Home : Archive : TSV 51-60 : TSV 53 : Review


By Gary Russell

Book review by Paul Scoones

Why is it that these post-Doctor New Adventures aren't nearly as interesting as their predecessors? It's not just that there's no longer any overt references to the Doctor Who universe, it's also that the authors seem to putting less effort into the writing. It's almost as if they're holding back their best work and ideas for the BBC range. Gary Russell's book is a case in point. I read Deadfall not long after his BBC title, Business Unusual, and there is a stark contrast between the two. The Doctor Who book sparkles with life and vitality, whereas Deadfall is a lacklustre plot filled with uninteresting and unlikeable characters.

Russell does himself no favours by abandoning the popular Bernice in favour of her ex-husband, Jason Kane, as the lead character. Jason has always been a bit of a one-dimensional stereotype in all of his NA appearances and unlike the fleshing out of Mel's character that Russell performs so well in Business Unusual, Jason remains flat and bland. The most memorable aspect of the plot is the thoroughly unlikeable - yet well written - prison ship Govenor Tolland. Chris Cwej returns, but conveniently spends most of the time with amnesia - thus avoiding the need to mention a certain Time Lord. Knowing what this author is capable of makes this book all the more disappointing. [2/5]

This item appeared in TSV 53 (March 1998).

Index nodes: Deadfall