About this blog

This is the official blog of Phoenix Roleplaying, a multi-genre simming site, created in August 2010.

Run by the players, we hope to achieve great things.

Where our journey takes us, who knows.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Did someone order a Lovecraftian Horror? (Review: 'Doctor Who: Fear of the Dark', 2003)


It seems a near certainty that I won't be able to complete this series - or my series on the history of the show, for the anniversary. This disappoints me (and it may disappoint you), but as the man off the telly says, I've started so I'll finish. In retrospect, I should have to stuck to one for each Doctor.

Another one from the recent BBC book re-releases; this Trevor Baxendale one sees the Fifth Doctor come face to face with something from another dimensions that is really, really unpleasant...

Where we're at

A Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa novel, this tale takes place just after Tegan's return to the TARDIS in Arc of Infinity, so the Traken scientist has shed the brown outfit. However, in terms of style, it's more akin to a very graphic Hinchcliffe tale.

The plot

Team TARDIS arrive on the moon of the ruined former den of depravity Akoshemon, where they run into a group of archaeologists who aren't what they seem... and a terrible entity from before the Big Bang that wants to return to life.

A lot of people are going to die... possibly including the Doctor.

What works

  • The Bloodhunter, a very vicious little creature that drinks blood and offs a few of the guest characters in great style.
  • The main villain itself is interestingly done and works by subtle manipulation of people's emotions - even the Doctor is badly effected.
  • The regulars are very well written for - especially the Doctor, who shows a great deal of the vulnerable side this incarnation displays and has a good few jokes along the way.
  • The regulars also get a very rough time of it; the Doctor (who is still mourning Adric) fears he has lost his companions on a number of occasions here.
  • The back story is a good one, although not stand out.

What doesn't

  • There is a big editing mess-up over the dating of this story; someone didn't spot a typo and confusion ensues.
  • The supporting characters aren't very well defined... well, they are ultimately planned to be lunch. 
  • The ending is a bit weak... and one aspect I could spot a mile off.

Another very strong novel with a great sense of horror; however, the flaws are big enough to knock this down a couple of points. As pointed out, this is not an original plot.


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