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Seeing I

By Jonathan Blum & Kate Orman

Book review by Brad Schmidt

This is the first novel to take place over an extremely long period of time. Written in alternating chapters for the most part, the book switches between the Doctor's and Sam's exploits on the desert world of Ha'olam. The Doctor's chapters are by far the most interesting, not just because the Doctor is a character we really know but, unlike Sam, he is a character we really like. However, after a few chapters, Sam's independent life becomes more interesting - perhaps because Sam is markedly maturing. While this plot device is fairly similar to the one used to change Ace, here it appears to work more effectively. I am looking forward to seeing how Sam's character develops in further adventures.

This novel is written in such a way it is impossible not to experience the frustration Sam and the Doctor feel, as they seek employment and escape respectively. This is simply another way in which the novel works so well.

Seeing I is unmistakably the work of Blum & Orman, with the Doctor in pain once more, and numerous ‘magic moments’ that remind the reader why they are reading the book in the first place. For example, the snide comment spoken through the Doctor to Orin on page 270 is absolutely hilarious. Equally memorable are the touching moments when Sam's fascinating crush on the Doctor is explored further, and Sam's relief over this matter at the end invokes a pleasing catharsis.

Seeing I firmly acknowledges the events of the New Adventures, especially involving Ace - unless a very similar series of events took place in the BBC Universe. This perhaps the most pivotal novel so far and its events cannot be ignored. Seeing I directly affects its characters in irrevocable ways. The novel itself seems to be a relaunching for the Eighth Doctor and Sam, whose personalities have seemed fairly irritable at times. Seeing I is as much about Sam's growing up as it is about the Doctor's. Neither will ever be the same again after their experiences, but handled by Blum and Orman they are now both likeable. [5/5]

This item appeared in TSV 55 (October 1998).

Index nodes: Seeing I