"Find the Locus" It is twenty years since The Great Intelligence last attempted an invasion of Earth, today its evil web is again reaching out towards us! Using The New World University as its cover and the zombie-like Chilly students as its pawns, the Intelligence now seeks to control the minds of every human being. Tangled in this new struggle are its old enemi"Find the Locus" It is twenty years since The Great Intelligence last attempted an invasion of Earth, today its evil web is again reaching out towards us! Using The New World University as its cover and the zombie-like Chilly students as its pawns, the Intelligence now seeks to control the minds of every human being. Tangled in this new struggle are its old enemies Victoria Waterfield and Professor Travers - but whose side are they on? Fighting alone this time, without their famous scientific advisor, The Brigadier and Sarah Jane Smith of UNIT are hard pressed to decide who is friend or foe as they search for the missing Locus which still binds the Intelligence's power. Battle is joined as the Brigadier's own family is threatened and UNIT faces a monstrous new breed of Yeti! Victoria Waterfield searches for clues that her father might still be alive, while the Brigadier has family problems of his own. But the Great Intelligence is preparing to invade Earth again and this time the Doctor's not there to stop it. This is a sequel to The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear, but also follows up Evil of the Daleks and Fury from the Deep....
|Title||:||Doctor Who: Downtime|
|Number of Pages||:||272 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Doctor Who: Downtime Reviews
"Downtime" is not only a novelization of the independent fan film of the same name, but Marc Platt's love letter to the Second and Third Doctors' era of the show. It's his best writing I've read (yes, even better than "Lungbarrow"), but the story languishes about halfway through. Try not to synchronize the book with its two televised prequels and you may overlook some of the plot holes. Standing alone, it's doesn't pass muster, and should be read only as a companion piece to the television show, so it's recommended for fans of the show's era only.
Downtime is perhaps best described as being an expanded novelization of the 1995 Doctor Who spin-off video that featured characters from the series including Victoria Waterfield, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sarah Jane Smith, Professor Edward Travers and the Yeti but not the Doctor due to rights issues. The novelization is of course an expansion of the original script for the video (as the original video was only about an hour in length). The result is that despite fine characterizations and concepts, the novel version is rather slow moving and seemingly full of padding. The novel does have fine characterizations of the series previously existing characters. There really isn't a single central character and instead moves between Victoria Waterfield, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Sarah Jane Smith. Victoria perhaps gets the majority of narrative dedicated to her, especially with the forty page first chapter and her subsequent running of the New World University. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is on the verge of retiring from his post-UNIT work as a teacher and is with some reluctance dragged into the stories events from a former student now at the University and his daughter Kate. Sarah Jane, still a journalist, finds herself being asked to investigate old UNIT colleagues by the University and senses something is up. All the characters remain true to their TV incarnations (perhaps not surprising as they were played in the video version by the original actors) and it's nice to see what life holds beyond the TARDIS. The result is familiar characters given new angles. There's also a wide cast of supporting characters as well. These include Professor Edward Travers, a character from the two Great Intelligence/Yeti stories of the 1960's, and a few appearances from K9 as well. The original characters of the story include Lethbridge-Stewart's former student Daniel Hinton who now a student at New World University, the Brigadier's estranged daughter Kate who, along with her young son, seems besieged by the University's students, UNIT Captain Cavendish who is not quite what he seems and the homeless Harrods who hangs around near the University. Many of the characters work very well though Harrods comes across as little more then cardboard. Together they make a good group of supporting characters. As mentioned above, this is really a expanded novelization of the video story. As a result there is much added to bring the story up to the appropriate page count. A prime example being the forty page first chapter that, while expanding the video's opening sequence to give some needed back story, is certainly far too long and doesn't really seem focused for the most part. In fact much of the first half of the novel is very slow moving and a result the book takes a while to get moving. It also doesn't help that the basic story itself has sizable plot holes (such as how does Lethbridge-Stewart dream of an older Victoria while not knowing who she is for example). The story also lacks the claustrophobic atmosphere of the first two Great Intelligence/Yeti stories as well and trades for an expansive story that is at times an uneasy cross between Doctor Who's usual alien invasion plot and the surreal as things like the astral plane come heavily into play. These hold back what could have possibly been a better story. The expansion does have its moments though. These include nice character moments such as a moment in chapter twenty-seven when Lethbridge-Stewart realizes he has left his gun and instead is carrying a photo of his grandson in his pocket. What it really does is expand the Who elements within the story. K9 gets to appear along side Sarah Jane which leads to a nice in-joke when she visits the University and hears its radio station's DJ (played in the video by K9's voice John Leeson). There's also appearances from UNIT as well including the Brigadier's replacement Crichton (seen in The Five Doctors) and its future commander Bambera (from the final UNIT TV story of the original series Battlefield) whose still a captain here. There's also the prolouge which looks at the aftermath of the Web Of Fear on both Victoria and Lethbridge-Stewart (and in the case of the latter leads to both the forming of UNIT and the issues with family seen later in the novel). Last but not least the Doctor himself gets to appear. Not as a major character mind you but in two cameos that bookend the novel (the second in the beginning, the third at the end) and the last one is really rather touching. For moments here and there, the expansion works wonders and almost makes for the padding it mostly is. Downtime is a strange beast in book form them. While it does have fine characterizations of characters from the show, good supporting characters and some bits of added details, the fact that the story has to be significantly expanded out to take an hour long video to novel length hurts it as it becomes both padded and slow moving at times. Downtime then is a good book but one that perhaps could have been better.
