THIS NOVEL TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
TV EPISODE "LOVE &
MONSTERS" AND THE
NOVEL "THE ART OF
OFFICIAL BBC HARDBACK
RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER
On a lonely stretch
of Welsh coastline
a fisherman is killed
by a hideous creature
from beneath the SEA.
When the Doctor and
Rose arrive, they
discover a village
where children are
plagued by nightmar-
es, and the nights are
ruled by monsters.
As the nightmares
get worse, The Doctor
and Rose discover a
plot to resurrect an
ancient, ALIEN evil...
Nightmare of Black Island continues the strong start to the tenth Doctor’s
era in print, Mike Tucker’s novel capturing the essence of the 2006 series on the page splendidly. For some reason this surprised me, as before I’d even picked up this book I
had subconsciously pre-judged it - how could Mr ‘seventh Doctor and Ace’ possibly write
for anyone else? Of course, I should’ve realised that a writer with the talent to portray a television duo so wonderfully in prose could quite easily do it again with two completely different characters (well, one completely different, and....)
Tucker’s story is ripped straight out of the Do-
ctor Who textbook. The dark and foreboding
(and aptly, Welsh) locale evokes memories of
stories like Horror of Fang Rock whilst the plot
itself is nothing short of inspired. Doctor Who
has always been famous for giving children nightmares, and in this story the Doctor actually has to face the physical manifestation of children’s nightmares.
Without a doubt though, the best thing about this book is Rose. Whilst Tucker does imbue the Doctor with David Tennant’s inimitable characteristics, it is Rose that steals the show. The Nightmare of Black Island is set late on the season, at a stage around the time of
Fear Her where Rose is almost as formidable an opponent as the Doctor. Moreover, her relationship with the little girl, Ali, shows a side to her that we’ve not really seen that much
of before; a caring, sisterly, almost maternal quality, which really makes what Jackie has to say to her in Army of Ghosts all the more gut wrenching.
My only real criticism of this book is that the Cynrog (how Welsh does that sound!) are far
too similar to the Raxacoricofallapatorians to really impress. If you’re going to rip off their gimmick, why not just pay Russell T Davies a few quid in royalties and actually use the Raxacoricofallapatorians? I don’t think that if I was a ‘young adult’ reading this book the wholly derivative villains would bother me too much, but as a grown-up it is disappointing. Doctor Who literally has no boundaries, and so there aren’t really all that many excuses for recycling ideas. That said, hammer in a few Nestene and Dalek cameos and you will win over a few fickle fans, myself included.
However, whilst The Nightmare of Black Island is a good, solid tie-in novel, I still wouldn’t
go shouting about it. This is one that does what is says on the tin, and does it well… but nothing more.
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.
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