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Cold Fusion

By Lance Parkin

Reviewed by Nicholas Withers


When I first read about Cold Fusion I was struck by the possibilities. The Fifth Doctor, with his often almost child like nobility, meeting the New Adventures Dark Doctor could have led to a truly epic struggle and deep questioning by both incarnations. The unfortunate reality of the novel is that although it deals well with the methodology employed by both Doctors (each one going about the events of the novel in his own way), the final promised conflict does not really occur.

Beyond the two Doctors, the companions and other characters are very two dimensional, something which might have been avoided if Cold Fusion had have been longer. As it stands trying to characterise both Doctors, Adric, Nyssa, Tegan, Roz and Cwej, not to mention the sundry other characters in the 300 pages proves an almost impossible task for Lance Parkin.

Perhaps one of the stand-out factors of Cold Fusion which does help to pick it out of the average range of Missing Adventures is the interesting setting. The idea of Scientifica, a society ruled by an elite of scientists, where all things irrational or unscientific are generally frowned upon, is an intriguing concept.

It was also interesting to see the Dark Doctor up against an enemy who ultimately appeared greatly more powerful than himself, and yet he still managed to outwit.

Overall Cold Fusion did not live up to the initial idea, but nonetheless still manages to be a good read.

This item appeared in TSV 49 (November 1996).

Index nodes: Cold Fusion