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Last of the Gaderene

por Mark Gatiss

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292690,156 (3.47)1
The aerodrome in Culverton has new owners, and they promise an era of prosperity for the idyllic village. But former Spitfire pilot Alex Whistler is suspicious - when black-shirted troops appear on the streets, he contacts his old friend Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart at U.N.I.T. The Third Doctoris sent to investigate - and soon uncovers a sinister plot to colonise the Earth. The Gaderene are on their way... An adventure featuring the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee and his companion Jo… (mais)
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Mark Gatiss’s novel, Doctor Who: Last of the Gaderene, features the Third Doctor as portrayed by Jon Pertwee from 1970 – 1974 with his companion Jo Grant as portrayed by Katy Manning. The story focuses on a small village where the military has recently mothballed the local aerodrome. Overnight, a group of black-clad paramilitary types calling themselves Legion International moves in, claiming that they’re setting up a new airport, though they continue to run roughshod over the townsfolk. People begin disappearing only to return changed, not quite themselves. UNIT dispatches the Doctor and Jo to investigate and they soon find an intricate plot at work, though UNIT faces difficulty in arranging an inspection of the aerodrome due to high-placed connections.

Gatiss wrote several episodes of Doctor Who as well as appearing in them, portraying characters such as Professor Lazarus and Captain Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart. His knowledge of and love for the franchise comes through in the story and its characters. He first published this novel in 2000, when the franchise’s television future remained uncertain, and BBC Books re-issued it in 2013 for the 50th Anniversary, which coincided with the seventh series of the revived era. An enjoyable story for fans of the Third Doctor in particular as well as for anyone who loves Doctor Who. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Dec 4, 2022 |
I really enjoyed this book ( )
  dookdragon87 | Oct 25, 2021 |
Nostalgia can be considered a form of time travel. It’s the fond recalling of a time past that one indulges in in order to experience that time again, if only through memories. Sometimes the experience can be more immersive, featuring food and drink of the past, music and, taken to extremes, costumes. This applies equally to WWII weekends and to anything billed as a ‘school disco’ for over 21s only.
Usually, the age one feels nostalgic for is, by some definition or another, better than the present. That’s why the nineteen seventies is an interesting, almost surprising, decade to be nostalgic about. It was a decade not so much of charming sepia tones but rather clashing and contrasting colours not found in nature. These man-made colours adorned man made fabrics, indeed there was so much nylon being worn that if somebody found a way to harness the static electricity being discharged daily in the nation’s playgrounds, we wouldn’t have had the energy crisis that was also a feature of the time.
Confident colours also found their way into the man-made foods of the period. Of course, it would be quite wrong to say that artificial colouring was wholly responsible for all the hyperactivity going on in playgrounds as mentioned above, artificial flavourings also played a part. This was an age where if you liked your food tangy enough to make your eyeballs itch, sweet enough to make you worry about exhaling on a diabetic after a snack and pink enough to make a poof wince, you were in luck.
Seventies summers, it seemed, were the only times when the colours actually resembled those fading Polaroid’s that are our record of that time, as the heat and the dust and the endless days of sunshine bleached and faded the landscape.
Other periods are remembered less fondly. In the late 1990s the BBC (or, more precisely, ‘Those Bastards At The BBC’) cancelled long-running, beloved science fiction show ‘Doctor Who’. Novelisations of the show had always been available but after the shows cancellation the only new material available to fans were new, original novels featuring The Doctor.
Mark Gariss’s ‘Last of the Gaderene’ is one such novel. Mr Gatiss obviously has great affection, bordering on reverence, for the series and for the characters who feature in the novel particularly, but his attempt to capture on the page the spirit of the show in the seventies doesn’t quite come off. Certainly, the action moves along at a cracking pace, there is plenty of rushing about, some of it in corridors, cliff-hangers and other staples of the show that will please the fans, and he certainly gets full marks for crow-barring in the literary equivalent of a wobbly set with a chapter title ‘Fete worse than death’ (if that does not make you smile, your sense of humour needs regenerating). But it’s all a bit stiff, as if he is constrained by having to write about The Doctor and other copyrighted characters.
Which is a shame.
Because what he does capture, superbly, is the character of an English village in the nineteen seventies. The isolation, the bored youth, the claustrophobia and the wide open spaces with children roaming unsupervised are all here, as is that particularly English characteristic of that period of trusting authority, no matter how informal or even odd that authority might appear.
As a science fiction novel, it’s very, very good. Having established the village he introduces the nearby aerodrome and a sinister corporation that have taken possession. The quintessential English village becomes the quintessential English village under threat, be it from the bypass, developers or alien forces intent on world domination (I won’t spoil the book for you by revealing which of the three apply in this case). A classic tale unfolds of an isolated community fighting overwhelming odds. He even creates a character who, in a nostalgic tale of a bygone age, is himself nostalgic for an earlier time.
It’s a charming book, and an enjoyable one. But it could have been so much better if it had not been burdened with the expectations, and limitations, of a television franchise, even one as beloved, and colourful, as Doctor Who. ( )
  macnabbs | Apr 24, 2014 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2235024.html

This is a satisfying return to well-known themes of the Third Doctor's era - the country village, the Master, the sinister scientific installation, the aliens taking over people's bodies - updated for the audience of the year 2000, with the government being rather more obviously malicious rather than incompetent. ( )
  nwhyte | Jan 25, 2014 |
Really well written and feels very much like a 3rd Doctor serial, but seemed to drag. Lots of characters to keep track of and not a lot of actual plot. ( )
  DataAngel | Jun 21, 2013 |
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The aerodrome in Culverton has new owners, and they promise an era of prosperity for the idyllic village. But former Spitfire pilot Alex Whistler is suspicious - when black-shirted troops appear on the streets, he contacts his old friend Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart at U.N.I.T. The Third Doctoris sent to investigate - and soon uncovers a sinister plot to colonise the Earth. The Gaderene are on their way... An adventure featuring the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee and his companion Jo

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