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Imperial Moon (Doctor Who Series) Paperback – August 15, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)
  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Pubns; First Ed edition (August 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563538015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563538011
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,267,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ed Matuskey on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
The 5th Doctor, Turlough, and Kamelion (though he's 'off-screen' for most of the story) join up with a British space expedition to the moon--in the late 19th century. What are the British doing in space almost a century before Sputnik & Gemini? What is the secret of the tropical pocket they've discovered hidden on the dark side of the moon?
I'm a big steampunk fan (modern science incorporated into a Victorian setting), so I was inclined to like this story from the start. Along with the steampunk elements, there are traces of pulp science fiction reminiscent of the 1920's (beautiful alien women trapped in a fantastic jungle on the far side of the moon, for example) that make this a very fun read.
There are a few weak spots, however--certain conflicts are resolved too easily, the final twist is fairly obvious, and the whole thing wraps up far too neatly for my tastes. And, for those who care about such things, this is not a 5th Doctor story per se--it's a story with the 5th Doctor in it. On the plus side, this means that Turlough and some of the other supporting characters get some good development (though a couple who need it don't). Finally, a couple times events just happen for no good reason that I can see (one character dies of a heart attack fairly early--no real need to, except that it's important for that character to not be around at the end of the story).
Literary critiques aside, however, this is, all-in-all, a good, fun story, with a Doctor/Companion mix that's not too common in the novelizations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen R. Crow on October 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
...you'll like Imperial Moon. It might have the steampunk/Jules Verne trappings, but it reads like something out of a Flash Gordon serial. Cliffhangers, attractive alien princesses (a whole race of them, of course!), clanky robots, evil aliens, a man and a woman fighting in an arena of death, strange yet oddly-familiar alien landscapes.
In fact, the oddest part here is probably the Doctor and companions, who necessitate some rather odd add-ons to become part of the story. The whole "we have a diary of the expedition's future before we meet them" seems kinda like a waste. It's an interesting idea, mind you, but it doesn't really add much to the story except for the brief bit with Turlough trying to assure the "right" future from the diary comes about. Kamelion the shape-shifting robot is similarly wasted except for a brief bit.
The best part of the novel is probably the expedition and the events surrounding--it's not really much of a Doctor Who novel, although it probably couldn't be expected without a DW framing structure.
Generally, an okay novel. The Doctor doesn't have much character, but that's how many writers tend to write him. DW and steampunk fans will probably like it, although I suspect you'd have to be an afficianado of both to really get into it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Surowiecki on September 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Christopher Bulis' "Imperial Moon" starts off as a lovely homage to Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Britain lands on the Moon in the year 1878. It is the Moon of early films and some early beliefs. Dense jungle and dangerous wildlife. Her Majesty's astral ships: Lynx, Draco and Cygnus carry their crews into the unknown and adventure.
Enter the fifth incarnation of the Doctor and his companion Turlough, who discover the moon landing when they cross over their own temporal wake. A never heard before alarm goes off within the TARDIS and the Doctor produces a small battered journal from a time safe. It is the account of the British moon landing.
This adventure in and of itself was a pleasant read. However, very much like the series of the time, the character of Kamelion was never used to his full potential. Kamelion has the ability to assume any form set forth by its controller, but I think rather than use his imagination to its fullest extent, Mr. Bulis conveniently left poor Kamelion onboard the TARDIS with nothing to do but make the prerequisite cameo in the beginning and end.
Also by this time in the series, the character of Turlough had long since been an accepted member of the TARDIS crew and wasn't nearly as cowardly or self-centered as he is made out to be in "Imperial Moon". Granted, the sequence where he "borrows" the journal of Captain Richard Haliwell in order to impress the Doctor by his leadership skills was a dead-on interpetation. It's just that some of the other Turlough sequences I found to be lacking. On the plus side for Turlough, there's even a possible love interest in the form of an alien named Lytalia. She is a member of the Phiadoran race. I think Turlough really wants to impress this woman I more than the Doctor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
'Imperial Moon' is a Doctor Who story set in 1878, which features the British conquest of space by its first manned moon flights. Whether this is an alternate universe, someone tampering with history, or some other explanation is one of the nubs of the story.
Being set in 1878, Christopher Bulis has drawn from the literature of the time for the feel of the story. The ghosts of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, H. Rider Haggard and Arthur Conan Doyle appear to have been whispering in Mr. Bulis' ear. However, in advancing the story and bringing it to its conclusion, it is contemporary science fiction of Doctor Who that sets the tone.
The Doctor is in his fifth incarnation (portrayed on TV by Peter Davison) and is assisted by the less than trust-inspiring pairing of Turlough (who joined the TARDIS crew to kill the Doctor for the Black Guardian) and Kamelion (a former slave of the Master). Like in real life, Kamelion plays a relatively minor role (the Kamelion robot proved too problematic to use prominently in filming the series), so it largely falls to the Doctor and Turlough, and their astral mariner allies, to deal with the mysteriously populated jungle crater on the lunar surface.
The novel has obviously been well thought through by Mr. Bulis, who displays his influences proudly, and the moral dilemma of Turlough is well-portrayed and within the established scope of his character. The portrayal of the Victorian characters is good, and I especially enjoyed the inclusion of Queen Victoria and her gillie, John Brown, who open the book and... but that would be telling!
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