STORY PLACEMENT

 THIS STORY TAKES

 PLACE BETWEEN THE

 NOVELS "OPTION LOCK"

 AND "LEGACY OF THE
 DALEKS."

 

 WRITTEN BY

 MICHAEL COLLIER

 

 RECOMMENDED 

 PURCHASE

 OFFICIAL BBC 'EIGHTH

 DOCTOR' PAPERBACK 

 (ISBN 0-563-40581-3)

 RELEASED IN MARCH

 1998.

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

 BLURB

 the Doctor and Sam

 are separated and

 trapped on A dying

 planet. While Sam

 becomes the focus of

 attention in a barren

 penal settlement, the

 Doctor discovers the

 secret of THE PLANETís

 unique condition - just

 as a race of hideous

 bloodthirsty alien

 creatures arrive in

 force to reclaim it.

 

 Caught in a struggle

 for survival, it seems

 time has run out for

 every living creature

 on Hirath - not least

 Sam and the Doctor...

 

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Longest Day

MARCH 1998

 

 

                                                       

 

 

Talk about controversy! Longest Day by Michael Collier may be the most hated

and reviled Doctor Who novel of all time - the tumult of abuse that has been levelled at this book over the last decade or so is absolutely mind-blowing. Thankfully though, I hadnít seen any reviews of it when I first read my copy and so my thoughts on the story were Ė at least originally - entirely free from prejudice.

 

Even then though, I wasnít impressed with Longest Day. There is little to be found within its pages that I would class as being particularly good or compelling, but it does have to be said that worse has been released under the seriesí banner. There were numerous Virgin novels that plumbed depths lower than any that Longest Day scrapes, not to mention early BBC Books clangers like The Ultimate Treasure that to my eyes at least canít be distinguished from this one.

 

 

The main problem with Longest

Day is that it never capitalises on

what could have been a wonderful

premise. The idea of this strange

planet where time runs at different

speeds is brilliant fodder for Doctor

Who, but unfortunately the whole

thing dies on its arse because

the population of said planet are completely and utterly drab. I only just finished reading this book again last night and already Iíve forgotten most of the characters. The only one that does stick in my mind is Nashaad, and thatís only because I spent most of the book cringing at him as he bounced about on his Ďmetal legsí!

 

Whatís more, once he has been cut off from Sam, the Doctor doesnít carry his sections of the book very well at all. Collier hasnít really got a handle on Paul McGannís portrayal - here the eighth Doctor isnít even a generic Doctor, heís barely recognisable as the Doctor at all.

 

Only Sam goes any way towards redeeming this novel. Building on the sterling work done with her by Peter Anghelides and Justin Richards in the two preceding novels, once again Sam comes across as well rounded and convincing. Fair dues, sheís as boring as hell, but thatís the point, isnít it? Jane Doe slap-bang in the middle of a war on a planet where time has gone mental and her friend has wandered off? How would a person react? What would they do? Cry and faint a lot is the short answer, but in my view there is at least something to be said for a companion that lacks mettle. In certainly gives us a new perspective.  

 

Altogether though, save for (another!) wet T-shirt scene and some particularly gruesome scenes of torture, death, and dismemberment, there is little else about Longest Day that stands out. Whilst I donít agree with the proportion of fandom that seem to have targeted

this work for singular derision, I must concede that Collierís opening effort is a far cry from being even a passable Doctor Who novel. If this novel were not the first book in a four-part arc, Iíd have to recommend avoidance of your longest day, but as it isÖ                  

                                                                                                       ...well, just read the end.

 

Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010

 

E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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