Doctor Who: The Nameless City by Michael Scott REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW The Return Of The Archons

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Doctor Who: The Nameless City by Michael Scott book review.

The latest half-hour’s-reading Who ebook is a rather baffling mix of the Lovecraftian and the ludicrous.

After Second Doctor companion Jamie is given a mysterious book which turns out to be the dreaded Necronomicon (yikes!), the TARDIS is hurled to the edge of space to the Nameless City, home of the Archons, an aeons-old race of Lovecraftian beings who pre-date the Time Lords. With its black glass pyamids and whiff of sulphur, it’s a bloodcurdlingly ominous setting.

Michael Scott (best known for his children's fantasy series, The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel ) demonstrates considerable familiarity with Who continuity, tossing in Second Doctor catchphrases like “Oh my giddy aunt!” and referencing the likes of (fuel source) Zeiton-7 and (Master pseudonym) Professor Thascalos.

Unfortunately, come the end, he seems to be channeling the silly TV Comic strips of the ‘60s. Sure, there are no robot wasps or skiing Cybermen, but the manner in which the Doctor defeats this ghastly, ageless menace is every bit as daft. This strange gear shift makes for an exasperating conclusion to a story that had previously built an atmosphere which, although a very poor fit with Troughton Who , was all the same impressively crepuscular.

Ian Berriman

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Deputy Editor, SFX

Ian Berriman has been working for SFX – the world's leading sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – since March 2002. He also writes for Total Film, Electronic Sound and Retro Pop; other publications he's contributed to include Horrorville, When Saturday Comes and What DVD. A life-long Doctor Who fan, he's also a supporter of Hull City, and live-tweets along to BBC Four's Top Of The Pops repeats from his @TOTPFacts account.