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City of Death

por James Goss

Outros autores: Douglas Adams (Original Script), David Fisher (Original Story)

Séries: Doctor Who Event Hardcovers (8), Doctor Who (Classic Who Novel)

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16211129,969 (4.1)12
"Based on the beloved Doctor Who episode of the same name by Douglas Adams, the hilarious and brilliant author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, comes City of Death... "A nasty, savage race, the universe was glad to see the back of them..." 4 billion BCE: The Jagaroth, the most powerful, vicious, and visually unappealing race in the universe disappears from existence. Few are sad to see them go. 1505 CE: Leonardo da Vinci is rudely interrupted while gilding the lily by a most annoying military man by the name of Captain Tancredi. 1979 CE: Despite his best efforts not to end up in exactly the right place at exactly the wrong time, the Doctor, his companion Romana, and his cybernetic dog, K-9, arrive for a vacation in Paris only to discover that they have landed not only in one of the less romantic periods in Parisian history, but in a year in which the fabric of time has begun to crack. It is once again up to the Doctor to uncover an audacious alien scheme filled with homemade time machines, the theft of the Mona Lisa, the resurrection of the Jagaroths, and the beginning (or possibly the end--it is all quite complicated, you see) of all life on Earth. Some holiday indeed.."--… (mais)
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This is not my favorite Doctor Who episode. Not by a LONG shot. The Fourth Doctor (who is featured in this book) is My Doctor, as Whovians reckon things, but this episode has never been a highlight for me. It seems that The Doctor isn't the star of this episode - and the star isn't even his companion, Romana. (Yes, I realize she's also a Time Lord. She's still his companion.) The star of this episode is the city of Paris. And that's not what I enjoy most from Doctor Who episodes.

I have read (well, listened to) another of James Goss' Doctor Who stories, but this is the only one which was a TV episode first. I liked the other one a lot more, because I was able to enjoy it for itself and not with the episode constantly running in my head as background to the story. (Granted, I also liked it because it was narrated by David Tenant.) This one was well written, but had the same issues that the TV episode did. I don't read Doctor Who to read about Paris any more than I watch the show for that reason.

I did enjoy the additional background we see into the other characters, and the humor was lovely. My chief complaint is with the plot, and not the execution. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
The Doctor very rarely succeeds in actually taking a holiday, but Paris 1979 is one of the better possible places to try. K-9 has to stay behind on the TARDIS because Parisian dogs are not nearly as well trained as he; the Doctor and Romana, meanwhile, head out to cafes, eat delicious food, and admire the paintings in the Louvre. Their holiday then gets upended by a time-bending art heist and an alien attempting to end the Earth to bring his fragmentary selves back together. Just another day at the office. But at least they can eat croissants while sorting things out.

This novelization by James Goss was written mostly using the rehearsal scripts of the TV story as a basis, with some bits taken from the final broadcast version where it was useful. Goss captures the flavour of Adams’s writing well, especially by lifting wholesale some of Adams’s stage directions (e.g., describing someone who has been hit on the head by saying that they “go down like a sack of turnips”). Of the three Adams stories that Goss has novelized, this is my favourite so far. The Pirate Planet felt really long, and the Krikkitmen one looked really long, too long for what I wanted at the time. But this story is pacy and weird and silly and fun, and makes a great afternoon’s reading. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 29, 2020 |
This was crazy! Loved every bit. ( )
  pree00 | Mar 6, 2019 |
An excellent version of the adventure Doctor Who fans of the era know so well. Thankfully fills in one or two gaps. ( )
  Fiddleback_ | Dec 17, 2018 |
I have watched Dr. Who on TV but started with the 9th Doctor (played by Chris Eccleston) where this book seems to be set in the time where Tom Baker portrayed the Doctor (or at least I'm guessing so based on the scarf.) I don't remember watching any of his episodes though there were times while reading this that I thought I'd seen the episode. My favorite Doctor so far was David Tennant's 10th Doctor, though I will admit that I haven't watched many of the vintage Dr. Who (prior to the 9th Doctor) yet, so that may change in the future.

As far as I know I haven't read anything else by James Goss. I have read Douglas Adams's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series. I recognize David Fisher's name but couldn't name anything specific that I've read or seen that he did.

For some reason, I thought that the Doctor was on the run from the Time Lords after stealing the TARDIS. I also thought he was the last of the Time Lords (or so he believed anyway) Here, he has an apprentice Time Lord (Romana) with him. She doesn't seem to be trying to turn him in. So I suspect something happened between when he stole the TARDIS and now so that he's no longer on the run from the other Time Lords. He's also not the only Time Lord (though perhaps Romana hasn't yet earned the full title? but it does sound like there are other Time Lords besides these two.) Perhaps some of that happened before this incarnation and some happened after. I know there is a "War Doctor" between the 8th and 9th Doctors--perhaps that war was when the other Time Lords were assumed dead (though that changes again later in the series if I remember correctly).

I would say this is more of a miss for me than it was a hit. Romana didn't strike me as a great companion to the Doctor. I enjoyed Duggan more though he reminded me of another alien species from Dr. Who who liked to hit things (I can't remember the alien species name offhand.) The Mona Lisa(s) was an interesting concept. I'm guessing there was some prior communication between the Scarlonis to know that they would need 7 of them in the current time frame for the 7 potential buyers so each would think he/she was the only one who won the bidding war on the famous painting. I also liked the Doctor writing on Leonardo daVinci's boards with a sharpie marker and then just telling him to "paint over them".

I didn't connect Scarlioni and Scaroth at first or understand that he was fragmented. I think something similar may have happened with Clara in the newer series--that she was scattered somehow and often there to save the Doctor in his various incarnations.

I didn't quite understand the purpose of the Harrison Mandel parts of the book. There's an attempt to get him to appreciate Paris and art--something that only succeeds when he sees the TARDIS where the Doctor has "parked" it in an art gallery. The story probably could have gotten along without these bits. Perhaps it was supposed to be a counterpoint story to Romana appreciating Paris.

I've always thought when I watch the episodes that I lost focus and missed some bit that was crucial to the final act--reading this, I wonder if that is not the case and that I just really don't "get" the premise somehow. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Oct 29, 2018 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Goss, Jamesautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Adams, DouglasOriginal Scriptautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Fisher, DavidOriginal Storyautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado

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One's emotions are intensified in Paris--one can be more happy and also more unhappy here than in any other place . . .There is nobody so miserable as a Parisian in exile.--Nancy Mitford, "The Pursuit of Love"
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"Based on the beloved Doctor Who episode of the same name by Douglas Adams, the hilarious and brilliant author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, comes City of Death... "A nasty, savage race, the universe was glad to see the back of them..." 4 billion BCE: The Jagaroth, the most powerful, vicious, and visually unappealing race in the universe disappears from existence. Few are sad to see them go. 1505 CE: Leonardo da Vinci is rudely interrupted while gilding the lily by a most annoying military man by the name of Captain Tancredi. 1979 CE: Despite his best efforts not to end up in exactly the right place at exactly the wrong time, the Doctor, his companion Romana, and his cybernetic dog, K-9, arrive for a vacation in Paris only to discover that they have landed not only in one of the less romantic periods in Parisian history, but in a year in which the fabric of time has begun to crack. It is once again up to the Doctor to uncover an audacious alien scheme filled with homemade time machines, the theft of the Mona Lisa, the resurrection of the Jagaroths, and the beginning (or possibly the end--it is all quite complicated, you see) of all life on Earth. Some holiday indeed.."--

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