years later, living a normal life but regretting not leaving in the Tardis. The novel plays with the concept of normal life vs Tardis life with two characters, with the aforementioned Caroline, and with the new companion Sam Jones, who can't decide whether the danger and mystic of the Doctor is worth it.
The vampire plot is very nicely done, with different stages of the novel being split into parts, titles "First Bite" "Second Bite" and "Third Bite" that breaks the novel up into the different progression of both the plot and its characters. The Doctor, being his usual self shows everyone in the novel a better way of living, whether that's Caroline, Sam, Dr Shackle, James or the vampires themselves.
A way I would describe this novel is that it is very "domestic" or "grounded" it can be heavy in places and it is expressed through the character's internal struggles.
Overall I very much enjoyed Vampire Science and rate it 8/10, and am looking forward to The Bodysnatchers.