About the Author:
Craig Hinton was born in London, UK in 1964. He has worked as a mainframe programmer, a technical writer, manager of an IT testing facility and a magazine editor.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
3 out of 5
Doctor Who: Synthespians TM
A Past Doctor Adventure featuring the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) and his companion Peri. A disturbance in the Time Vortex causes the TARDIS to land unexpectedly in what appears to be 1960s London. However, the Doctor and Peri soon learn that they've arrived on a space station in the far future whose inhabitants are obsessed with the television of the 20th Century. But behind the artificial environments, the artificial lifestyles and the artificial smiles lies a plot by an old enemy of the Doctor.
The Sixth is a largely unpopular incarnation of the Doctor, Peri is a frequently vapid companion and the last book I read featuring the Autons ('Autonomy' by Daniel Blythe) was a huge disappointment. This meant that this book had an uphill battle to begin with and overall it turns out fine. It's not great, but it's not bad either.
I have to say that the personality of the Sixth Doctor doesn't shine through too strongly here, which may be an attempt by Hinton to play down his less popular character traits but which left the Doctor we see here feeling oddly unengaging. On the other hand, Peri proves to be a far more interesting and proactive character here than some of her appearances, achieved largely by her ability to engage with the 1980s valley girl vibe of the world she finds herself in, making her seem more confident than she often does. The Autons (and, by extension, the Nestene Consciousness) are also done great justice here, actually being made to feel like threatening antagonists, unlike in that other book I mentioned. Interestingly, albeit probably unintentionally, this 2004 book feeds quite nicely into the Nestene's appearance in the debut episode of the revived TV series, 2005's 'Rose' (novelised by Russell T. Davies), as well as showing Time Lord society becoming actively militarised in the run up to the last Great Time War (again, this was probably not something the author intended, which makes it all the more interesting).
A bit of good, a bit of bad and overall just fine.
3 out of 5