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Vampire Science

By Jonathan Blum & Kate Orman

Book review by Paul Scoones

After the disappointment of Terrance Dicks' bland characterisation of the Eighth Doctor, it was immensely satisfying to read this novel, which even surpasses Lance Parkin's efforts in The Dying Days in presenting a fully rounded and consistent interpretation of McGann's Doctor. To say that this is the highlight of Vampire Science is no meagre accolade as I felt that I knew the new Doctor a lot better after reading this book than after several viewings of the TV Movie.

The Doctor isn't the only one to benefit from Blum and Orman's skilful writing. New companion Sam also gains a well-rounded character, helped by the fact that some time has passed for her and the Doctor since the events of the previous novel. Indeed the authors have even cleverly created an indeterminate space of time in the Eighth Doctor's life in which, it is possible that the events of The Dying Days, the DWM comics and even the Radio Times comic strip took place!

I'm not a great fan of vampire stories, but Blum and Orman have crafted a tale that touches on most aspects of the genre and manages to turn most of our expectations around. The authors examine the moral consequences of what it means to be a blood-dependent immortal with great thoughtfulness.

'Guest companion' Carolyn, a late replacement for the excised Grace Holloway is nonetheless a quite different character and by the end of the novel I was hoping for a return appearance; just as long as Blum and Orman get to write it of course. In fact, I'm looking forward reading whatever this great writing team produce next. [5/5]

This item appeared in TSV 52 (November 1997).

Index nodes: Vampire Science