Book Review – Doctor Who: The English Way of Death

  • Title: The English Way of Death
  • Series: Virgin Publishing Missing Doctor Adventures
  • Author: Gareth Roberts
  • Characters:  Fourth Doctor, Romana II, K-9
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 6/29/2015

The English Way of Death is an original story in Virgin Publishing’s Missing Doctor book series. It features the Fourth Doctor, as played by Tom Baker, Romana II, as played by Lalla Ward, and K-9. The Doctor unplugs the randomizer that is supposed to keep he and Romana safe from the Black Guardian so he can return some over-due library books.

Soon he and Romana are involved in events, which include admonishing a group of time-travelling tourists from the future – and stopping an evil alien menace from destroying the world.

The alien had already destroyed his own planet, when his attempts to draw energy from a new power source went horribly wrong. In the midst of his engineering, he gets trapped in a time and space trap. The time travelers had accidentally allowed part of the alien’s essence to escape the trap. While that part uses gaseous energy to raise zombies that he uses as slave labor, Romana ends up releasing the other half of his personality.

The guest characters in this story often reminded me of British stereotype characters – but that made them fun and relatable. For example, there’s a bombastic British military man who insists on telling everyone all about his adventures in India, especially his dates (he’s boorish, arrogant, brags about his exploits, and reminds me of the Colonel in the Tennessee Tuxedo / Underdog cartoons.) Then there’s the Spanish countess, the British gentlewoman on the prowl for a rich husband, so she can write, etc. Throw in the time travelers, and you’ve got an interesting group of people running around.

The zombies – well, zombies aren’t my thing, even when they are glowing green.

Note: This novel has been recently re-printed.

 

The English Way of Death is also available from Big Finish as a full-featured audio play on CD or download.

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