Doctor Who: Dreams of Empire by Justin Richards

PictureThis novel features a new adventure for the Second Doctor and his companions Jamie and Victoria. Something I think is important to point out, though, is that this feels more like a story that just happens to involve the Doctor and his friends, rather than a story about the Doctor and his friends going on an adventure. I think the novel could probably stand on its own, even if all the Doctor Who elements were removed, as there are so many other strong characters and storylines.

The story is that the Haddron Republic is at a critical point in its history, the old ruler, Kesar, is being kept imprisoned in a space station (which looks just like a castle) and the new ruler, Trayx is staying there, expecting a team of assassins to come for Kesar, but not wanting him killed for various reasons. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria land in the middle of this castle space station, just as somebody has been murdered and they soon find themselves caught up in all of the events. Surprisingly enough, they are not accused of the murder, but trusted almost instantly, I think this is probably something of an intentional subversion of how many Doctor Who stories start.

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are all captured in print very well. Despite no visual stimulus, I found that it was written well enough for me to be able to picture it all as if it were an episode of the TV series. Outside of the characters who have a television counterpart, there are also many memorable people, my favourites being a guard named Darkling and also Kesar. You’ll find yourself hoping they all survive, and, I must say without spoiling anything, the threats to everybody’s lives get very high!

The story is quite a bit darker than any of the televised adventures, and a little more serious too, but this originality is good, and it provides an very entertaining tale.

Rating: 8.3/10

Buy it here.

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