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Doctor Who: The Price Of Paradise (Doctor Who (BBC)) Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2012
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About the Author
Colin Brake has worked as a writer and script editor in the television business for twenty years. He has worked on shows as diverse as EastEnders, Trainer and Bugs, and written scripts for many programmes including over thirty episodes of the BBC daytime soap Doctors. He lives in Leicester with his wife Kerry, their two children Cefn and Kassia and two Cornish Rex.
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Taking place during the time of the Tenth Doctor, he and his companion, Rose, arrive on Laylora - the Paradise Planet. Where the peace-loving natives live in harmony with their environment. But our heroes soon find that the once-perfect eco-system is showing signs of failing. The locals fear there's a connection between a team of human explorers who have crash-landed on the planet. And when ancient creatures begin appearing and attacking both human and alien alike, it's up to the Tardis team to figure out just how they can save both the unwitting explores AND the sickened planet.
These books are pretty much just for fans of Doctor Who, as there's plenty of references to various episodes of the show, so the writing pretty much expects you to already know who the Doctor and Rose are, what the TARDIS is, and so on. These books pretty much play out like a professionally published fan fiction, and all the main characters behave and sound like they would on the show proper. The Laylorians are an interesting race who, despite living off the land with no technology, are far from naive about other worldly visitors, and, for the most part, welcome newcomers with open arms. And the mystery behind the planet itself being sentient in some form is an interesting idea. The starship crew that crashes on the planet, on the other hand, are a bit more bland, and with so many characters, it can be hard to keep track of who is who. Most of them are just there to advance the plot. Which, speaking of, the story itself isn't necessarily bad, but mostly a by-the-numbers adventure with little in the ways of surprises or big twists. The village elder is the closest thing we get to a villain, but he's less a bad guy and more of a guy who's stuck in his old ways of doing things, and winds up doing more harm than good, even if it's for the right reasons. So between the bland characters, weak villain, little in the ways of conflict, and the Doctor and Rose being periodically pushed to the sidelines in favor of following the natives and the human "invaders", we're left with a plot that can be a chore to get through at times.
For the fans of the show who want to have more adventures with their favorite characters, by all means, check out the spin off novels....but this is one that you can definitely skip.
However, all the plot twists are incredibly predictable. Many of them you can see coming from a long way off, but hey, I wasn't looking for plot twists, nor do I generally expect them in Doctor Who, so I have no real problem with this.
In fact, very little in the novel seemed unlike Doctor Who. The Doctor and Rose both stayed very true to the characters in the show. The only part which seemed the tiniest bit out of character for the Doctor was when he suggested he was greatly involved in a final edit of Hamlet. Considering he did meet Shakespeare the 2007 season and they clearly hadn't met before, this idea is a bit out of place, but with a time traveler it's not impossible. The only problem I had with this line was that in "The Shakespeare Code" the Doctor seems to have the greatest respect for Shakespeare and doesn't seem like he'd have ever edited anything the man wrote.
Other than this, there are moments while reading this when I burst out laughing for how true the Doctor was being to his character. All in all, it was a very entertaining tale.
A good travel book. Light, solid, worth a once over. Has the feeling of a young adult novel or a Doctor Who episode from the 60's and 70's.