Minchin, Brian


2 out of 5

(1 book)

Doctor Who: The Forgotten Army

An original story featuring the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companion Amy Pond.  Arriving in present day New York (or, at least, present day New York when the present day was 2010) the Doctor and Amy soon find themselves facing down a 10,000 year old revivified mammoth.  However, things get even stranger when the mammoth turns out to just be the first act in an invasion by the Vykoids, an alien race with the power to manipulate time and who stand just seven centimetres tall.

Cutting right to the chase, this is a bad book. 

Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that this is a bad Doctor Who book.  The reason for this is a frankly ludicrous premise that would make even Steven Moffat at his worst blush.  The initial idea of a mammoth running amok in New York isn't great, but it is at least intriguing in a way which the author seems to studiously avoid.  Why follow up on the premise of a revived prehistoric beast in a logical way when, instead, it can turn out that the mammoth is actually a spaceship housing an army of miniature aliens?  And since that doesn't make things nonsensical enough; have the aliens able to move so fast they can't be seen so that, amid their military invasion they can put a miniskirt on a police officer.  Hilarious, right?  Wrong.

It's all just utter nonsense and not even self-aware nonsense.  Perhaps if it had been written as a farce, a la Terry Pratchett, rather than a Doctor Who novel it might have been better.  But instead we're supposed to accept that this is a story which genuinely inhabits the same universe as the Daleks attempting genocide or the Cybermen brutally removing people's brains.  There's also some enormous plot holes and several instances where Minchin proves his grasp of science isn't great either.

The only reason I've given this book two out of five, instead of one, is because the only thing the author gets right is his spot-on interpretation of Matt Smith's clownish, stream-of-consciousness Doctor.

2 out of 5


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