About the Author:
David Banks (not to be confused with the incompetent arsehole of the same name who used to be my boss at ReFurnish) has worked extensively as an actor, including playing Graeme Curtis in the soap opera Brookside and playing the Cyberleader throughout the 1980s in Doctor Who.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
3 out of 5
The New Doctor Who Adventures: Iceberg
Book eighteen. An original adventure featuring the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). A cruise ship on its maiden voyage and a scientific research station at the South Pole both become endangered as the Cybermen make another play for control of the Earth. However, the humans are given a fighting chance by the timely arrival of a strange little man calling himself the Doctor.
This is a difficult book to get into to begin with. It starts with retellings of 'The Invasion' (novelised by Ian Marter) and 'The Tenth Planet' (novelised by Gerry Davis) that are so oblique as to be nearly impenetrable. If I hadn't read those novelisations relatively recently, I genuinely would've had no clue what the beginning of this book was about.
It doesn't get much better when the main story kicks off because the Doctor and his cybernetic enemies barely show up in the first half of the book. Instead we get a very slow-burn introduction to the new characters whose activities form the core of the plot. Dedicating that much time to establishing characters and situations isn't necessarily a bad thing but if, like me, you picked up the book for its promise of Time Lord versus Cybermen, then the first hundred and fifty pages feels a bit like you've been cheated.
The second half is significantly better and, whilst having gotten to know the new characters is an important factor of that, I still felt that you could've shaved a hundred pages off the beginning of the book and still got the same effect. Suffice to say though, that when the Doctor and the Cybermen do turn up, it's worth the wait. Even if, for some bizarre reason, the Doctor is flying around in a splinter-TARDIS which looks like a jade pagoda.
3 out of 5