Saturday, 26 September 2009

DW: The Taking of Chelsea 426

It's another round of Doctor Who books, again with Monster-Of-The-Week themes. Up first is The Taking of Chelsea 426 by David Llewellyn (while the name may be similar to The Taking of Pelham 123, be assured the plot isn't). Points for not giving away the monster in the title, however points deducted for slapping the Sontarans on the cover.

Oh, look, it's a Space Colony! So it isn't Earth! Except it's been made up to look like Earth. Sigh. Fortunately, aside from some flavour at the beginning, it's a story that wouldn't have worked if set on Earth (at least, not without major work, but then can say that of any story). The colony has a flower show going on, so there are lots of visitors to the place, not all of them desired (it's a very phobic colony). Certainly no-one wanted the Sontarans, but here they are, in their eternal battle with the Rutans. There is a reference to the Sontaran two-parter, but only slightly. More weight is given to the Doctor's overall beating of the Sontarans, using that as a plot device to not have the Doctor shot as soon
as the Sontarans see him. Meh.

There's not a lot to this book. People wander around, problems at the flower show, the Sontarans turn up, then it's just plodding through the Doctor beating them off and dealing with one last "surprise problem". (Note: there is one part of the book I am completely not mentioning, as it isn't given away on the cover nor in the blurb.)

The Doctor is joined by two kids, twins, who are the surrogate companions, and they don't so much get into trouble as be access points for the kiddies these books are written for. Mr Carstairs has a better role, and that's not much more than observers. The Sontarans themselves are so replaceable I couldn't even keep straight the two leaders. And the Doctor himself is written largely superficially. (I'm not sure if the character of Riley Smalls is supposed to be a reference to some other story.)

Middle of the road book, all up.

ORDER: Obvious.


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