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The Highest Science (Virgin New Adventures #11)

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  148 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Many legends speak of this world, home of an ancient empire destroyed by its own greatest achievement: the Highest Science, the pinnacle of technological discovery.
When the TARDIS alerts the Doctor and Bernice to the presence of an enormous temporal fluctuation on a large, green, unremarkable planet, they are not to know of any connection with the legend.
But the
Paperback, 258 pages
Published February 18th 1993 by Virgin Publishing
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James Barnard
Hindsight gives us the chance to see patterns and connections that weren’t obvious at the time. So it proved here. ‘The Highest Science’ was first published in February 1993, and was written by the then unknown Gareth Roberts. The strength of this book led him to be commissioned to write another New Adventure and then, as the Missing Adventures progressed, carve a niche in new stories which recreated the Fourth Doctor – Romana mark 2 – K9 era so faithfully that part of me is still convinced I wa ...more
Originally published on the Doctor Who Ratings Guide in 2010:

I'm not exactly a complete newcomer to Virgin's New Adventures, but I only managed to collect about fifteen of them in the 1990s and have only read a few others since then. Recently, I came by a rather large batch of the series as well as many of the BBC eighth Doctor books (I've read a mere single one of those since their inception!) and thus I have an exciting trove of hitherto untapped Doctor Who tales to lose myself in. Yes, it's v
Andrew Perron
Gareth Roberts is not a serious writer. He's a Douglas Adams-esque writer, reveling in absurdity, ridiculous setups, and undercutting seriousness while still delivering an interesting message. It's why his adaptation of Adams's Shada worked (where other post-Adams efforts to do Adams, like And Another Thing, didn't).

Unfortunately, this book came out in the early stages of the Doctor Who New Adventures, where they were terribly concerned with being adult, dark, and above all, serious. The result
Nicholas Whyte

This was Gareth Roberts' first Doctor Who book (in the Virgin New Adventures series), laying the groundwork for a subsequent career that has most recently produced The Lodger (though we have a couple more Sarah Jane Smith stories by him coming out towards the end of the year). A small plot element - London commuters whisked through a wormhole in space to encounter an alien menace - was re-used in Planet of the Dead, by Gareth Roberts and RTD. Fannish opi
Sean Homrig
"The Highest Science" is a refreshing change from the angst-driven companions and manipulative Seventh Doctor that became the trademark of the New Adventures. There's not much character building here; the Doctor and Bernice are simply dropped into a caper involving the titular "highest science" which ends quite well without the commonly used incomprehensible omnipotent villain from the Dawn of the Age of Time. The problem is that the first half of the novel is filled with characters we really co ...more
This Doctor Who novel is largely praised, and it's certainly one designed to appeal to fans of "traditional" Who. Regrettably, that class doesn't include me. The story is decent enough, and Roberts' prose works well. Others have mentioned the story's heavy Douglas Adams influence (seen in the concept of the Fortean Flicker, and the eight twelves), and this can even be seen in the writing style, with sentence construction bearing the same subtly wry tone and cadence often found in the Hitchhikers ...more
Despite being just as cheesy and ridiculous as all the other books in this series, it managed to be enjoyable--probably because it laughed at itself a little. While the plot dragged at times, there was still plenty of action and an actual interesting plot of sorts. That's a big deal for this series.
There was a cool villain, some crabby (snaily?) aliens, and the Doctor actually acted like the Doctor. Bernice starts off as a promising companion and I already like her a lot. That being said, there
Andy Stehr
Just a little shy of okay.
Grant Howard
A solid entry in the series. Certainly a improvement of the dismal "Transit" which preceded it. Roberts has a great handle on the character of the 7th doctor and we get a bit of a better look at Bernice in this one, after her being a small part in "Love and War" and possessed throughout "Transit". That being said she's still drugged for around half of the novel, but I'm really getting to like her.
Some good new aliens in the Sontaran-esque "Chelonians" who I wouldn't mind seeing again.
Sure, like many doctor who stories this book follows the format of a mystery story except there's almost no chance of working the details out for yourself, but overall it had one of the most engaging plots of the series so far and most of the characters actions made some sort of sense.
Daniel Kukwa
Any man that can make turtles into an evil race of tiny soldiers is a hero in my book. Read "The Highest Science" for Gareth Roberts debut in the Doctor Who universe -- his wit, his humour, and his effortless command of the 7th Doctor's character.
Christopher Stilson
Incomprehensible and barely coherent. There's no clear idea of what is main plot and what is subplot and the disparate threads of action do not begin to come together until 2/3 of the way through the book.
Not a terribly memorable plot, but the characterization of the seventh Doctor and Benny was good and how can you not love a race of power hungry turtles?!

Simon Curtis
Good, but not as great as his Missing Adventures. But it did introduce the Chelonians, an excellent addition to the world of Doctor Who.
Shannon Appelcline
A fine adventure story, perhaps a bit loose toward the middle which drags on a bit.
A nice, light enjoyable read with Roberts' usual humorous touch to the fore.
Nick Campbell
Good clean fun, bit rushed at the end.
Good story overall.
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Gareth Roberts has written TV scripts for various soap operas (including Brookeside, Springhill, and Emmerdale), Randall & Hopkirk (deceased), the revival of Doctor Who, the Sarah Jane Adventures, and Wizards vs Aliens.

Also for the Doctor Who universe, he has written the interactive adventure Attack of the Graske, the mobile phone TARDISODEs accompanying the 2006 series, several Big Finish aud
More about Gareth Roberts...

Other Books in the Series

Virgin New Adventures (1 - 10 of 61 books)
  • Timewyrm: Genesys
  • Timewyrm: Exodus
  • Timewyrm: Apocalypse
  • Timewyrm: Revelation
  • Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible
  • Cat's Cradle: Warhead
  • Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark
  • Nightshade
  • Love and War
  • Transit
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