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Doctor Who: The Empire of Glass
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Doctor Who: The Empire of Glass (Virgin Missing Adventures #16)

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  195 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
'There is a old Venetian saying,' the Doctor murmured. 'The council of ten send you to the torture chamber; the council of three send you to the grave.'

A strange invitation brings the Doctor, Steven and Vicki to Venice in the year of our Lord 1609: a place of politics and poison, science and superstition, telescopes and terror. Galileo Galilei is there demonstrating his ne
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 16th 1995 by Virgin Books
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Jake Beals
Dec 06, 2015 Jake Beals rated it did not like it
Its not like I'm expecting some literary masterpiece when I sit down to read a Doctor Who novel but I may just have to face the fact that, well... these things are just pretty bad. Empire of Glass has a lot of problems. A lot. These problems are really sort of small, but they add up. As far as plot, the book is too full of twists, with at least one of them being figured out by the Doctor even though he has no evidence or leads to go on. It just bursts out of his mouth fully formed almost in non ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, ebooks, doctor-who
The Empire of Glass , by Andy Lane, is another of the free ebooks of classic Doctor Who novels available for downloading on the Doctor Who site. This one's First Doctor, with Steven and Vicki as his Companions, and turned out to be a lighter read than I was expecting for a First Doctor story--perhaps because of having my expectations set by The Eleventh Tiger. Yet, it stands up pretty well overall, and upholds what I'm coming to expect as a common trait of a Doctor Who novel: throwing you sever ...more
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This is one of the Virgin Missing Adventures of Doctor Who which is downloadable from the BBC website. Set in Venice and London in 1609, it gives the author a chance to bring together Galileo, Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe (not dead after all, it turns out) and the First Doctor, Steven and Vicki. The BBC presentation makes it easy to cut between chapters of the book and the author's notes, which makes reading the book rather like watching ...more
Jacqueline O.
The Doctor, Steven, and Vicki land the TARDIS in 17th century Venice, The Empire of Glass and meet Shakespeare (currently a spy for King James the First of England and Sixth of Scotland), William Marlowe who isn't quite as dead as Shakespeare thought he was, Galileo, and another Time Lord from Gallifrey who is hosting intergalactic arms limitation talks on a hidden island in Venice.
This story is short, barely over 200 pages in the e-book version, and a through romp. There are plenty of fights in
Palindrome Mordnilap
Whilst it is true that TV tie-ins can often be a poor man's novel, the same cannot be said for a number of Virgin's New/Missing Adventure Doctor Who stories. This innovative series of books allowed the character of the Doctor to endure during the TV series' prolonged absence from our screens. "Empire of Glass" is a wonderful book with a very engaging story line that skilfully weaves elements of Shakespeare, Marlowe and Renaissance Venice to create a great adventure with plenty of action and good ...more
David Layton
Jan 04, 2016 David Layton rated it really liked it
I have not read all the Missing Adventure books, but of the ones I have read, this is the best. Steven is among my favorite Who companions. He was rarely written well in the series, though the possibilities for him were always there. Lane handles Steven especially well, highlighting his qualities - broad mindedness, loyalty, bravery. More so than most Who companions, Steven could take care of himself and stand up to the Doctor's powerful personality. Vicki gets equally good treatment. She was of ...more
Jun 23, 2013 Abby rated it liked it
It was an interesting book combining a list of some of my favorite historical characters. I enjoyed reading the author's notes after the end of book somewhat better I think. At times the book seems to drag a bit as there is a lot of historical content which does not lend itself well to further the plot and the author does admit that some of it was unnecessary. I do not know a lot about the 1st doctor, but from what little I have seen of some of the old episodes, his portrayal in this book is spo ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Coby rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of the Doctor Who television series, but have never before read a Doctor Who book. Based on this one title, I still prefer the TV series. Empire of Glass involves the first doctor, who happens to be my least favorite doctor, but the author did an excellent job of recreating the personality and quirks of him. The story was somewhat drawn out and lame, but the historical background of Venice in the 16th century and the inclusion of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Galileo made it more inter ...more
Jeff Vass
Jan 20, 2017 Jeff Vass rated it it was ok
It started very well. Something strange happening in the colonies; very vivid early C17th London and Venice, some interesting characters - some very good historical context about the Italian republics and the Vatican - but the second half just didn't work for me, seemed to belong to a different story: why not just have a historical story like the early Hartnell stories, why break the (my) spell with syntactically challenged arthropods? Not keen on having a story propelled by too many C17th celeb ...more
Aug 17, 2012 Ryan rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2011 Aidan rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
I found The Empire of Glass to be a highly entertaining outing for the first Doctor, Vicki and Steven. Characterizations of these three main characters seemed pretty well in keeping with the original series and Lane does an excellent job of bringing its historical setting (Venice in 1609) and the array of historical figures (which includes Shakespeare, Galileo Galilei and King James I) to life.
