Home : Archive : TSV 51-60 : TSV 55 : Review

Longest Day

By Michael Collier

Book review by Brad Schmidt

The one drawback with embarking on a BBC novel is having to put up with Sam, who embodies the cliché ‘all style and no substance‘. Longest Day not only sees Sam's departure for a month, but also features her quite prominently. While this would usually discourage me, Sam's characterisation is perhaps the most appealing it has been so far.

The Doctor is finally beginning to come into his own right. It is the little, unexpected touches that make this Doctor so memorable - for example, the witty remark he makes after driving into a Kusk in the VW Beetle. Perhaps this is not so unique, but my view is eclipsed with the sheer joy of having humour injected back into the Doctor after his grim predecessor.

Longest Day has no particularly new ideas or themes that stand it aside from any other story, but escapes mediocrity through its pace and Collier's prose, which effectively immerses you in the characters' situations. That said, I was disappointed by the middle of chapter seven, but its climax shocked me and compelled me to read further. From then on, this novel is a fairly excellent read, though interspersed with numerous battle sequences which become tedious.

I must make mention of the similarities the first sixty pages hold to Revenge of the Cybermen - the Doctor and companion arrive on a space outpost, the companion is attacked and sent through transmat to an alien planet where the inhabitants' leader is struggling for control, and a mysterious ship is heading for the base...

Longest Day is one of the better books of the series, which is all the more rewarding considering this is Michael Collier's first contribution. [5/5]

This item appeared in TSV 55 (October 1998).

Index nodes: Longest Day