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The Bodysnatchers

Rating Votes
10
8%
1
9
0%
0
8
23%
3
7
23%
3
6
31%
4
5
0%
0
4
15%
2
3
0%
0
2
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1
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Average Rating
6.7
Votes
13
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: catten666Review Date: 5/5/19 7:04 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Continuing my read through of Eight Doctor novels I have come to the one I was most looking forward to reading. The Bodysnatchers. The reason I was looking forward to reading it is because I'd read a library copy back in 1998 and remember thoroughly enjoying it. However even if I hadn't the cover blurb simply makes you want to read it. I love stories set in the Victorian time, they are usually very atmospheric and the characters always seem so much more alive than other novels.

The book builds up swiftly and then the action just keeps on coming. I know some people like a lot of build up, but I prefer my stories to be fast paced and action packed. The Bodysnatchers doesn't disappoint here, but the characters are built up enough in order for you to visualise them clearly. The only annoyance is The Doctor's latest companion, Sam, who is utterly irritating at times. However, like in Vampire Science, this is how she is meant to be, so it shows the author is doing his job well.

Talking of characters a couple of old faces return. Firstly Professor Litefoot who was in the TV serial "The Talons Of Weng Chiang" and secondly the Zygons. The Bodysnatchers was Mark Morris' first Dr Who novel so for him to be trusted with 2 fan favourites just goes to show how much talent this guy has. He has Litefoot down totally, you can honestly believe it is the same Litefoot from the TV show. The Zygons involvement was a masterstroke, and they too are spot on to the TV show. Whilst it's a nice throwback for fans, you need not have seen either previous TV episode to enjoy this book.

One thing worth mentioning is the very adult content present throughout the book. As the title suggests dead bodies are frequent throughout, most have suffered horrible fates and the author describes these in vivid detail. As such I wouldn't recommend it as suitable reading material for anyone under 12.

I was hoping this book would be as good as I remembered at 17, and it was. The Bodysnatchers is a simply fantastic book, and one I'd thoroughly recommend to casual fans just getting started with the Eighth Doctor.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 2/20/19 5:15 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A first time author has a lot on their shoulders: they must prove to their audience that they can tell a story with good characters in a good pace and have a unique style to their writing. Some advice to beginning writers is to start by writing fanfiction, and indeed it is fanfiction which has given some Who authors, including Paul Cornell, their start. Writing a Doctor Who novel has some of the same difficulties as writing fanfiction, you have previously established characters to play around with, but you have to write those characters as those characters. Mark Morris is the first new author to be brought on to the BBC Books line to be given his own, standalone novel. Both Keith Topping and Jonathan Blum had their books coauthored with others, so in that sense The Bodysnatchers is an event novel in this sense and it has a lot to prove, and as a first novel Morris does an admirable job.

Perhaps the biggest issue the Eighth Doctor Adventures has had in its beginnings over the Virgin New Adventures, is that the Eighth Doctor Adventures were much less wary when it comes to the use of continuity. The first novel not to use any previous continuity is the seventh book in the series, Kursaal. The Bodysnatchers uses the Zygons and Professor George Litefoot as major elements in the story, and perhaps this is what is holding the book back from being amazing. In using the Zygons nearly every twist Morris executes is broadcast pages before it appears several pages later. Morris does an excellent job using his novel to develop the mythology of the Zygons, giving them a planet and an enemy which caused the destruction of their planet. There’s also the implication that there are several refugee groups of Zygons which have landed on Earth and have been manipulating their way into society, though this is left by the end of the novel ambiguous. Morris succeeds at making his Zygon characters different from the Zygons of “Terror of the Zygons”, mainly by playing out a piece on morality between a Zygon who serves as leader and warlord and a Zygon who leads as a scientist. Tuval, the scientist character, has an excellent arc going from begrudgingly following her leader, into making her own decisions and joining the Doctor, Sam, and Litefoot in the fight against her species. Balaak is a weaker character overall, essentially being more of your standard shouting villain, which works well enough for what the novel is, but Morris could have done more with the character. The climax also needed a bit more work, as the novel loses steam about forty pages from the end.

The Bodysnatchers takes a while to get going, the plot of shadowy creatures pitching off people around a factory owned by a one Nathaniel Seers and a young Skarasen terrorizing Victorian London works well enough. The plot is just incredibly predictable with Seers’ daughter, Emmeline, noticing her father being off and wouldn’t you know it, he’s a Zygon in human form. Emmeline for the first half of the novel serves as an almost companion to the Doctor and honestly she works better as a character than Sam. Samantha Jones continues to really only have the characterization of ‘I’m a social activist, Victorian London needs feminism’ which could work, but it’s just a bit too cliched for anything. By the second half of the novel Sam gets some time with the Doctor and their clashing about how he treats her as younger than he should could be interesting, but it just doesn’t really amount to much of a character. This is not a fault of Morris as it’s something Dicks, Orman, and Blum have also had issues with writing Sam. There just doesn’t seem to be much forethought onto what Sam was supposed to be. Morris is wonderful at characterizing the Eighth Doctor however, as he feels like he just went through “The TV Movie”. The Doctor is a hopeless romantic, there to help the damsels in distress and always gives the villains a second chance, and is willing to let some of the Zygons live. Litefoot as a character is also well written, and while there isn’t any indication that Jago & Litefoot occurs, his appearance here could be inbetween Series 3 or 4, as Jago is in Brighton. He’s a nice addition even without his partner in investigating infernal instances, so there’s a bit missing here. The novel is an enjoyably traditional romp through Victorian London from a first time writer.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TheBigChurroReview Date: 4/14/18 1:37 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Oh the Bodysnatchers, a book i’ve wanted to read for years, and finally after tracking it down and finally having the time to finish it, and I was a little underwhelmed. The setting is fine, but I think i’m just tired of stories taking place in the Victorian era; I haven’t listened to Big Finish’s Jago and Litefoot series yet (aside from Mahogony Murders) so i’m yet to see the hype for that time and place in the Whoniverse.


The Zygon aspect of the book is pretty good, the plan is the same as ever; they want to take over the Earth because there planet was destroyed, but like Terror of the Zygons, we have distinct individual Zygons, not just a standard monster that applies to the whole of the species. A few good twists in terms of allies revealing they are Zygons, and a few moments of individual ideologies peaking through causing conflict between characters. Very satisfied with this aspect of the novel. Another character I did enjoy was Litefoot, the professor returns to help the Doctor in another adventure which i’m sure must contradict Big Finish canon because Jago isn’t anywhere around and it has been 5 years since Talons. I just explain these into two different realities, Big Finish and Book timeline that eventually intercept and become one again around the New Series :P


However, where this story lacks is the motivation. For the first 100 pages, I was finding myself reading around 1-2 chapters a week, and a book should entice me more to read it more than that. The first half and last 50 pages or so is rather boring in my opinion, the resolution doesn’t feel forced but it is a bit weird, its a bit hard to explain.

And lastly, Sam. My word she is starting to get on my nerves; she constantly compares herself to any other woman significant to the plot and is jealous of the Doctor’s attention towards her. In Vampire Science is was Caroline, and in this it was Emmeline. And then she states she wants to be the Doctor’s equal. Really not liking this development of her character, and hope she doesn’t continue down this path.
Overall 6/10

Next Time (eventually): Genocide

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