Ali Mandala
Feb 22, 2014 Ali Mandala rated it really liked it
DEfinitely an interesting read. I quite enjoyed reading about the first doctor and his adventure in Venice. It was quite complicated with lots of intertwining plot ines. It's in a series so there was some information missing that I needed to better understand the characters.
I'll just have to read more to find out about them :)
Dec 21, 2010 M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who
It took me forever to read, and when I finally did, I didn't like it at all.
Horrible portrayals of historical figures and a story that was ridiculously absurd, even for Doctor Who.
I did like meeting Braxiatel.
If you are completely obsessed with weird background stories from Doctor Who, read it. (But only because of Braxiatel.)
Daniel Kukwa
Apr 03, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
A great combination of history and SF, as only Doctor Who can do it. The "pseudo-historicals", as they are now called by fandom, make an early & successful guest appearance in this novel's take on the 1st Doctor era...and it's an especially excellent outing for companion Steven Taylor. It's quite wonderful.
Andy Tischaefer
Feb 18, 2013 Andy Tischaefer rated it liked it
More enjoyable than I expected. Grabbed this because I've been enjoying both current and classic Dr Who as of late, and wondered how he'd translate onto the page. Plus I found a free copy (legal, at least the site seemed legit). I thought the was clever, and captured the spirit of the first doctor well.
Mar 16, 2014 Ankita rated it really liked it
This book served as my introduction to the world of Doctor Who and I don't think it did a very good job in explaining the character. Granted it's not supposed to, but other than that, it was a very well weaved plot. Except for a few differences (which the author himself accepts to) the whole writing and the story was really amazing.
Nov 20, 2011 Abi_88 rated it really liked it
Empire of glass was a very entertaining read. The description was so good that I could visualize every scenario and character as if I were watching the actual show. One of the things I loved was the characterization of famous historical figures, especially marlowe's crush on Steven.
Erin Davis
Jun 20, 2014 Erin Davis rated it liked it
I actually enjoyed the author's notes more than I enjoyed the book. But then, I'm kinda funny about TV tie-ins. I really read this to get my Doctor fix while I waited for the next season/Twelfth Doctor.
Jan 10, 2015 Coby rated it liked it
I'm a Doctor Who fan of the TV series. This was my first novel of Doctor Who and was about Doctor No. 1, who is not my favorite doctor. It was okay. The Doctor came to life, the story was typical. I did enjoy the historical elements.
Aug 04, 2010 Emma rated it liked it
This Dr Who novel was a fun read.
Oct 13, 2011 Stuart rated it really liked it
with so much of the First Doctor being lost, this was a fascinating look into the least-known iteration of our favourite Time Lord.
Apr 15, 2008 Travis rated it did not like it
Shelves: doctor-who
Great characterzation and interesting setting. Shame the actual story was so weak.
Not one of the better ones.
Simon Curtis
Feb 24, 2010 Simon Curtis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctor-who
This is one my absolute favourites of the range - a brilliantly written First Doctor, Galileo, Irving Braxiatel, aliens. Superb. One to return to again and again.
Robert Lewter
Jan 24, 2013 Robert Lewter rated it really liked it
Good sci-fi!
Gavin Mills
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Emily rated it it was ok
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“In a long and eventful life", the Doctor said eventually, "I have experienced nothing that I could not account for by the laws of physics, chemistry or biology. If a God or Gods exist, and I cannot rule out the possibility, then I can only presume that He, She or They take no active part in the lives of the many and various creatures that populate this extensive and wonderful universe of theirs". He picked a crumb of cheese from his plate and swallowed it. "In addition, I have seen countless races worship, countless Gods with attributes which are mutually incompatible, and each race believes itself to be following the one true faith. While I respect their beliefs, I would consider it arrogance for any race to try and impose their beliefs on me, and if I had a belief of my own then it would be equally arrogant of me to impose it on them. In short, sir, I am currently an agnostic, and by the time my life draws to its close, and I have travelled from one side of the universe to the other and seen every sight there is to see, I firmly expect to be an atheist".” 1 likes
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