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'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.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
Without the reference to Benny's loss, how would the reader understand why the Doctor decides to become human?

I liked the book better than the show. I think had they skipped the one silly "He had to fall in love with a human" line.." I would have thought the television adaptation perfect, even with the Doctor so insenstive or clueless to his Companion, that he has Martha masquerade as his parent's servant, rather than his or their ward, but I did understand Cornell wanted Martha to shine as a companion, as one who could and did stand on her own in the face of a hostile envioronment, working with little or no information about the enemy she face, and no help from the Doctor whatsoever. He also stated that he wanted to add realism, and we could talk and debate all year about how merely stating that in those times people were prejudice unintentionally disregard the story of any character of color who lived in those times, but I will not. My favorite Seven novel is Lungbarrow, but I enjoyed Human Nature as well. I would have loved to have heard Ten tell Martha-- as Seven tells Bernice in the book- that they would face the Family together as always Smith and Jones, but I also, after a year of sulking, realized that Davies wanted to create an emotional rift between the Doctor and Martha that couldn't be healed. Enjoy the show.

Edited at 2013-01-27 04:21 pm (UTC)
Jan. 27th, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
The book meant a lot to me at the time I read it, amd I still think it was one of the best DW novels. The Tenth Doctor version made me terribly resentful, unfortunately; my anger at it probably makes no sense, but there you go.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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