THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
TV STORY "PLANET OF
FINISH AUDIO DRAMA
OFFICIAL BBC 'PAST
RELEASED IN AUGUST
the Doctor and Peri
become caught up in
the QUEST FOR the
As I read page 257 of “The Ultimate Treasure”, I could not help but chuckle. The quotation cited below sums up Christopher Bulis’ first novel for BBC Books rather fittingly; too fittingly, perhaps.
“Through here is the ultimate treasure.
It is beyond meaningful description, limit, or measure, to make of what you will.
But nevertheless, I expect many of you will be disappointed at what you find…”
On the one hand, BBC Books’ third jaunt into the Doctor’s past is a notable success. Bulis’ novel captures the very essence of those gaudy, pantomime-esque studio-bound serials
that Doctor Who would, on occasion, churn out during the 1980s. “The Ultimate Treasure” is a bright and breezy romp; a treasure hunt with a twist, populated by a wide array of colourful characters. Think “Dragonfire”, with perhaps just a touch of “Meglos”, and you will be there or thereabouts.
And herein lies the rub – Bulis’ novel reads like a novelisation of one of the 1980s more maligned serials. Unfortunately though, whereas the Target novelisation of something like “Warriors of the Deep” would arguably improve upon the television story, “The Ultimate Treasure” seems to suffer from existing solely in print. Prose just does not seem appropriate somehow. As a comic book strip or even a low budget television serial, I cannot help but
feel that I would have enjoyed this one more.
That said, “The Ultimate Treasure” does have its moments. Falstaff is a relatively intriguing character throughout, and the appearance of Kamelion right at the death really did surprise me (though I am sure it will not surprise you now. Sorry). Best of all though, Bulis sets aside
a few pages to really induct Peri into the Doctor’s life. Here she explores the near infinite interior of the TARDIS. She wonders at it taking off and landing. She even gets some new threads, which presumably she discards prior to “The Caves of Androzani”!
All told though, I would not recommend this one. Bulis has some much better novels out there to immerse yourself in and so, unless you really feel like wallowing in something that might
as well have been part of season twenty-four, “The Ultimate Treasure” is one to avoid.
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 novel’s blurb suggests that it takes place between the television serials Planet of Fire and The Caves of Androzani. As the text makes it explicit that only a few days have passed since the events of Planet of Fire, we have placed it directly afterwards.
Unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are copyrighted to the BBC and are used solely for promotional purposes.
‘Doctor Who’ is copyright © by the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.