David J Richardson, Site MapBack to Main IndexBack To Area Index

Review — Downtime

First Published:

Publish Date:

I double-booked this review as I ran around completing issue 95 of Sonic Screwdriver. As it turned out, Luke Filmer came through with the goods, and the below write-something-now-who-cares-how-crap review was for nought. Thus we have an exclusive for the site!

Marc Platt wrote the New Adventure Times Crucible. That in itself, plus Marc’s laborious translation of Battlefield to a novel, has me scared at reading any more Marc Platt books — his prose seems to have the ability to make everything so mundane, and to drive you to frustration. So it was with some trepidation that I approached this book.

It is the novelisation of the recent Reeltime Pictures movie that featured the return of a swag of old Who characters — Victoria Waterfield, the Brigadier, Sarah Jane Smith, the Great Intelligence and his Yetis, Professor Travers, K-9, Brigadier (only Captain here) Bambera, and Group-Captain Gilmore (he went on to be an Air Vice-Marshall); you name them, this tale has them. Actually, I lie — a number of those only appear in the book. Nonetheless, the movie ended up rather overloaded. Overall, however, while the movie had its clumsy points, I found it quite enjoyable (though not a patch on the brilliant Devil of Winterbourne, released around the same time).

So what does the novelisation have to offer to add to this experience, or on its own? Well, there’s a massive amount of extra exposition at the beginning — the first third of the book is pretty much new material, and by far the best part of the book. It follows Victoria in modern times, inheriting a fortune of compounded money from her father, but with hints that he had not died, as she had thought, on Skaro (see Evil of the Daleks. Oh, you can’t, can you? Ha ha). Her trek to find her father takes her to Tibet, back to the scene of The Abominable Snowmen. But it is all a fraud, and she is starting down the path to freeing the Great Intelligence once more…

These early sections are written really well, as we look at the confused and disoriented Victoria. Later on, the bulk of the attention goes to the Brigadier, and he, too, is portrayed well. Next favourite character is K-9 as the ultimate phone operator! Unfortunately, and maybe this is because I had already seen the movie, it all goes downhill after the fine first third. To refresh you on how I started this review, Marc Platt knows how to write really boringly! So I’ve got to say I ended up disappointed. Maybe it will be better for those for whom this is a new story; but I don’t think so.

Methinks I should stop writing Missing Adventure reviews; all I ever seem to do is slag them. But then, that is such fun!

End of Review

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

David J Richardson, Site MapBack to Main IndexBack To Area Index

This page last updated by David J Richardson on Wed, 20 Apr 2005.