I seem to be spending an awful lot of time with old Dr Who at the moment. Listening to audio books at work, watching a lot of old 1-3 doctors adventures and read this novel in a day! I am really enjoying it though. In many ways I much prefer the older adventures when the doctor wasn't omnipotent and all the minor characters were competent and weren't waiting to be "inspired" by the doctor's brilliance but rather just got on with things and were much more competent in general.
This was an interesting story about an evil chemical company who were trying to make money by improving the quality of oil while making a huge amount of industrial waste, industrial waste that was completely deadly to humans and also produced killer maggots! It was a bit of a silly story, but you could tell they were trying to treat serious issues such as pollution and environmental sustainability, which is quite god for a kids scifi show in the 70s. There was also the political and economic issue of the closure of the mines, not to mention the problems between the Welsh and the English!
Jo was quite odd in this. At first I thought it was an early episode for her when they decided she was going to be a "women's libber" and kept calling people on their sexist terminology (which given Pertwee's tendency to be a bit condescending was probably a good balance). But it turned out to be her last episode. There was a completely unbelievable romance with the hippie scientist. They seemed to have fallen in love after having one conversation and spending the evening together, then they kissed once, then she decided to leave the doctor and marry him! It seemed as silly as when Leela fell in love, particularly as Jo was there to represent women's independence! I know when she returns to Sarah Jane this autumn she's going to have her grandson with her and I'm wondering if he will be related to the same scientist or if it'll be re-written! Still it was nice to see her all competent and active, and not just standing around screaming (though there was a bit of that with the maggots).
The Doctor and the Brigadier were brilliant bickering all the time like an old married couple. (I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere hidden away on the internet is some Brigadier/Doctor) It was interesting to see the Brigadier so much out of his element and having to take orders from the company and the miners.
All in all an enjoyable read and I look forward to watching the episodes, even if they won't be as realistic as I pictured while reading it!...Continua