Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
The Stealers of Dreams: Steve Lyons, April 24—26, 2014
My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊
Stealers of Dreams is an odd one. The concept is there: a world where fiction is banned. Utterers of non-facts are treated there like the murderers of small kittens here, applying to everything from books and television to superlatives in advertising or mere speculation in conversation.
Naturally, an underground TV station has sprung up to advance the fiction cause for the infidels who quite like it and, on arrival, the Doctor et al are instant sympathisers.
There’s more complexity built into the treatment of the defectors, who are considered to be criminally insane by society.
Despite a promising storyline, the writing just sucks. Jack gets the best of a bad bunch being able to tote some gun, and even reference The Face of Boe (Lyons might have time travelled himself!). The Doctor wanders about with his hands behind his back “making a documentary”, while Rose is the subject of a newly-infatuated fiction fanatic.
Essentially, Lyons hasn’t really worked out how the storyline will unfold. He knows the world and the situation but can’t navigate the characters through it; the idea is so much better than the end result and it makes it a bit of a drag. The payoff comes at the end, when the fullness of his plot is made clear, as a reward for getting there.
Some clever and intriguing ideas, and a very clear pro-fiction message that can apply to our world, wrapped up in poor writing that lets it down.