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Doctor Who: Harvest of Time

(Adventures of the 3rd Doctor #30)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,296 ratings  ·  207 reviews
One of science fiction's most acclaimed authors delivers a spectacular original novel in the Doctor Who universe featuring the Third Doctor, as played by Jon Pertwee.

"Immediately confounds expectations." - SFX

After billions of years of imprisonment, the vicious Sild have broken out of confinement. From a ruined world at the end of time, they make preparations to conquer th
...more
Paperback, 365 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,296 ratings  ·  207 reviews


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Apatt
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
At the end of chapter one of Harvest of Time an alien entity has taken possession of a poor beachcomber, evicting the original personality in the process. The first thing the alien possessed beachcomber has to say is

"I am Sild and I must find the one. Find the one called the Master".

After reading this line, this popped into my head:
“Dumdedum dumdedum dumdedum dumdedum dumdedum ooo-weee-ooooooooo eee-yoo-ooooooooo...!!!”

OK, that was pathetic but I had to get that out of my system. Although I ha
...more
F.R.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Barry Letts (producer of 1970s Doctor Who) and Jon Pertwee (its star) are sat in the canteen at BBC television centre. It is about 4.30 on a wet Wednesday afternoon in 1971.

BL: So, Jon, what did you make of the script?
JP: The script? Oh yes, this ‘Harvest of Time’ thingy. I very much enjoyed it, old chap.
BL: Excellent! Excellent! I think its top quality writing.
JP: Very much so. Very much so. I just have…
BL: Yes, Jon?
JP: Well perhaps one or two minor concerns.
BL: Oh yes? Well, please do share.
JP
...more
Michael
When I first heard that Alastair Reynolds was writing a Doctor Who tie-in novel, I was equal part curious and skeptical.

After reading Stephen Baxter's Second Doctor tie-in, I wasn't sure the melding of a big-name genre writer with the universe of Doctor Who could be very successful.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised that within twenty pages of Reynolds' The Harvest of Time that not only had he captured the spirit of the Jon Pertwee era on the printed page, but that I was also enjoying the
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Otherwyrld
This was not only a good book, but a good Doctor Who book. It is set in the era of the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo Grant, and also features UNIT in its heyday, and has the Master as one of the antagonists.

Firstly the characters - they were all very well drawn, to the point that I could actually hear the dialogue between the Doctor and the Master in my head in the actors voices, not something that always happens for me. Jo Grant and UNIT all get their chance to shine as well. The main guest
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Philip
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Having finished Harvest of Time, I feel about it the same way as I do about Stephen Baxter's Doctor Who - The Wheel of Ice -- it's such an entertaining and fun story in its own right that it would be churlish to criticise it for not being something else. Nonetheless, I wish the hardback Doctor Who range as a whole was encouraging the august authors it's attracting to be a bit more adventurous with the novels they write.

There's much to love in Harvest of Time. In particular, Reynolds excels at ch
...more
Mick
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Alastair Reynolds is a big name in science fiction. One of the biggest, in fact. He's earned a reputation for "hard" science fiction, with a high degree of scientific accuracy and detail. So when I heard that he was writing a Doctor Who book - the latest in a series featuring high-profile authors such as Dan Abnett, Jenny Colgan, and Stephen Baxter - I wondered how his style would fit the decidedly fantastic bent of the show.

Wisely, Reynolds has gone for an action packed and character-heavy stor
...more
Claudia
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Time travel stories were never exactly my thing, but this one changed that. It is, of course, the merit of Reynolds’ incredible writing - exactly the reason for which I started this book. He can transform any subject into magic words, as far as I’m concerned.

It is different than his usual works, which are hard sci-fi space operas. This one is very fast paced with minimum descriptions – of the worlds or technologies - just highly entertaining and also amusing - the dialogues between The Doctor an
...more
Robert
Jul 03, 2013 added it
Shelves: sf, wales
I attended a book signing for this work, at Toppings, a delightful independent bookstore in Bath, that hosts many events of this nature.

Reynolds turned out to be a very down-to-earth, friendly and approachable bloke, though not a great (nor terrible) live reader. He talked about how he came to write this book, his Who-fan status and various other topics. He also answered many audience questions before signing our books - drawing a Tardis in them, too!

THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT
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Liviania
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wanted to read HARVEST OF TIME, because terrible dick-shaped spaceship cover aside, it promised a team-up between the Doctor and the Master, his enemy and former friend. I love their dynamic on the show and I was eager for more - especially since I'm familiar with Alastair Reynolds' terrific space operas.



