Timewyrm: – Apocalypse – Nigel Robinson (3/10)
(TARDIS crew: 7th, Ace; VILLAIN: The Timewyrm, The Panjistri)
The third installment of the Timewyrm series was written by another Target novelization alum whose previous efforts focused on translating 1st and 2nd Doctor stories from the screen to the page. I did not know this when I first read this book, otherwise I would not have been surprised by the immature prose manfully struggling to tell a story that is a thinly-veiled reworking of an obscure 2nd Doctor story (“The Krotons”, featuring Jamie and Zoe).
The saving grace of this book is that the plot is entertaining; The Doctor and Ace track the Timewyrm to the edge of the universe, discovering an idyllic paradise populated by the staggeringly gorgeous Kirithons and their aloof masters, the benevolent and mysterious Panjistri. The Panjistri nurture and protect the Kirithons, encouraging those who rise to the tops of their chosen professions/vocations to join the Brotherhood of Kandasi (at which point their essences are melted into a gigantic God machine and their physical remains are pureed into the staple of the Kirithon diet and facilitates the removal of the assimilated individuals from the collective memories of the Kirithon colony; oh, also anyone who finds out what’s really going on gets turned into a hideous mutant and banished into the poisoned lands). Naturally, things are beginning to fall apart just as The Doctor and Ace arise and it falls to them to thwart the Panjistris’ plot… BUT THERE’S A CATCH!
I have to stop recapping for a moment because the story moves from “good” entertaining to “holy shit, are we really supposed to buy this nonsense” entertaining.
I mean, for fuck’s sake!
Okay, I’m ready.
Robinson wants us to believe that Ace is the embodiment of rage and anger and dumping her into the God Machine will keep the universe from collapsing back upon itself (yes, this is a sequel to “Logopolis”!). At this point the book would have to turn into a sex kitten covered with money and hard candy to have any chance of redeeming itself in my eyes. Characters get offed left and right as the book builds to the world’s most blatantly-obvious self-sacrifice and I’m just in hysterics. Blah blah blah, the Timewyrm is revealed (and it’s not at all shocking) and the book ends with Ace and the Doctor chasing after her again.
There are 229 original Who novels; based on this book, it’s a miracle that 226 of them ever saw publication.