Downtime is a bit unusual even for the Doctor Who Missing Adventure series. The Doctor isn't actually in the book as a character, and he's not even really mentioned directly. The story is a sequel to two Patrick Troughton stories, The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear and features Victoria, The Brigadier, Sarah Jane Smith, and the Brigadier's estranged daughter - Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. It begins in the 1960s, with Victoria trying to adjust to a new century, and the Brigadier being approached with a new idea, a UN-led force to counter alien activity and invasion (UNIT). Victoria's landlady suggests she take a vacation, and she does - to Tibet. Victoria had been having dreams about her father. In Tibet she visits a old Buddhist monastery but instead of finding her father, she's taken over by one of the Great Intelligence control units. Next we know it's the 1990s and Victoria is the headmistresses of a new university, called New World University. New World teaches it's students by computer, and the students come to be known as Chilly's in the popular press. Sarah becomes involved because she's hired to find out information about a number of people who were directly involved or witnessed The London Event (see The Web of Fear). Sarah, however, doubts the PR man who's second only to Victoria in the hierarchy of the school. She also gets suspicious when the Brigadier's name shows up on the list of people she's to investigate.The Brigadier, meanwhile, is still teaching at Brendon Boys Prep School, though he's due to retire at the end of the next term. He's also having strange symptoms and dreams as Victoria did.Kate is living on a houseboat and being watched and harrassed by the Chilly's. She later meets Sarah Jane and is also reunited with her father, The Brigadier.The book, Downtime is actually a novelization of an "independent drama presentation" - a play or video (there's a coupon to order the video in the back of the book). There's also a series of black and white still photographs glued in the center of the book. They are quite nice. The forward briefly describes the "dramatic" presentation and cast: Deborah Watling (Victoria), Jack Watling (Prof. Travers), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart), John Leeson (K-9, & also the New World DJ), Geoffrey Beevers (Harrods), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith). The forward actually bemoans, "With, at this time, no certainty Doctor Who will reappear on our television screens..." which is ironic, as here I sit in 2014, and Doctor Who is more popular than ever - and globally so. But that was written in 1995 before the 8th Doctor FOX/BBC TV movie, before the BBC Past Doctor Adventures and Eighth Doctor Adventures original novel series, and even before Big Finish started their regular monthly Doctor Who audio productions.I enjoyed reading this, some of the in-jokes were marvelous (at one point the Brigadier tries tells Sarah to give a message to UNIT - "Codes NN and QQ" -- the story codes for The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear. There were other moments that make a knowing fan smile. Overall, the story moved very fast, though parts of it was a bit confusing (I think having not seen the lost story The Abominable Snowmen caused some comprehension problems; though having recently seen The Web of Fear definitely helped. Recommended, especially for Doctor Who fans.
