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Doctor Who: Players Paperback – April 23, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Doctor Who (Book 172)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 50 Anv edition (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849905215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849905213
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Terrance Dicks worked on scripts for The Avengers as well as other series before becoming Assistant and later full Script Editor of Doctor Who from 1968. Dicks worked on the entirety of the Jon Pertwee Third Doctor era of the programme, and then turned to writing for the show, scripting Tom Baker's first story as the Fourth Doctor. Terrance has written many original Doctor Who novels for BBC Books.

Customer Reviews

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Well written, easily read, very entertaining - RECOMMENDED to all.
Daniel Firli
It's nice to see him and all but if this were the TV show they would have just dispensed with the whole scene in a tossed off aside.
Michael Battaglia
And even if you aren't a fan, try this novel and maybe your mind will be changed.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although 'Castrophea' was very disappointing, 'Players', written by veteran TV writer Terrance Dicks, is very much a return to form.
It was very brave for Dicks to write a book set in a period which he has never written for. His characterisation of the Sixth Doctor and Peri are excellent, and Winston Churchill is very believable, although his characterisation of the Second Doctor is a bit hit and miss.
All in all, this book is very good, and anyone who is a fan of the sixth Doctor, and Terrance Dicks, should definitely buy it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Larry Bridges on September 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, the good things about this book: The concept of the Doctor meeting Winston Churchill is a superb one, and it's surprising it took so long for someone to use it. It seems very approprite that the writer to finally chronicle this epochal meeting (or rather, meetings) was Terrance Dicks, the "grand old man" of "Doctor Who" fiction. The interaction between the Doctor and Churchill is very enjoyable, and the way the book is structured around three different periods in Churchill's life (the Boer War, World War I and the Abdication Crisis) is exciting and deeply evocative for a Churchill fan like me, reminding us of the variety of experiences Churchill lived through in his ninety years. As a "Doctor Who" fan and Churchill aficionado I would have stood up and applauded when I read the passage in which Peri notes how alike Churchill and the Doctor are, an observation which had occurred to me often before, except that I was reading the book on a bus!

The continuity references to the TV series and earlier books are handled extremely well, enriching the story without getting in the way. I had never liked the so-called "Season 6b" concept (the idea suggested by some fans that the Second Doctor actually had many further adventures between "The War Games" and "Spearhead from Space") and had anticipated being annoyed by its being made "canonical" in this book, but the panache with which Dicks handles this part of the story won me over. The appearance of a character from "Blood Harvest" is also well handled, and can be appreciated either as a reference "back" to "Blood Harvest" by people who have read that book or as a reference "forward" (since "Blood Harvest" takes place later on the Doctor's timeline) by those, like me, who have not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on July 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not usually a big fan of Doctor Who stories where the main characters have adventures with historical figures. Not to say that this situation can't be and hasn't been done well, but the usual result is that the historical events end up being cheapened and the sense of history never gets properly conveyed. So when I read on the back-cover blurb of PLAYERS that the Doctor and Peri were going to be having adventures with (among other people) Winston Churchill, I hoped that I wouldn't be disappointed with the result.
Thankfully, I wasn't. Terrance Dicks has done a wonderful job of making his Churchill appear like the historical figure he was and doesn't let him fall into the trap of being just another character who happens to have a famous name. By allowing us to view Churchill over the course of several decades, a real sense of history is established. This lets us view Churchill in the proper context; he's a real person who has done hundreds of things before without contact with the Doctor. He has his own life and his own place in the history books. This may seem like a simple thing to setup, but I've seen far too many instances where this background isn't established and the result is that there is no connection between the real person and the fictional version used in the story. Dicks passes with flying colours here. With the periodic dips into Churchill's timeline it seems more like the Doctor is jumping in and out of Churchill's personal biography rather than just pulling Churchill into his own otherworldly adventures.
The story itself is straightforward without being totally simplistic. Aliens (the Players of the title) are attempting to manipulate the course of human history for their own bored amusement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Peri declares herself disgruntled at the end of an adventure, the Doctor asks what it will take to gruntle her again. As king for elegance, the Doctor suggests England at the end of the 19th century. And it is at the end of the 19th century they arrive, but not in England. Instead, they arrive in South Africa, at the beginning of the Boer War, and soon find themselves in the company of a war correspondent by the name of Winston Churchill...
This book introduces the Players, a group of shadowy beings who play games by manipulating the fates of people and countries. Terrance Dicks reuses them in his Eighth Doctor novel, 'Endgame', but this is their first appearance and hence sets the tone for the latter novel.
It also sets a pattern followed by the later 'Divided Loyalties', which is to say the book has three parts, the first and last featuring one incarnation of the Doctor (here, the Sixth) and the middle an earlier one (in this case, the Second). This is a fairly satisfying arrangement, as we get to see more than one incarnation without having to go through all the hoopla of having two different incarnations meet.
It also re-uses some supporting characters from the last Second Doctor serail, 'The War Games'. While the return of Lieutenant Carstairs and Lady Jennifer is no doubt a bonus for Who fans, I don't believe casual readers would find this in anyway a problem. And then there's Tom Dekker, from 'Blood Harvest', a Seventh Doctor novel. The Sixth Doctor's era seemed particularly concerned with the shows continuity, but I'm pleased to say this book uses continuity as it should: as a reward to those who follow the series without isolating casual readers.
I am sometimes critical of Terrance Dicks writing, but not with this book: it seems like he had had a break from writing Who and leapt back into it with relish.
On all counts, a worthy addition to the series.
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