Reynolds definitely takes advantage of the fact books don't have a special effects budget. There are oil rigs and bits of ocean disappearing, a large-scale crystalline crab invasion, and more
...more
Kribu
A thoroughly enjoyable, well-crafted Third Doctor story.

Harvest of Time would have felt right at home during season 8 or 9, featuring the Master at his charming (and ruthless) best, the UNIT capable and familiar, Jo enthusiastic and willing to take initiative. Come to think of it, I have to say in many ways the Doctor really came off as the weaker character here, compared to the Master, although it fit in with the show - and the Master/Doctor relationship, the central point of the book (in addi
...more
Daniel Kukwa
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
This fits seamless into the heart of the Pertwee era. The writing is superb, the relationship between the Doctor & the Master is exquisitely conveyed, and UNIT (Jo Grant in particular) get to show off some serious military action-adventure moves. My only caveat is that, by the final third of this novel, I was getting a little bored of the military action-adventure, and wanting to get back to the more engrossing, epic SF invovling the Doctor & the Master. This novel flies at a lightning pace, and ...more
Mehrnoosh
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wonderful
Awesome😍😍😍
Steve
This book was everything I was hoping for in terms of extended in-flight/jet lagged reading to pass the time in a relatively short (less than a week) trip that involved 30+ hours of flight time, plus plenty more airport lounge and taxi time.... Which, of course, is probably not very helpful for most readers, but it easily exceeds the minimum standard for this broad genre....

As a general (and general sci-fi) reader with little-to-no background (or interest) in Doctor Who, I concede that I picked
...more
Adam Stone
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who, sci-fi
Harvest of Time is a third Doctor and UNIT story featuring the Master. That makes this story very typical of the third Doctor's era, and this novel by acclaimed science-fiction writer Alastair Reynolds reads more like an expanded novelisation of a television story than of a novel in its own right, but that is ok.

That is precisely why this book succeeds because it really does seem like a story that would have worked back then, and is probably just as archetypal a third Doctor story than stories s
...more
Ade Couper
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have a deep admiration for Alistair Reynolds, who is currently one of the best hard sci-fi writers currently working. I also grew up in the UK in the 1970's & love the Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who. So, what happened when Reynolds did Pertwee...?

This is great! Alistair has written a story that feels like it should have been on TV. The plot concerns the Sild, a viscous alien race, who need the Master to help them escape from their prison at the end of time. There are large parts of the story se
...more
Nicholas Whyte
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2141903.html[return][return]This wheeze of getting well-known writers to contribute new Doctor Who books is proving an awfully good adventure. This is an excellent Doctor/Master/Jo story with UNIT in a supporting role, with adventures on oil rigs and a brilliant time paradox which poses an existential threat to the Master, and through him to the universe - very neatly done, and the Doctor is forced to make a crucial choice about his old enemy. Reynolds has caught th ...more
Kate Sherrod
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Doctor Who doesn't do Alastair Reynolds quite as well as Alastair Reynolds does Doctor Who. But that's all right.

But I'm eager for Alastair Reynolds to go back to doing Alastair Reynolds 8)
...more
Katie Hanna
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Harvest of Time was a Christmas present from my wonderful big brother, who feeds my Doctor Who obsession even though he does not share it. #A++sibling

And I had such a great time with it!!! I was a teensy bit apprehensive that the author wouldn't be able to capture the "feel" of the show, but I was proven wrong. As a matter of fact, capturing that very specific Whovian essence is what this book does BEST. That wide-eyed wonder, that zaniness, that optimism, darkly tinged with bittersweet realism
...more
Alexander Popov
Sep 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Doctor Who: Harvest of Time is a novel about the third Doctor, played by Jon Pertwee between 1970 and 1974. Now, I’ll admit it from the get-go – I’m not a dedicated fan of the TV show. I like it quite a lot, but I haven’t seen a single episode of the old series and I have watched less than two seasons of the new. Some episodes I loved as a child loves, others bored me senseless. OK, it’s out there, whew. Harvest of Time is also a novel by Alastair Reynolds. I love Alastair Reynolds novels. So my ...more
Christian
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book when it came out and then proceeded to not read it for a bunch of years. That isn't weird; I do that a lot. I kept seeing it mentioned lately though and so I went and found my copy and read it.

