'I've discovered a lot in the last few weeks,' Smith began. 'I've found out that being the Doctor... it's not about having special knowledge or abilities. It's about not being cruel. It's about not being afraid.' He walked into the middle of the clearing, searching for the right words. 'There are monsters out there, yes. Terrible things. But you don't have to become one in order to defeat them. You can be peaceful in the face of their cruelty. You can win by being cleverer than they are.'This is still the only Who novel to have been adapted for television rather than the other way round. I first read it, gulp, seven years ago - the first Seventh Doctor novel I ever read - and would have been rereading it anyway as I shall be rewatching the TV episode soon.
Now that I have read the previous 37 New Adventures, I still think this is one of the best in the series. It is better than most Who novels as a standalone (though Niall Harrison found the continuity heavy going), the major reference to previous novels being to Benny's loss of her lover in the Albigensian crusade. The Doctor is absent from most of the book and needs to be explained to his own alter ego, John Smith, whose final sacrifice is very effective.
An easy Bechdel pass with Benny bantering with a group of women at a bar in the prologue.