Doctor Who Extended Media Review – The Complete History Volume #17

Doctor Who The Complete History was a series of hardback volumes which came out every two weeks and covered 3-4 stories each. These were in-depth volumes covering the production of each episode from the first in 1963 to the end of the Peter Capaldi era of the show. In addition to the extensive production notes there were also merchandise and publicity updates and actor profiles. The quality of each volume was exceptional overseen by several different editors. The volumes were only available in the UK and Ireland so were difficult to obtain in other locations. I am more of a Watsonian fan but if you are a Doyalist you will greatly appreciate these books. Even so I give the entire series a solid 8 out of 10. I will rate each episode covered below.

The Colony in Space sees the Doctor and Jo traveling to another planet in the Tardis for the first time in the Third Doctor era. The story is a well paced narrative featuring miners, colonizers and indigenous inhabitants. Everything is fine until the totally unnecessary appearance of the Master. One of the worst creative decisions was to include The Master in every episode of the season. This being the fourth story of the season he was very much outstaying his welcome. The plot and characterization of the miners and colonizers and the commentary on the colonization mindset is well thought out 8 out of 10.

The Daemons is considered one of the Third Doctor’s stellar stories and it does not disappoint. This is the ultimate UNIT story with The Brigadier, Mike Yates, and John Benton all getting a lot to do. Even the Master’s presence is warranted by the plot. I’m with the Brigadier Lets have a pint 8 out of 10.

Day of the Daleks was the first return of the Daleks since the Second Doctor story The Evil of the Daleks. A nice commentary on terrorism and a good use of time travel make this a well paced story 7 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Mutant 59: The Plastic Eaters by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis

Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis were the creators of the Cybermen. Their novel Mutant 59 was published in 1972, it is a non-Doctor Who related novel in the vein of The Andromeda Strain about a mutant plastic eating bacteria.

The novel is an example of the science themed novels of the early 1970s. Think Andromeda Strain, Colossus or Coma. Plastic components of various systems begin to fail in Central London and across the world. Several different strands of narrative come together linking a new biodegradable plastic with a mutant strain of bacteria that eats plastic resulting in numerous disasters all graphically described. I found the characters lacking clear throughlines as there was too much bouncing around from one protagonist to the next. A nice pastiche was in the middle of the novel when the person in charge of the evacuation of London was referred to only as the Brigadier. The theme of the novel was interesting and the science was believable 7 out of 10.