August 6th, 2013


August Books 3) The Wages of Sin, by David A. McIntee

Hurrah! Another Liz Shaw story, as the Dctor, newly freed by the Time Lords, takes her and Jo for a spin. Liz being Liz, she asks to see the Tunguska Event; the Tardis being the Tardis, they arrive instead a few years later in St Petersburg just in time to get embroiled in the assassination of Rasputin (to which I have a mild family connection). As usual, McIntee's historical research is superb and detailed, without crowding out the regular characters; I'd have liked more banter between Liz and Jo, but I enjoyed what we got, Liz as the more serious cerebral type occasionally wrong-footed by Jo's stronger practicality; and the ethical dilemma of non-interference with history is brought home to the Doctor rather brutally at the end. Rather more (implied) sex and (explicit) violence than most Who books, but rather difficult to write a book on this topic without it.

I'm trying to think of any other "pure historical" Third Doctor story, and coming up blank, which is actually a little surprising.