Scurra's Reviews > Doctor Who: Who Killed Kennedy

Doctor Who by David Bishop
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's review
Oct 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: doctor-who
Read in October, 2010

For sheer nerve, this book deserves five stars. The conceit is fantastic - a conspiracy theory non-fiction book about secret paramilitary organisations and unexplained mysteries, but based squarely in the "Whoniverse" as though all the nonsense that happened during the Pertwee years was real but seen from a semi-outsider's point of view. The downside being that for anyone who doesn't know the show, a lot of the hard work here will be wasted.

In the end, though, even for this long-standing fan, it doesn't quite work. Admittedly, part of the point is that it is sending up the whole game of retcon, but to do so it has to create a retcon of its own. Introducing familiar characters but then figuring out how to have them not tell the protagonist about the Doctor works fine once or twice but then starts to feel like a cheat. (Although I admit that Dodo worked exceptionally well.) And using another organisation to provide a feeling of menace was a tiny step too far for me. Early on, I sort of hoped that it was going to turn out to be a rogue element within UNIT which would have felt a lot more interesting; as it was, UNIT emerges pretty much squeaky clean.

A valiant experiment that almost works then. And anyone interested in experimental fiction should probably give it a go. But in the end it felt too much like self-indulgent fanfic (albeit an early example of such.)

edit: I like the comparison made in another review with "R&G are dead". That's exactly what it feels like.
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