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Book Review: Shada

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Originally Published: 2013

Author: Gareth Roberts, Douglas Adams

Publisher: BBC

Genre: Science Fiction

This story was destined to be a book. It's far too much about the power of literature to live a proper life as a TV serial. So, while I'm a bit disappointed that I haven't had the chance to see Douglas Adams' story fully realized in the talent of Tom Baker and Lalla Ward (it's since been produced with a mix of the original footage and animation featuring the voices of the original actors), I think this is, in many ways, much better.

Roberts does a great job capturing Adams' voice throughout the book, as well as portraying the Doctor and Romana with pitch-perfect voice and attitude.

My only quibble is that Romana again becomes kidnapping fodder. She redeems that a bit on the back end of the story, but I get so tired of Romana, as a very capable character, not being able to avoid being whisked away by every halfway competent bad guy in the universe. But this is sort of the backwards liberation of the era...the girl still gets kidnapped, but hey, at least she can (eventually) wiggle her way out of it (or exploit a really lucky break).

Regardless, though, I adore this book more than I probably have any right to. It's delightful, witty, and, of course, Doctor Who, with the Doctor's ability to be touching and sometimes even a bit thought-provoking. But I definitely found myself tittering with glee more often than I have in a long time while reading. I really hope the other Who books can hold up to this one.

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