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Justin Richards is the Terrance Dicks of our day, in that he has written far more Doctor Who books than anyone should want to, and his good ones are classics while his less good ones are at least average.

System Shock doesn't quite make it to being better than average, unfortunately. The Doctor and Sarah Jane arrive in London in 1998 to find aliens invading and Harry Sullivan now senior in MI5. The aliens are amusingly addicted to management-speak, and there are some nice riffs on the digital culture of the era. But inserting the quintessentially 70s characters of the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith into a late 1990s setting is a bold stroke that somehow doesn't come off, and the presentation of Harry as 20 years older and considerably wiser doesn't quite live up to its promise.

But it was interesting to read this immediately after my post on companions' afterlife, and I shall go on now to a different Harry future in Wolfsbane, having been discussing its ending with the book's author and also Ian Potter on Twitter.

Posted via LjBeetle


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
James Heald
Nov. 10th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
If I remember the book correctly, what amused me most was how closely -- in the best traditions of the Hinchcliffe era -- much of the action seemed very much in 'hommage' to an underlying film source: in this case the 1982 SAS-storm-the-Embassy pic _"Who Dares Wins"_, to the extent IIRC of there even being walk-on mentions of a Sergeant Lewis and a Sergeant Collins.

I also remember thinking that a number of the Doctor scenes seemed patterned /very/ closely on bits from TV stories of the era: Android Invasion, Terror of the Zygons, etc.

But then it was one of his first books.

Nov. 11th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
That is all fair comment. I also noted a hat-tip to The War Machines.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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