Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

July Books 29) The Sorcerer's Apprentice; 30) City at World's End

29) The Sorcerer's Apprentice, by Christopher Bulis
30) City at World's End, by Christopher Bulis

Two First Doctor novels featuring the original TARDIS crew of Ian, Barbara and Susan, one of them a Virgin Missing Adventure from 1995, the other a BBC book from 1999, but both with the same author.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is quite a neat story of the Doctor and companions appearing on a planet where knights, dragons, elves, dwarves and leprechauns all appear to thrive; yet at the same time they are under threat of invasion and domination by the local galactic empire. The bad guy's name is Marton Dahl, which of course must be a salute to Peter Purves' portrayal of Morton Dill in The Chase. It all tied together rather pleasingly, with certain reservations which I will come back to.

City at World's End was less successful for me. Again I thought Bulis had done very well in portraying the setting, a rain-drenched planet which is doomed to destruction in the near future, and the populace hoping to escape rather as in Utopia. But the various human (and AI) factions were rather confusingly portrayed as to their means and motivation. There's a nice nod to Planet of Giants at the end (the novel is set before that and immediately after The Reign of Terror).

Also, a peculiar common quirk: The Sorcerer's Apprentice featured a medieval culture without religion (and then didn't make much of it) while City at World's End has a very nasty church set-up, not quite consistent with the sort of hi-tech modern world we are otherwise being shown.

Both are decent enough books, with the first being better than the second. But I haven't yet read a novel that really got to grips with Hartnell's Doctor: so much of his performance was gesture, mannerism, bearing, visual cues, that perhaps it is impossible to capture on the printed page.
Tags: bookblog 2007, doctor who, doctor who: 01, writer: christopher bulis

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