THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
"ICEBERG," AND "THE
OFFICIAL VIRGIN 'NEW
RELEASED IN OCTOBER
an UNKNOWN force
ATTACKS THE TARDIS;
Bernice is flung into
the Vortex; and the
Doctor and Ace FIND
LANDING ON WHAT
APPEARS TO BE A
TheRE they meet the
leading the remnants
of UNIT in a hopeless
fight against the
Silurians who rule
And they find out that
it all began when the
Blood Heat is premium Who. Jim Mortimore, co-author of the acclaimed Lucifer Rising, presents possibly the most alluring pitch that the New Adventures have offered up
to date: what if the Doctor had died during the events of The Silurians, and the eponymous Eocenes had gone on to reclaim the Earth? It’s certainly a tantalising premise, and it’s one that the author really milks for all its worth.
Mortimore does an exceptional
job at bringing the post-modern,
prehistoric yet contemporary
Earth to life, as well as exploring
all the pertinent issues that the
existence of such a parallel Earth
raises. Just how far would an
embittered Lethbridge-Stewart go to win back his planet? How would Ace react to this world and the people in it – particularly those who are still alive in it, but not in her reality? And how would the Doctor react to someone meddling with time on such a grand scale?
With so much going on, it would’ve been easy for the plot of Blood Heat to have become convoluted and confusing or sodden with exposition, but Mortimore masterfully weaves his threads into a character-based drama which, above all else, feels unequivocally real.
Quite ironically for a novel released not that long after editor Peter Darvill-Evans’ essay in Deceit, this book debunks Darvill-Evans’ claim that no-one cares about “what goes on in someone else’s universe”. Almost every major character in this book is written with such depth and such a gritty sense of realism that the reader cares about them, and ultimately about the fate of the reality that they inhabit. These characters are a far cry from being the amusing but unsympathetic caricatures of Inferno – they’re the heroes of the UNIT era, put through thirty years of hell and still fighting.
The only real gripe that I have with Blood Heat is that I dislike the episodic format of the novel - the story’s six lengthy ‘parts’ are much harder to swallow than traditional chapters would have been. I was also a bit disappointed that we didn’t see much of Benny until near the end of the novel, though I should say that when she does eventually appear, Mortimore uses her explosively. Amongst her selfless heroics, she even ends up misquoting the fifth Doctor: “But I’m going to die anyway, so you see, I can’t let you stop me now!”
All told, this wonderful adventure that looks to both the past and the future of Doctor Who is a fitting way to celebrate the run up to the show’s thirtieth Anniversary. Forget your 3D specs – this is where the heart is.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
This story sees the Doctor lose his original TARDIS in a tar pit, replacing it with the alternative third Doctor’s model. The Doctor would later regain his original TARDIS in Happy Endings.
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