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Doctor Who: The Murder Game (Past Doctor Adventures #2)

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The faded glamour of a hotel in space, spinning in an all-but-forgotten orbit round the Earth, is host to some unusual visitors this weekend - including a party that claim to travel in a battered blue police box...

It is the year 2146. Answering a distress call from the dilapidated Hotel Galaxian, the TARDIS crew discover a games enthusiast is using the hotel to host a murd
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 7th 1998 by BBC Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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Doctor Who by Jacqueline RaynerDoctor Who by Gareth RobertsDoctor Who by Trevor BaxendaleDoctor Who by Gareth RobertsDoctor Who by Paul Cornell
Best Doctor Who Books
117th out of 219 books — 187 voters
And Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieA Murder Is Announced by Agatha ChristieHallowe'en Party by Agatha ChristieThe Wide Game by Michael  WestMurder by Death by H.R.F. Keating
And Then There Were None: Deadly Parties
7th out of 19 books — 22 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sannie Hald
Jan 12, 2013 Sannie Hald rated it really liked it
This is two books in one in my opinion. The first 40% is a murder mystery, a classic agatha christie! The other half is sci-if classic doctor who
Aug 06, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing
The Doctor and companions Ben and Polly find themselves answering a distress signal from a space station orbiting 22nd century Earth. When they arrive, they are thrust into a murder mystery game with nine other people, using this nearly abandoned space hotel as the base of operations for their fun whodunnit. Things get serious quickly, however, when a simulated murder becomes the real deal.

I feel like you can measure how good a Doctor Who novel is based on a few simple criteria points. The first
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 14, 2013 Daniel Kukwa rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
My main issue with this 2nd Doctor novel is that, once the alien horde arrives, they tend to dumb down the action with their disdain for human "plankton" -- it's a little too B-movie for its own good. Luckily, the portion of the novel leading up to this is taut & interesting, with lots of nice character work, and a rare capturing of not only the Patrick Troughton incarnation of the Doctor, but the unpredictable, moody, season four Troughton. With its surprisingly downbeat ending, and its eng ...more
Sean Homrig
Jan 05, 2015 Sean Homrig rated it really liked it
There's nothing out of the ordinary or spectacular about this run-of-the-mill base-under-siege story by (my favorite DW novelist) Steve Lyons, but it's still quite satisfying. The Second Doctor, Ben, and Polly attend a galactic murder mystery party only to find themselves involved in a twisted web of murder and espionage. A great new alien species is unveiled (the Selachions) and havoc is wreaked extensively. The book has its plot holes, but this can be overlooked for the great bundle of fun tha ...more
Eric Long
Feb 01, 2015 Eric Long rated it really liked it
I was tempted to 3-star this one because the plot is more reminiscent of the haphazard episodes of the second incarnation...but it was the thoughtful characterizations and rewarding exploration of the relationship between Ben and Polly that hepped me to go with 4-stars. I like the subtle homage/foreshadowing to the cosmic hobo's penchant for ridiculous drag-costuming, something Polly will get to witness again with even larger guffaws when she ends up in Jacobean-Scotland.
Jun 11, 2012 Gareth rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Eventful story with a good alien race and a well captured TARDIS team. It doesn't quite feel like a Sixties story and the sheer number of last minute reprieves from death becomes faintly ludicrous. But its entertaining.
Feb 04, 2011 Basicallyrun rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Now, I should preface this by saying this was the only DW book my school library had. I haven't seen much of Two's arc, and nothing at all of Ben and Polly, but, well, it was there and the cover had adorably frowny Two on it, so I thought what the heck. All this possibly explains why I've given it such a low rating - I had the vague impression the characterisation was good (though is Polly really that annoyingly clingy about Ben in the TV eps?) but obviously I couldn't go 'Yes, he's really naile ...more
David Layton
Jan 04, 2016 David Layton rated it really liked it
Steve Lyons is one of the better Who novelists. His characters are realistic, and their actions consistent with their attributes. The story to this one is classic Dr. Who: enclosed settings (a hotel in space and a spaceship with a water environment), a small set of characters, a plot revolving around a mystery, the Doctor and friends stumbling into places they should not be. A good read for people who like Who in that classic style.
Nicholas Whyte
May 21, 2010 Nicholas Whyte rated it liked it

Set between The Power of the Daleks and The Highlanders. The Tardis crew land on a low-orbit satellite where a small number of people has assembled for a murder mystery weekend; not all the guests are what they seem, and the game shifts brutally from pretend to reality. Lyons captures Troughton's Doctor well (more on this below), and likewise Polly, but the standout character is Ben, who is given a decent past, present and future, and even (albeit briefl
Jef With One F
Jul 18, 2015 Jef With One F rated it really liked it
The prose Second Doctor adventures tend to rely to much on historical Earth adventures, so it's nice to have a sci fi one. Steve Lyons has a really engaging style, and manages to capture Troughton's Doctor, Ben, and Polly perfectly.

The murder mystery premise in the beginning is a little hokey, and what the obsession is with The Doctor cross dressing is I'll never know, but once the Tardis crew gets into a race against time as a space hotel besieged by Shark Aliens it moves briskly. I wish that L
Dec 16, 2008 Travis rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
A decent 'whodunit' set on a space station that falls apart a bit at the end. The new alien bad guys were mildly interesting.
Story has to coast a bit on the strong characterization of the Tardis crew and the fact that there were so few Ben and Polly stories that this one will attract the curious.

Much, As I like Jamie, Ben and Polly were decent companions who have pretty much been forgotten, which is a shame. The focus on them, in this book, builds them up and helps carry the story.
Oct 28, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
It's a little weird, I suppose, writing about the second Doctor particularly, because he has a very specific personality, but it is one that I think is more suited to the screen, where his facial expressions and body language are more distinct, and this author is not exactly perfect at doing these subtle things in writing that would really bring this to life. The story is kind of fun, but could have used with a little paring down.
Sep 14, 2009 Michael rated it did not like it
Shelves: doctor-who, review
The Second Doctor, Ben & Polly. Between The Power of the Daleks & The Highlanders.
The Murder Game is faithful to the Second Doctor format of the siege scenario, in this case a whodunit roster of characters trapped on the Hotel Galaxian orbiting Earth. Unfortunately, all the supporting characters are very shallow, uninteresting and as contrived as the plot.
May 16, 2014 Steven rated it it was amazing
Loved this one! Great whodunit mystery, and a solid characterization of the Second Doctor, Polly, and Ben. Great cast of characters and an unfamiliar Doctor Who villain to cap it all off!
Feb 10, 2012 Doug rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Read my review at Hardcore Nerdity:
Seemed to sag a little in the middle. Only picking up when the 'villains' appeared. Good story, nonetheless.
Simon Curtis
Mar 08, 2010 Simon Curtis rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Excellent, high class Doctor Who fiction.
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Steve Lyons is a science fiction writer, best known for writing television tie-ins of Doctor Who for BBC Books, and previously, Virgin. The earliest of these was Conundrum in 1994, and his most recent was 2005's The Stealers of Dreams. He has also written material for Star Trek tie-ins, as well as original work.
More about Steve Lyons...

Other Books in the Series

Past Doctor Adventures (1 - 10 of 76 books)
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  • Doctor Who: The Ultimate Treasure
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  • Doctor Who: Illegal Alien
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  • Doctor Who: The Face of the Enemy
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