Saturday, 5 April 2014

Kiwie's thoughts: Shada

In March I read Shada, which is based on scripts by Douglas Adams and turned into a book by Gareth Roberts. It i about the fourth Doctor, you know, the one with the ridiculous scarf...

I didn't quite know what to expect from this, with about 400 pages I had hopes of it being a fleshed out story with more behind the dialogue and the timey-wimey. There was, but only a little. The Doctor, Romana and K9 arrive at Cambridge University because of a distress call they recieved, sent out by The Doctors friend (and fellow time lord) Professor Chronotis. Throw in two Cambridge scientists and one bad guy and we've got our main characters.

We start this story knowing that something is wrong, but not exactly what. The story of Skagra (our baddie) unfolds next to the ones of our heroes. There are lots of funny bits with The Doctor biking about, a very talkative space ship, two somewhat one-dimensional and totally in love with each other scientists, one time lord professor who bumbles about and forgets things as well as the guy who lets people in and out of the college where the proffessor works, who's seen a lot and is never surprised, but is very, very wrong (and eventually quite upset by a certain disturbance in the status quo).

There's a lot of fun stuff here, and the plot is a little twisty, with information being revealed at a fairly good pace (I have to admit, it slows down a little too much for my liking in the earlier parts, but not dramatically so). I did like the bad guy, or rather, I liked his sphere (which I can't tell you about without spoiling it). It was quite terrifying really, in a really quiet way. My favourite character was Professor Chronotis, and his naughty ways, and his constant tea-making.

Douglas Adams' style shone through in the dialogue and in some parts of the story, adding that whimsical flavor, but the story never got extremely random or out of control, and the plot tied neatly together in the end. The Doctor was very much The Doctor (i.e in character) and this read like a great, fun, timey-wimey adventure. Just as it should be.

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