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Delta and the Bannermen

by Malcolm Kohll

Book Review by Scott Walker

Although the TV version of this eighties style Who story was not well received, I fell that this book will be a welcome addition to the ever-increasing Who library.

The book itself is stylishly written, the characters full and well rounded. I found the author's license to be particularly useful in explaining a number of points that were hard to pick up on in the TV version.

The prologue sets the scene for a very good book - The Doctor has a wonderful description, as well as that of Ace and the TARDIS. The thing that strikes me most about this book is the fifties feel seems to be everywhere. Maybe because I've seen the show and know the costumes, sets and music intimately that this feeling stays, but I'm sure that people new to this story will find this as well.

There are of course, in any book, flaws that an author may not be aware of, and my largest gripe would be that some of the descriptions go too far in detail. Although not bad in itself, it tends somewhat to come on as flowery. For example: "The sustained fire from a squad of Bannerman soldiers sent rock chips flying from the rough-hewn walls of the Frontier. Huge boulders which acted as defense for the Chimerons were almost obliterated in palls of sulphurous smoke. The battlefield was littered with the dead and dying Chimerons". This may not seem too bad, but as the story progresses this style becomes increasingly long-winded.

The cover is something that some will love, some hate; I feel that I is a fair effort. Sylvester McCoy's face is painted, and I now see the reason for his refusal to let his face be painted on book covers. It looks as if he has been badly sunburnt and the skin stretched from a face-lift. An awful picture! The use of repeating circles is a motif I like - the round Shangri-La sign, the round egg and satellite make a full and visual cover.

All in all, a pleasing look that was easy to read, in other words in the tradition of 90% of Doctor Who books. It's nothing outstanding, but still a good read.

This item appeared in TSV 12 (March 1989).

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