Saturday, 13 November 2010
Shadowmind by Christopher Bulis (Virgin New Adventure)
The Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice go on holiday to New Byzantium and encounter a sinister plot to duplicate humans.
Shadowmind is very much on the 'Trad,' rather than the 'Rad' side of the fence amongst New Adventure novels. It is a fairly traditional Doctor Who story using the very conventional theme of alien duplicates of human beings. This gives us room for the kind of Body Snatchers paranoia of The Faceless Ones.
Its a fairly interesting story, but it is not the most well-written of New Adventures. The combat scenes are dreadfully tedious. The original characters are not terribly interesting. NA Ace is portrayed as gung-ho as ever, but is kept free from angst. Bernice is not given an awful lot to do in this story. Christopher Bulis has not got a good feel for the Seventh Doctor. He makes him a little more arrogant than usual and a good deal less interesting.
Umbra, the alien villain is a typical New Adventures astral entity. He is fun and fairly well characterised. The alien race, the Shenn are quite interesting too.
If you are a New Adventures fanatic like me, you will want to track down a copy. If you are not, you need not bother.