Sonic Screwdriver #82
As the review states at the end, Dimension Riders is a largely forgettable book — and given I wrote that just after reading it, why do you expect me to come up with some topical comment now, years later?
With all the confusion over the hidden time meddler throughout the ‘Alternate Universe’ cycle of New Adventures, it seems hard enough to find any real link between this five-book series. Until the other day, when someone pointed out, maybe slightly tongue-in-cheek, what they thought the link was: the death of human foetuses. In Blood Heat Jo Grant loses her baby shortly before dying herself. The prelude to The Left-Handed Hummingbird has a psychic foetus overwhelmed by the Blue during one of the attempted takeovers of the Doctor. And The Dimension Riders has the most gruesome one of all: the rapid aging of mother and child together, with the child growing all the time, until it can no longer be encompassed by its mother, with predictable results. I wonder what they can come up with next?
But anyway, to the book itself. As with a number of previous New Adventures, I find myself torn on my verdict. Basically, I found all the Earth-based scenes of Benny versus the President fast-moving, amusing and really very interesting — I got very involved with the characters of Professor Rafferty, Tom and especially Amanda. Then are the scenes on Space Station 4; the ones with the Doctor set "a week ago" are completely forgettable. Then there are the scenes, primarily with Ace, as the Garvond takes over the Icarus, which swerve between fast-paced action and straight-out boredom.
The Garvond, if you ask me, is a complete flop. Yet another all-powerful being dating from the "Dark Times" of Gallifrey, and it’s the Doctor’s fault it’s on the loose. Oh please! This is not to say the Time Soldiers are not impressive; they are, very much so. Their aging touch, ability to phase through solid matter, seeming invulnerability and ghastly appearance make for a most scary "monster", yet the revelation that they are not mindless automatons is a shock. ‘How… long… do… humans… live?’ is a chilling reminder of the power they wield so casually.
There are parts of the book of worth. Surprisingly avoided is the problem of excess characters: with three main sets, it was likely to happen. There is near a score of named and developed characters — and none, save the cipher of the President, are wasted. The cover is a brilliant piece by Jeff Cummins (completely different to and far superior to his Blood Heat effort) which, like Revelation, boggles the mind as an actual scene from the book. But ultimately, unfortunately, it is a book which fades quickly from the mind. And that, ultimately, is the final damnation — I can’t recommend it on that basis, can I?
Here’s the list of the Doctor Who reviews available here:
→ Benny Adventure: Beyond the Sun
→ Benny Adventure: Deadfall
→ Benny Adventure: Ghost Devices/Mean Streets/Tempest
→ Benny Adventure: The Sword of Forever
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #1
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #2
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #3
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #4
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #5
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #6
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #7
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #8
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #9
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #10
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #11
→ Fanzines: Mag Bag #12
→ Missing Adventure: Dancing the Code
→ Missing Adventure: Downtime
→ Missing Adventure: Invasion of the Cat-People
→ Missing Adventure: Lords of the Storm
→ Missing Adventure: Scales of Injustice
→ Missing Adventure: Shadow of Weng-Chiang
→ Missing Adventure: System Shock
→ New Adventure: Bloodheat
→ New Adventure: Death of Art
→ New Adventure: Dimension Riders
→ New Adventure: Eternity Weeps
→ New Adventure: Falls the Shadow
→ New Adventure: Legacy
→ New Adventure: No Future
→ New Adventure: Sleepy
→ TV: The Curse of Fenric
→ TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
→ TV: The Happiness Patrol
→ TV: Season 25 Review
→ TV: Season 27 Review (the 2005 return)
→ TV: The Twin Dilemma
→ Or just head back to the Doctor Who Index
This page last updated by David J Richardson on Wed, 20 Apr 2005.