I find a lot of time that licensed books do not get the time and energy that they need put into them to be anything more than okay. That is not true here. Reynolds is clearly both knowledgeable and fond of the third Doctor era and does an excellent job of both capturing the era and tell
...more
Ellie
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly wasn't expecting much from this (it was a spontaneous purchase from a discount bin) but I actually really loved it?? Alastair Reynolds evidently loves both this era of Who and its characters, bringing it to life so accurately that I could hear their actors' voices - particularly so for Pertwee's Doctor, the Delgado!Master, and the Brigadier. Also the Doctor/Master content was soooooo good and I love the little references to New Who sprinkled here and there. ...more
Lesley Arrowsmith
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a superb read! Absolutely perfect return to the glory days of Jon Pertwee and UNIT. It has everything - mysterious goings-on on North Sea oil rigs, helicopters, a UNIT convoy being attacked, the Doctor and the Master reluctantly working together. The dialogue sparkled, especially between the Doctor and the Master.
I loved it!
Jeanne
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Over the past few years, the BBC has been complementing its regular series of shorter, viewer-friendly Doctor Who novels with occasional "prestige" releases, generally about twice the length and penned by popular and established authors from outside the Doctor Who world. At first, these focused on the then-current eleventh Doctor as portrayed by Matt Smith, but more recently, authors have been allowed to select their own preferred Doctor from the show's history. (The results, while interesting, ...more
Rusty
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Yep, I’ve read Doctor Who books, back-to-back. I think that makes me pretty hardcore about it, I guess.

Of course, it’s really just an excuse (this time) for me to read a novel by one of my favorite SF authors (Who am I kidding? He isn’t one of anything, he is my absolute favorite) who just so happened to write a Dr Who story.

Now, the last one I read, after thinking more about it, really got a generous rating from me, I really didn’t like it very much. If I were to go back and rate it now, I wo
...more
James Barnard
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
It’s fair to say that BBC Books’ drive to get established sci-fi authors to write full length Doctor Who books for them hadn’t always met with overwhelming success. Poor Michael Moorcock was stymied in his work on ‘The Coming of the Terraphiles’ by the fact that Matt Smith and Karen Gillan hadn’t been seen on screen at the time of writing, whilst Stephen Baxter’s ‘The Wheel of Ice’ suffered by being just that little bit too faithful to the tone of the era of the programme the story was set in (S ...more
Jared Millet
More than Trek or Star Wars, I've always been a hardcore Whovian. You'd think it wouldn't be an issue for me to enjoy a Who tie-in written by a hardcore SF star (such as this) but I did struggle through a big chunk of this book through no fault of the author. Harvest of Time is set during the Third Doctor/UNIT era of the series, which is much beloved by many Brits but is actually my personal least favorite period of the show. (Yes, I like Colin Baker more. Sue me.) Reynolds's story really takes ...more
Mark
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of DW & scifi
Recommended to Mark by: the tv show
Alistair Reynolds a serious scifi writer takes a stab with a book for the Doctor Who series, and the 3rd Doctor as well who was mostly earthbound due to his shenanigans which the Timelords found less than amusing.
The Doctors' enemy is locked up on Earth and as always it is tough to lock a timelord away. Some English organisation finds that teh Masters talents are wasted and use him and his skills for some cold war project concerning submarines. The Master would not be true to his nature if he di
...more
Johan Haneveld
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite SF-authors writes a novel about one of the greatest SF-characters ever invented? When I saw this book on the table of a book seller at a fantasy fair, I did not doubt for a moment, but picked it up instantly. Reynolds brings a deft hand at characterization and a firm grasp of science and the concepts of deep time and emergent properties, coupled with a clear love for the Doctor. With that he delivers a story that could never be realized on a TV-budget, at least not in the '70s ...more
Thomson Kneeland
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I typically would not be reading a Doctor Who novel, but as a big fan of Alistair Reynolds I had high hopes for The Harvest of Time. Though I do feel Reynolds had to step down the writing to accommodate the Dr Who mythology, he did an excellent job in creating a compelling plot with lots of suspense as to how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. I actually have had no acquaintance with "The Master" from the original television series, but have to confess that I am going to rent an episode ...more
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Doctor Who: The L...: Doctor Who: Harvest of Time by Alastair Reynolds 9 44 Sep 24, 2013 07:11AM  

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I'm Al, I used to be a space scientist, and now I'm a writer, although for a time the two careers ran in parallel. I started off publishing short stories in the British SF magazine Interzone in the early 90s, then eventually branched into novels. I write about a novel a year and try to write a few short stories as well. Some of my books and stories are set in a consistent future named after Revela ...more

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