This story started as a low budget fan made film by the U.K. based independent production company Reeltime Pictures. It featured several characters from the Doctor Who series, used with permission from the BBC with the exception of the Doctor himself. The story serves as an unofficial sequel to the Second Doctor stories The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear.The direct-to-video film is an interesting effort. The story is clever, but feels really disjointed, and much of the plot has some very loose threads.Marc Platt's novelization, which he adapted from his own screenplay, does a much better job of telling the overall story.It centers around the Doctor's companion Victoria Waterfield and her involvement with the Doctor's nemesis, known as The Great Intelligence. Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart also returns to play a significant role as the hero of the story.Other classic characters include former companion Sarah Jane Smith, Professor Edward Travers, and a new character that would later to appear in two future Doctor Who stories, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart.The book continues the story set up in both TAS and TWoF, with The Intelligence once again trying to pass from the astral plane and take over the Earth.I love a lot of the callbacks to the story's predecessors, including the use of the Yeti and the menacing webbing The Intelligence uses to subdue and overtake its victims. The Tibetan monastery, Det-sen, is also used as a brief backdrop.Much of the novel is set at the New World University, where the Intelligence is using Victoria to set up a computer network to aid in its plan for global domination.Platt proves to be a great storyteller and and is steeped in the knowledge of Doctor Who and its characters. He brings the best and worst out of each and every one.Overall, it is a good story, that hints at the origins of some of the already established staples of DW, including the set-up of the well known military organization, UNIT.I liked this book very much and my fascination for the film made it much more enjoyable because it expands the story and gives it some depth that could not be captured 70 minutes on the small screen.
As I understand it, this was a novelization of a fan made film (which I haven't watched yet, but guess what I'll be doing tonight). When put in that context, this one isn't too bad. It's a big ol' continuity patch with a companion reunion. And in case you didn't already know, it's Doctor-less. The story is pretty good in this, if a little bit lacking in believability but good enough and suspensfull enough to keep you turning pages. It does drag a bit in parts though. And while it is dark it's not nearly as cerebral as Platt's stuff usually is, but again, I guess it wasn't necassarily his idea to begin with. I don't feel like he captured the characters very well with the exception of maybe the Brig and Sarah Jane. There's not a lot of sympathy built up for Victoria Waterfield and yet she is more or less the main character for at least the first half of the novel. None of the companions are portrayed very flatteringly in this one, which I guess is up to the individual reader whether that's good or bad but I was a little dubious. All things concidered though, it was an enjoyable read. It's an okay one for hard-core whovians but I probably woulnd't recommend it to a muggle.
"http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1265647.html[return][return]Some time ago I watched the Doctor Who spinoff video Downtime, written by Marc Platt and directed by Christopher Barry, which unites the Brigadier, Sarah Jane Smith, Victoria Waterfield and the Yeti. Platt's extended novelisation, published as one of the Virgin Missing Adventures, is much better, with lots more background of Victoria's life after leaving the Tardis and of the Brigadier's later experiences; it also includes K9 and a young Captain Bambera. It even has some photos taken from the video, so you can pretend it was better than it was. And of course, being on paper rather than on screen, the effects can be as good as Marc Platt's words make them, and Peter Silverleaf's dismally poor acting is no longer a problem.[return][return]It's still a somewhat confusing story, but it is well enough told, and apart from the many moments of continuity joy it also has interesting seeds of the later Sarah Jane audio and TV stories. So I think I can generally recommend it to Who fans. I was able to get it for
So can it be called a Doctor Who book if the Doctor is not in it? This could be one of the odd entries in reading the Doctor Who books. I opted to read this after Victoria's departure in Fury from the Deep, but before UNIT is introduced and Sarah Jane makes an appearance. If you are reading the Doctor Who books, it is a judgement call on the order to read this.This starts of as a Victoria story, but then adds in a Brigadier story. When you start reading you sort of figure out what is going on, but it becomes a how to resolve it more. The story was not bad, but not good. It gives some interesting concepts withe the companions and how things went for them after their last visit with the Doctor.It is an okay read, but not the strongest, again more for Doctor Who fans.
A very good story which would have made a decent episode in the world of modern Doctor Who. It makes a good effort of telling an adventure which could have occurred while The Doctor was away fron Earth. There are similarities to some of the more recent TV episodes. Students slaved to computers for learning purposes(it reminded me of a scene from the TV episode "School Reunion". The students are also controled through headphones(not quite the same as the earpods from "Rise of the Cybermen", but close enough. The novel also takes advantage of a longer narative to show events developing over a long period of time. Would love to have seen the original video of this story, but enjoyed the novel for including some scenes featuring other versions of the Doctor. A must read for Doctor Who fans!
Downtime was every bit as good as I remember - hooray for the old gang of The Brig and Sarah Jane, and for his daughter, and Captain Bamberra (who ended up a Brigadier herself in 'Battlefield').