THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
MAN" AND "UNNATURAL
OFFICIAL BBC 'EIGHTH
RELEASED IN MAY 1999.
the Doctor and Fitz
with a secret deep
beneath the SWEDISH
forest; a secret
which could save
Sam and an entire,
doomed alien race -
but destroy Earth
in the process...
For a book that begins with an action replay of Terminus’ opening scene, Dominion isn’t bad at all. In fact, Nick Walters’ debut novel is practically bursting with potential.
Walters’ premise is really quite remarkable. The Swedish woodland setting sets it apart
from the glut of outer space and home counties romps that the series inevitably gravitates towards, and the author’s use of established forces such as UNIT and C19 is innovative,
if not inspired. This time disaster isn’t caused caused by out-and-out iniquity or vice; just imprudent meddling by the likes of Wolstencroft and his fellow government operatives.
However, without a doubt Dominion’s
strongest point is its characterisation. I
was particularly impressed with Kerstin,
who lends the narrative its drive and the
atmosphere its flavour. Walters affords
Kerstin the sort of depth that Michael
Collier did Fitz in The Taint, causing
many readers to suspect that she’d be
leaving in the TARDIS at the end of the
story. Her childhood and her parents are
both explored in some detail, as is her mini-rebellion and relationship with her boyfriend; a boyfriend that she’s considering giving the elbow to when he vanishes along with half her house. It’s enticing stuff; gritty and realistic.
And the Doctor and Fitz are even more impressive. Walters’ depiction of the marooned eighth Doctor was really quite prescient, given what Big Finish would later do with him in
the Divergent Universe, if a little discordant when we take into account the sheer number
of times that the Doctor hasbeen cut off from his ship without any ill effects. Still, scenes
of him howling in anguish are hard to forget.
For me though, Fitz Kreiner steals the story with his first, begrudging flashes of heroism. His scenes with the Doctor are a real joy to read, as Fitz is quite forthright about his motives and shortcomings, only serving to make him appear all the more valiant in the eyes of the reader. His relationship with Kerstin is also captivatingly portrayed; he doesn’t objectify her as he so often does women, and as a result she comes perilously close to reciprocating his affection. Consequently the story’s final scene, which sees the Doctor refuse to allow Kerstin to remain aboard the TARDIS, really stings.
Altogether, Dominion is an interesting and distinctive adventure, somehow managing to be both cinematic and claustrophobic in equal measure. At times I found the author’s prose to be a little flat, but this is quite easily made up for by his deft characterisation and inventive plot.
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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