(ISBN 0-563-53822-8)







 The Players have

 ALL decided on an

 Endgame. Play ends

 only when one side

 has been annihilated -

 even if the planet is

 TOTALLY destroyed

 in the process. They

 weren't expecting the

 Doctor to be one of

 their pieces - and

 neither was he. He

 doesn't want to get


 The Doctor doesn't

 know who he is - but

 he's fast ceasing to

 care. Caught up in

 ennui, nothing seems

 to matter to him. He

 has no interest in

 the Cold War, OR in

 spies, double agents

 or secret documents.

 But he's soon forced

 to take an active

 role. Because as far

 as the authorities

 are concerned, the

 Doctor is The Third



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Terrance Dicks was a curious choice to pen a novel in this heavily-stylised ‘eighth Doctor lost on Earth’ arc. Particularly when released between profound literary dramas the like of The Turing Test and Father Time, a rollicking yarn from Uncle Terrance was always going to feel a little blithe and a little discordant. However, for all its nonchalance, Endgame does its job well, telling a neat and tidy story - with neat and tidy hair - that offers the reader

a little respite from the weight of surrounding stories, as well as providing a timely reminder that the darkness is worth nought without the light.


Endgame has an devastating sense of fun about it; a buoyancy that initially seems at odds with the Cold War setting and nuclear warning symbol emblazoned on its cover. However, once the reader has resigned himself to the confines of Dicks’ colourful little world - over-flowing as it is with homosexual spies, their asinine appellations, and their insatiable thirst for drink - the pages of painless prose just fly by. I don’t think that it’s ever taken me more than a couple of hours to tear through this one.



Narratively, there is little to set

Endgame apart from Players

which it follows, and World

Game which would follow it.

Once again Dicks’ Players

are stage-managing world

leaders, the only difference

being that this time around,

the consequences are a little

higher. Stalin and Truman are both sat on potentially apocalyptic nuclear arsenals, and both seem suddenly eager to use them…


True to form, Dicks shoehorns a few historical factoids into the piece – references to the Marshall Plan and Truman’s unlikely ascent to the United States’ Presidency are woven in between James Bond-like set pieces, instilling such a Target-like taste that one struggles

to believe that Endgame is part of the same arc that produced The Burning or The Turing Test. Indeed, this novel is predicated on a classic 1970s Who paradigm; even its Doctor is world-weary and reticent, beset by ennui. The portrayal here is a little more sophisticated than it was back in Jon Pertwees day, admittedly, Dicks playing the stale, but nonetheless effective, “I’ll outlive all my friends” card to surprisingly stirring effect.


The book also features one or two moments of unexpected initiative, such as the Doctor’s exciting encounter with the Countess and what she offers him - the ramifications of which would linger right until the range’s final novel – and even his increased calling upon alien knowledge that he still can’t account for. Whether these things were the work of the author, however, I can’t say - given that Dicks turned in a late, under-length manuscript and then buggered off on holiday, I wouldn’t be surprised if editor Justin Richards was responsible

for Endgame’s more triumphant touches.


And so for a novel that’s author couldn’t bother to finish it, Endgame is, astonishingly, really quite an enjoyable read. Bright, breezy and almost farcically frivolous, this one isn’t even in the same league as its lofty peers, but there’s still no need to burn it after reading.


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.



For the eighth Doctor, this story takes place approximately seven years after the end of The Turing Test. Following Alan Turing’s suicide three years after the events of this novel, the Doctor resumes the dragon

hunt told of in The Year of Intelligent Tigers before taking refuge in a Tibetan monastery, where he would remain until 1962. Thereafter little is known of the Doctor’s exploits prior the 1980s, though the short story Mordieu posited that the Doctor would spend some of the intervening years working as movie screenwriter

in Hollywood (a plausible conceit, given his literary aspirations explored in Wolfsbane).


The prologue featuring the seventh Doctor and Ace at the Festival of Britain takes place just after the events

of the novel Timewyrm: Exodus.


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