STORY PLACEMENT

 THIS STORY TAKES

 PLACE BETWEEN THE

 NOVELS "PRIME TIME"

 AND "LOVING THE

 ALIEN."

   

 WRITTEN BY

 DALE SMITH

 

 RECOMMENDED 

 PURCHASE

 OFFICIAL BBC 'PAST

 DOCTOR' PAPERBACK

 (ISBN 0-563-53864-3)

 RELEASED IN OCTOBER

 2002.

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

  

 BLURB 

 Nobody EVER visits

 Heritage. Why would

 they? Dry, dusty and

 hot, itís nothing but a

 failed mining colony

 too stupid to realise

 that itís actually

 dead. No-one wants

 to visit, least of all

 Ace. But the Doctorís

 got his hearts set on

 a flying visit. Thatís

 when he finds out

 that Heritage wants

 visitors just as much

 as visitors want IT.

 

 AND SECRETS DO have

 a way of unearthing

 THEMSELVES when the

 Doctor's around...

 

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Heritage

OCTOBER 2002

 

 

                                                       

 

 

Heritage is a thought-provoking and absorbing tale, full of kitchen-sink angst

and plenty of atmosphere to boot. Against the back drop of a Western-style dry county in space, here Dale Smith explores what it must be like to be the Doctor; what it must be like

to bear the weight of all the things that he has done, not to mention the weight of the things that he will have to do.

 

I like how the playwright picks up where Mike Tucker left off in Prime Time - i.e. with the Doctor having dug up the body of Aceís dead future self - and really runs with the ball. The Doctorís struggle to deal with the inevitable is truly fascinating to read about, especially

when contrasted with the harsh reality of Melís death (which we learn occurred long after

the events of Dragonfire and, if Iím reading between the lines correctly, Head Games too -

at least from Melís perspective. From the Doctor and Aceís perspective, Head Games hasnít happened yet!).

 

ďThatís the trouble with time travel; you never quite know all the answers...Ē

 

The nuts and bolts of Heritage work pretty well too. Bernard the bastard killer dolphin is

an absolute gem of a character, and I also liked Cole, the semi-robotic barman. Iím less

sure as to the wisdom of giving Mel a daughter - especially one sickeningly christened ĎSweetnessí - but within the confines of this story, the reveal serves as a beautiful coda

to the Doctorís quandary.

 

I donít know why I picked up Heritage with relatively low expectations Ė perhaps the below-par cover illustration and rather dreary blurb had something to do with it Ė because on the whole I was really rather impressed with it.

 

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 novelís blurb offers no guidance as to its placement, however the story itself makes it explicit that it is set after the Doctorís discovery of the near-future Aceís corpse in Prime Time, but prior to his investigation into her death as depicted in Loving the Alien. We have therefore placed it between the two.

 

As well as telling of her death, this novel also suggests that Mel time travels again following the events of Head Games, which for the Doctor hasnít happened yet (ďThatís the trouble with time travel; you never quite know all the answers. Iím still not entirely sure how she ended up in this time period, you know. Maybe it means Iíll meet her again...Ē) That novel saw Mel return home to 20th century Earth having lost faith in the Doctor and Ace.

 

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