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The Plotters

By Gareth Roberts

Reviewed by Nicholas Withers


Gareth Roberts was an inspired choice of author to write what is a conceptual sequel to the television story The Romans. The original television story was always one of my favourite of the First Doctor's adventures. The lack of padding and some very funny moments helped to make it easy viewing compared to some of his other more stodgy, lengthy and boring stories. Roberts has successfully replicated the background formula of The Romans in The Plotters, transferring the historical setting to the gun powder plot era.

Gareth Roberts characterises the companions and the Doctor well, but it is his background characters which shine through. Like Cartmel's creations, Roberts has relished giving life to his characters, from the camp King James chasing after Victor (Vicki, in scenes which is a straight steal of the lecherous Nero in The Romans), to the plotting of Robert Cecil and the bumbling activities of the Doctors of Divinity busy assembling the King James Bible.

Robert's is the first to admit that his book, as with The Romans, is lacking in historical accuracy. However his descriptions of the setting and time period are more than convincing enough. On the basis of entertainment value it definitely is one of the better Missing Adventures and well worth reading - something I never thought I would say about a First Doctor story.

This item appeared in TSV 49 (November 1996).

Index nodes: The Plotters