Rose and the Doctor return to present-day Earth, and become
intrigued by the latest craze: the video game Death to
Mantodeans. Is it as harmless as it seems? Meanwhile, on
another world, the Quevvils need a new means of attacking
their enemies, the Mantodeans. They find the ideal soldiers
It would appear that only the top brass at BBC Worldwide have
been permitted to write about the Ninth Doctor in this first
batch of novels. Justin Richards, who penned The
Clockwise Man, is the Creative Director of
Who books; Stephen Cole, the author of The
Monsters Inside, is the range's former editor;
and Jacqueline Rayner was until recently Worldwide's Executive
Producer of Big Finish Productions.
is interesting to compare these first three books with the
Ninth Doctor's first three television episodes. In each case,
we have a story set in the past, one set in the present and
one set in the future. Like The Unquiet Dead, The
Clockwise Man takes place in Britain's past (and even
manages to paraphrase some of its dialogue). Both Rose
and Winner Takes All involve alien threats to present-day
Earth. The End of the World and The Monsters Inside
are both set in the future and feature lots of weird aliens.
fans may be disappointed to learn that the TARDIS returns
to Earth yet again in this novel. However, as with the television
show, the series possesses the perfect in-built excuse for
these repeated visits: Rose. This time around she is worried
about her mum, Jackie, so the Doctor takes her back home.
Those of you who are longing for the Ninth Doctor to travel
a bit farther afield should take comfort from the fact that
there is also plenty of alien action on the home world of
the hedgehog-like Quevvils and the insectoid Mantodeans.
The author also makes the most of her opportunity to depict
Jackie and Mickey, Rose's ex-boyfriend. I hated Mickey when
he first appeared in the episode Rose. I found his
stupidity and cowardice irritating and unfunny. However, he
was exonerated in Aliens of London/World War Three,
and Rayner takes him a stage further here, developing the
character well and conveying several scenes from his point
Meanwhile, the TARDIS crew are yet again well portrayed, though
there are a few bits of dialogue that don't seem quite right
for Christopher Eccleston's Doctor. Would this incarnation
really use the exclamation: "Bother"?
with The Clockwise Man, the Doctor and Rose are assisted
by a young boy, presumably with the intention of appealing
to younger readers. In this instance it is a teenager called
Robert Watson, who lives out a fantasy of being a Harry Potter-style
"chosen one". Robert develops a crush on Rose, and thus joins
an increasingly long line of male characters who have become
besotted by her.
its companion volumes, Winner Takes All is a swift,
unchallenging read. It doesn't rock any boats in terms of
the series' mythology or its regular characters' relationship.
But then, with a new series on television, it isn't supposed
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