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The Shadow of Weng-Chiang

By David A McIntee

Reviewed by Nicholas Withers


When someone said, 'We need someone to write a sequel of sorts to The Talons of Weng-Chiang', the answer of course would had to have been David McIntee. Once more McIntee has done his research and produced a period piece recapturing much of the atmosphere of the original story and injecting his usual high level of historical accuracy.

In Lords of the Storm McIntee's accuracy and thick description often got in the way of the story. But in The Shadows of Weng-Chiang he has returned to his earlier form of novels such as White Darkness and Sanctuary where the story came first and then the historical detail.

Perhaps the one annoying factor of this story is where it fits in the Fourth Doctor chronology. The Key to Time season is one of the most 'together' of the Fourth Doctor's reign and it seems weird to suddenly have an adventure between The Stones of Blood and The Androids of Tara which ultimately does not involve the recovery of a fragment of the Key to Time. (My other complaint is the absence of Hammy the Hamster as a main character, or even villain of the piece).

The characterisations, however, are spot on. Although Gareth Roberts should still be the only author to be allowed to tackle stories in the more comedic Fourth Doctor seasons, David McIntee proves up to the challenge. He provides a Doctor, Romana I and K9 who are obviously from the season.

As with The Sands of Time, The Shadow of Weng-Chiang succeeds ultimately in walking the tightrope of being a follow up story to a story widely regarded as a classic. This time McIntee produced a good one.

This item appeared in TSV 49 (November 1996).

Index nodes: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang