Blythe, Daniel


2 out of 5

(1 book)

Doctor Who: Autonomy

An original adventure, set between Series 4 and Series 5, featuring the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant).  The Doctor begins investigating Hyperville an all-under-one-roof retail and entertainment complex where several people have died in mysterious circumstances and which seems to have suspiciously advanced technology for 2013 Earth.  He soon discovers that once more the Nestene Consciousness and its Auton minions are making a play for control of the planet.

I will say first off that this is not a bad book, per se.  However, you can probably already read the unstated 'but' in that first sentence.  This book has numerous small problems which, individually, would be minor but collectively add up to weigh it down.  Among these are the fact that there's no mystery to the antagonists being the Autons and that Blythe doesn't do anything new with them either.  In fact, the Doctor's solution to the problem is more or less identical to how he did it in 'Rose' (novelised by Russell T. Davies).  Another one of these problems is that the author hasn't so much captured the character of Tennant's beloved and iconic Doctor as he has created a caricature of him.  The Doctor here reads more like someone doing a Tenth Doctor impression, trotting out all the catchphrases and verbal idiosyncracies, than the Doctor himself.  Like an Auton replica perhaps...

There is one major flaw with this book that outweighs all the others put together though.  I found it to be really boring.  Once, very early on, we get the Doctor and company running away from Autons in a mall, there is pretty much nothing else to this book except that repeated over and over in slightly different settings within Hyperville.  The benefit of print media over the TV series is that you can go a bit deeper than the showy action sequences, but Blythe not only fails to do that but he seems not to understand that just transferring those action sequences into words robs them of what makes them good on TV.

Okay, so maybe this is a bad book after all.

2 out of 5


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