I bought this book in Hay on Wye because when Sarah talked to Jo in the episode of the Sarah Jane adventures she mentioned travelling with the Doctor to renaissance Italy and I didn't remember having seen the episode. I started to read this and became aware that I had in fact seen it, I think I thought it was set on a strange alien planet! This was the first time I read a novelisation after seeing the show but I still enjoyed it and it made me want to go back and rewatch the episode.
In many ways this was a very dark story. Poor Sarah had no fun at all, she was almost sacrificed to a dark god twice, hypnotised into attempting to kill the doctor and locked up in a medival torture chamber! The only nice thing that happened was dancing at a masqued ball!
The plot was a nice blend of sci-fi and occult horror. An evil alien presence gave a secret cult power to destroy and there were some raher unpleasant bits, bits that were probably a bit to nasty to have made it into the actual show. There were also two villians on different sides which made the plot a bit more interesting.
Hincliffe is not my favourite of the Dr Who novelisation authors as he tends not to add much to the stories but this felt like there was more there than his other ones and I did quite enjoy it. Doctor who novels definitely became my fluff reading last year and will likely continue to be so this year. They really capture the spirit of the old show and the old episodes really well....Continua