Nathaniel ΘΣ's Reviews > Doctor Who: Shining Darkness

Doctor Who by Mark Michalowski
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's review
Jun 03, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: doctor-who, librarybook, 2011books
Recommended for: Doctor Who fans
Read from April 29 to May 05, 2011 , read count: 1

This is a Doctor Who novel featuring the Doctor in his Tenth incarnation with Donna Noble as his companion. As I've probably said before, I'm not a fan of Donna in the slightest and so her presence is enough to put me off. However, I love Ten and I'm trying to finish all of the novels that feature him.

This is a typical Doctor Who storyline on many levels. Firstly, it is pure science fiction. It's set in the Andromeda Galaxy, there are aliens and spaceships and robots galore. Secondly, it takes a situation from our own world, puts a futuristic slant on it and in doing so, shows you what the problem is. In this instance, it's about racism, about how easy it is to think that someone is inferior because they look, walk, talk, behave differently than you do. Only here, it's not people who are being treated in this way, it's robots. Which then raises the interesting question of measuring sentience and at what point is that mechanical a living breathing entity with thoughts and feelings of its own? There is mention in the book of a scale that measures sentience which made me think of the Turing Test that measures artificial intelligence.

The characterisations seemed off for both the Doctor and Donna. It seems to be hard to capture Ten's bounce and enthusiasm and motormouth in text but there was something in this version of him that wasn't quite right. As for Donna, there was one moment, the Ginger Goddess scene which made me cringe. It was so ridiculous and I wasn't sure how accurate that was for Donna's character, it felt more like an exaggerated version of her, like from a bad fanfic or something. There were some pacing issues with the plot, it took ages to get going even though it was pretty obvious where it was headed and the end was very rushed with no wrapping up which made it seem like it was left hanging. All in all, it was a fairly good read, about average for a Doctor Who novel.

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