Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man

Banner_DoctorWho

The Clockwise Man: Justin Richards, 11 May–15 June, 2011.

My rating: ♦◊◊◊◊

For a Doctor Who fan, and a novel fan, Doctor Who: The Novel should have been a five-star shoo in. Unfortunately it was a shoo-out-and-exterminate-yourself.

The Ninth Doctor wasn’t much like Christopher Ecclestone’s portrayal. Richards captured his detached confidence well, but no other aspect of his personality was apparent: his passion, his anger, his dry humour or his swagger. Admittedly, it’s hard to recreate a character in print already well etched in the reader’s mind, but had there never been a TV series, had the reader come to this book tabula rasa, then the ‘hero’ would be read as a bland, aloof and essentially pointless character who was as much a Time Lord as he was a stick of celery. His most recognisable features are were the leather jacket and sonic screwdriver, both of which I could don without setting foot on Gallifrey.

Rose was better managed. Her feisty boisterousness shone through along with tinges of empathy and compassion making her a much more well-rounded character. She was so strong the story could have survived with her alone. The remaining cast, with a few exceptions, were a bland menagerie of boring stock characters and red shirt tokens.

The plot itself had the capacity to be a good one. There were various layers and in the hands of a better writer could have been enjoyable. However Richards – unfortunately the Creative Director for the BBC Books Doctor Who Series – created all the atmosphere of a tea party in a morgue. For a huge chunk of the book, nothing happened. Nothing. The Doctor faffed about playing chess and chatting, Rose wandered about feeling inquisitive and by the time the action kicked in, I was almost too fed up to care.

From the attack on the hotel through to the goldfish bowl prison, things were actually good. The action was pacey, the dialogue was snappy, the holder of the upper hand was constantly changing as loyalties were switched, examined and re-examined (even if the treatment of the cats was a bit violent before their secret was revealed). Then the dénouement came. And stayed. And continued some more. The whole Big Ben sequence left me wanting to climb those same stairs and throw myself from the top of London’s most famous clock to end the misery. The climax lasted so unnecessarily long that I would have been quite happy if the Doctor was killed and London vaporised just to reach a conclusion.

The book wasn’t without any merit. Freddie is a brilliant character, and there was a huge and important theme: the nature of humanity. This was explored with some skill that made its point without overegging it and there were beautifully poignant moments that actually present a challenge to ‘human beings’ about humanity itself.

Nevertheless, the reason for the long running time for this novel is due to the sheer effort it took for me to keep picking it up. If I had a TARDIS of my own, I’d go back a few months and throw this book away before I had the chance to read it.

Advertisements

One comment on “Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man

  1. Pingback: Doctor Who: Winner Takes All | Simon's Bookcase

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on June 15, 2011 by in 1 star, Doctor Who and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare