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Last Man Running

By Chris Boucher

Book review by Brad Schmidt

Suddenly, the Fourth Doctor and Leela have made a comeback in original novels, with two contributions this year and another on the way for 1999. After the dazzling Eye of Heaven, Chris Boucher's Last Man Running had a hard task in which to succeed in the face of Jim Mortimore's masterpiece, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did not fare too badly.

Chris Boucher's strengths and weaknesses are apparent - his characters are interesting and well-realised, but his writing style is not so successful. The plot itself seems barely enough to sustain its 250-odd pages, but oddly this helps as Last Man Running feels more like a four-episode television story than a novel. Indeed, the Doctor and Leela are effortlessly captured, struggling for survival with a trapped police force, and Last Man Running fits comfortably alongside Chris Boucher's preceding contribution, The Robots of Death - it even reads similar to many of the Target novelisations of years gone by. A sudden plot twist near the end, while surprising, serves only to extend the novel further, and after endless fighting in the interminable climax, the final scenes seem somewhat rushed and short - an effect that would have been more welcome had it commenced earlier.

Last Man Running is not an engrossing tale, but casually enjoyable all the same, probably due to its striking similarity to the era from which it was inspired. [3/5]

This item appeared in TSV 55 (October 1998).

Index nodes: Last Man Running