David Sarkies's Reviews > Timewyrm: Apocalypse

Timewyrm by Nigel Robinson
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's review
Apr 11, 15

bookshelves: sci-fi
Recommended to David by: My friend Paul
Recommended for: Doctor Who Fans
Read from October 05, 1996 to October 09, 1997, read count: 1

Education is power
25 January 2012

This is one of those stranger of the Doctor Who stories. For the first time in the series (though it is book three) the Doctor and Ace arrive on an alien planet that has no connection with Earth. Upon arrival the they encounter a race of peaceful aliens who are under the rule of another race of aliens who forbid them from learning advanced technology such as space travel. Investigations reveal that these aliens are more than they seem and that they are developing a Godmachine to attempt to save the universe. It turns out that the God Machine is not truly a means to save the universe but rather a means to enable to Timewyrm to become more powerful.

The series is still in its early stages and the Doctor and Ace are still in pursuit of the Timewyrm. What is interesting is the concept of the peaceful society that is forbidden to learn advanced technology. While I cannot think of any real world situation where conquered peoples are forbidden education, we do see aspects of this in the Twentieth Century. It is almost an idea that as the poorer classes have suddenly advanced in living standards and education, the old order becomes threatened. When American opened its doors to immigration it allowed everybody in and gave them the opportunity to make their own fortune. Some of them (such as Andrew Carnagie) did make a fortune, while others continued to live their megre existence as 'peasants' in a foreign land.

Government cuts to the public school system is a similar thing. We are almost at the situation that while everybody has to attend school, it is not simply attending school, but rather the quality of the school attended. If one wants a decent education one must go into the private school system. While scholarships are still available, one has to pretty much stand out from the crowd to be offered one.

While I have little concern over the current deferred university fee structure in Australia (namely something paid for is much more valued that something not paid for), in other places to get into the good universities one needs money, and a lot of it. While, once again, scholarships are on offer, one has to maintain a grade point average or else one is kicked out. The best movie that outlines this would be 'Loser', a story about a boy who goes to university on a scholarship, and finds it very difficult to study while all of the rich kids are able to waste as much time as possible.

But that is beside the point, well, no not really, because I like to read books and then expand upon some of the ideas that have arisen out of them. While a lot of popular fiction books (such as the New Doctor Who Adventures) do not offer much in that regards, sometimes, such as this book, there is a part of the story that does trigger such a discussion.
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