Doctor Who: Prisoner of The Daleks Review

Prisoner (2)

By Will Barber – Taylor

Landing on the planet Hurla in the 26th century, The Doctor realises he has jumped a time track and travelled to a point before the Time War.   Before he is able to return to the TARDIS The Doctor is embroiled in a new and deadly Dalek plan.  With the help of a group of mercenaries, The Doctor must stop the Daleks before they change history forever.

The plot is a very ambitious one, travelling to several planets during the story and using lots of Doctor Who continuity in the process.  The use of pre Time War Daleks is well done.  In a lot of the new series the Daleks are only a handful.  This story however, substantially features a full army of Daleks on the scale of Planet of The Daleks (1973).  The Daleks’ master plan in this story cleverly uses the old Dalek idea of time travel but adds a new side to it.   The Arkeon Threshold is utilised as a doorway into the space/time vortex.

Space Major Jon Bowman feels like a real character as we witness him fear for his life.  We sympathise with his anger at the death of Stella and understand his utter contempt and hate for the Daleks.    Furthermore, his back story allows us an even deeper understanding of the character. Finally, the character development is totally satisfying as we watch his relationship with The Doctor changing.   Initially, he hates The Doctor but eventually respects him. We feel we know Jon Bowman by the end of the book.

The characterisation of The Tenth Doctor is spot on and is better done than in some other novels. The whole writing of The Doctor feels like Tennant’s incarnation and it really couldn’t be mistaken for any other version of The Doctor.

Stella is a great character and is sadly killed very early on in the book.  She could have been a great Doctor Who companion.  Unfortunately, as this is a stand alone book, it was not to be.  Her death scene and the shock it gives to the rest of the crew is brilliantly written by Baxendale and very much comes across as realistic.

This book is one of the best Tenth Doctor books written.  It’s funny, heart warming, sad, gruesome and incredible. The plot for this book could well be the plot for a movie.   If Steven Speilberg ever thinks of doing a Doctor Who movie starring David Tennant, they should ring Trevor Baxendale.

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