Home : Archive : TSV 31-40 : TSV 39 : Review

The Dimension Riders

By Daniel Blythe

Book review by David Lawrence

The Dimension Riders is one of those books like Lucifer Rising and Nightshade that somehow keeps you interested the whole way through and at a consistent pace. I'm not sure why but I think it would work so well as a TV story. While the 'too broad and deep for the small screen' concept is nice, once in a while it is comforting to be able to read a traditional Doctor Who story.

'I should have known there were other Time Lords lurking in those ancient colleges,' says the Doctor. Indeed the parallels to Shada are more than a little obvious with the settings contrasting an English college and a space station. But this homage to the incomplete Tom Baker story actually heightened my enjoyment of the novel.

I preferred the dank, dreary scenes of Space Station Q4 to the Oxford sequences though and I'm wondering if this was because of some of the very blatant Shada similarities in those scenes. I also found the Time Soldiers intriguing.

Daniel Blythe's writing style is well developed and makes good reading. Another book and his style might be on a par with Platt, Cornell and the other greats of Doctor Who literature. He characterizes the Doctor as balanced; he doesn't come across as the disturbed and embittered manipulator we've become used to of late. Ace, psychotic soldier and generally violent sadist, seems to be in her element with her mindless Terran Survey Corps buddies and once again poor Benny gets neglected and left to wander around Oxford 'uncovering deceit among the cloisters', or in other words, doing bugger all!

My one gripe is where Tom Chaynor takes Bernice to the pub and she finds the beer to be unpleasantly strong. I believe Benny's reaction is out of character, as in the previous book Ace hassles Benny for drinking too much!

The Dimension Riders is a bloody good book. Please, please, don't let the television series come back!

This item appeared in TSV 39 (May 1994).

Index nodes: The Dimension Riders