THE TAKING OF PLANET 5 by Simon Bucher-Jones and Mark Clapham

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Starts horribly, but gets better.

The Taking Of Planet 5 is another in the arc of books started by Alien Bodies. Unfortunately, unlike some books such as Unnatural History in which the authors took Lawrence Miles's concepts and put their own unique spin on them, The Taking of Planet 5 tries to out-Miles Miles and succeeds only in showing how far below Miles's calibre the authors are.

The book is full of Milesesque ideas, some of them pretty impressive, but oh, dear, the writing. The first part of the book is so poorly written we kept zoning out, which made following the multiple plotlines quite a chore. The future Time Lords in their Elder Things guise are cartoons, living proof that giving something tentacles does not make it interesting.

The Doctor is quite frankly hopeless, one of the worst portrayals we've seen so far in the EDA line. (We particularly object to his entirely unDoctorly attempts to make Compassion over.) Fitz is okay, and we quite liked Compassion in parts, although we're getting awfully sick of her one-note personality.

The book does improve in interest as it goes along, but it never really gels. It's too busy screaming "Look at me! Aren't I clever?", and while some of the ideas are great, there are also many which seem tired and familiar. It should have built on Miles's concepts, but with its clumsy handling it ends up detracting from them.

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