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War of the Daleks

By John Peel

Book review by Paul Scoones

Let's begin with a question: which Dalek faction was loyal to Davros in Remembrance of the Daleks - the Renegades or the Imperials? If that's too easy, why is it that John Peel gets it around the wrong way? This fundamental error is just one of many incomprehensible continuity-heavy developments in this seriously flawed novel. Many months before the book was published, John Peel entered into a highly impassioned debate on the internet rec.arts.drwho forum over his determination to rewrite history so that Skaro wasn't destroyed in Remembrance. Sure enough, Skaro has survived, but this oddity is minor in comparison to some of the other howlers. After the point at which Peel reveals the identity of the creators of the Movellans (and it's truly laughable, I assure you), my only motivation to keep reading was that it might just turn out to be a horrible dream, but unfortunately by the end of the last page there was no such redemption.

This book is quite possibly the worst Doctor Who novel I have ever read. Not so much because it is badly written - Peel's writing style is at worst bland and unimaginative - but because he clearly has such an inept understanding of Doctor Who continuity. Some years ago, Virgin was planning to publish this book and then dropped it from their schedule, supposedly because they couldn't get the rights to use the Daleks. Perhaps the real reason is that they read the manuscript and turned it down?! If Terry Nation approved the storyline of War of the Daleks then he has betrayed his own creations; if not then he may well be turning in his grave. [1/5]

This item appeared in TSV 53 (March 1998).

Index nodes: War of the Daleks