THE JANUS CONJUNCTION by Trevor Baxendale
A tad on the stupid side, but surprisingly likeable.
The Janus Conjunction's as trad as all get-out. Daring prison escapes? Insane adversary? Doomsday weapon? Ticking-clock deadly radiation? You got 'em. Admittedly some of them, particularly the insane adversary, we were hoping we'd never see again, but still. Although parts of it are fantastically annoying, overall it's a good fun adventure.
Janus Conjunction's csharacterisation is hit and miss: Julya is interesting, Lunder's a macho dork, Zemler's a raving loony. We're supposed to care about the fate of the colonists but we hardly see any of them, and it's not entirely clear to us why it is that the military types continue supporting Zemler when it's clear he's round the twist. Oh, well.
We enjoyed the spidroids, although we did wonder whether the Doctor's supposed to seem like quite the PC twit he appears by insisting on referring to them as Janusians. And we've said it before and we'll say it again: we like Sam, and we found the scenes where she's dying and the Doctor saves her life touching and sensitively done, not to mention giving us quite an insight into the Doctor's character. (We were going to ask why if he can do it for Sam he couldn't do it for Adric, then the stupidity of that question struck us forcefully between the eyes.)
There's lots of action, people bubbling and improbable science. The junk food of the EDA's: you know it's not that good, but you like it anyway.