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Amorality Tale

por David Bishop

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Doctor Who: Past Doctor Adventure (52), Doctor Who {non-TV} (PD Novel)

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1615169,345 (2.95)7
When gangster Tommy Ramsey is released from prison, he is determined to retake control of his East End territory. But new arrivals threaten his grip on illegal activity in the area. An evangelical minister is persuading people to seek redemption for their sins. A new gang is claiming the streets. And a watchmender called Smith is leading a revolt against the Ramsey Mob's protection racket. When Tommy strikes back at his enemies, a far more terrifying threat is revealed. Within hours the city's air turns into nerve gas and thousands succumb to the choking fumes. London is dying... An adventure set in 1950s London, featuring the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee and his companion Sarah Jane Smith.… (mais)
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Mostrando 5 de 5
This is a Doctor Spin off novel featuring the Jon Pertwee incarnation and Sarah Jane Smith, set between the TV stories The Monster of Peladon and Planet of the Spiders, his swansong. It is set during a real historical incident, a great smog in London in December 1952 which for several days combined natural weather with the effluvia of thousands of coal fires to blanket the city in a choking smog. Several thousand excess deaths occurred, mostly among the very old and very young and those already vulnerable to breathing problems. Here the Doctor is already established in situ at the start of the novel as an East End watchmender ("Fixing Time"), with Sarah incongruously working as a barmaid in a dodgy club The Red Rooms. The main backdrop though is East End gang warfare, centred around Tommy Ramsey's gang, and indeed the first third of the novel was really a gangster story with almost no science fiction elements. But after a Friday noon confrontation between Tommy's and a rival gang, the latter's leader turns into a shape shifting alien. The Xhinn have come to Earth to conquer and absorb it into their empire, adding poisonous gas to the existing smog to wipe out more people, while also taking over the local police forces and using them to capture and kill the population under the guise of evacuating them due to the weather. There are some gruesome set piece scenes here and the Doctor and Sarah must work with Tommy Ramsey to defeat the aliens. Tommy is an interesting and quite an appealing rogue in some ways, despite also being a murderer and extortionist. There are one or two other interesting and rounded characters too, making this a very good and dramatic read. ( )
  john257hopper | Nov 10, 2023 |
Content warning for suicide and murder (rather gruesome murder by Doctor Who standards)

London, December 1952. Tommy Ramsey has just served a six-month prison sentence and is looking forward to retaking control of his East End gang. But his group of racketeers, bookies and gangsters are no match for the alien threat that looms over London, weaponizing smog for its own ends… The Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith will have to help him out.

This was surprisingly grim and violent for a Doctor Who novel. Even for a novel about gangsters, I found some of the death scenes deeply disturbing. The atmosphere was grey and menacing, much like the smog choking London. This smog is an actual historical event: the Great Smog of 1952. I liked the use of this event to create a vivid Doctor Who story, and the use of a time not too far away from Sarah’s own illustrates just how much change can happen in only 20 years. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Dec 3, 2020 |
When Sarah Jane Smith discovers a picture from 1952 of the Doctor shaking hands with an East End mob boss, the two travel back in time to investigate events. They arrive in a London on the eve of an environmental disaster and a neighborhood on the brink of a turf war. But who is organizing the homeless young men into a new gang? And how is it related to the American priest whose sermons are galvanizing the community against the sin in their midst?

Given the Doctor's propensity to become entangled in key moments of British history, it was probably inevitable that at some point he would make an appearance during the Great Smog of 1952, when thousands of Londoners died as a result of air pollution concentrated by weather conditions. And by thrusting the Third Doctor (one of my favorite incarnations) and Sarah Jane Smith (easily the all-time best companion) into a situation mixing gangsters and aliens into a historical event, the stage is set for a memorable adventure. Yet in the end it's a mixture that doesn't quite catalyze. Perhaps this is because of the mobsters, whose involvement often distracts from the activities of the Doctor and the main threat he is addressing. Or perhaps it is the aliens Bishop creates, which prove a curious combination of power and triteness. But in the end it's a novel that doesn't live up to expectations given the elements involved and wastes a prime historical moment in the process. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2277968.html

Past Doctor Adventure taking Three and Sarah Jane back to December 1952 where smog, East End gangsters and aliens form a deadly brew. I thought it was pretty poor. The East End gangsters talk like college students. The portrayal on the Church is anachronistic and unrealistic. There are some good desriptive moments and some elements of pathos, but it's really not great.

In particular, the aliens' evil plan is uncomfortably close to the Holocaust. As has been discussed at length by people better qualified than me, this is one of those topics that Who can never really do. Doctor Who, however seriously we may sometimes take it, is fundamentally entertainment; the Holocaust is not. The book has a gross error of taste and judgement at its core.

(I have enjoyed Bishop's later work - particularly the second series of Sarah Jane Smith audios - but this is a wobbly start to say the least.) ( )
  nwhyte | May 3, 2014 |
Sarah Jane has come across a picture of the Doctor in London in December 1952 when a large number of people died because of heavy smog, and proposes a journey back in time. Once there, get ready for the action that involves East End gangs, a visionary priest, a bakery and the colonising Xhinn. I really enjoyed this - period stories make me weak at knees and this was very good, very atmospheric, and addresses the difficult question of what amount of suffering is acceptable for the greater good. ( )
  mari_reads | Feb 2, 2009 |
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Religion blushing veils her sacred fires,
And unawares morality expires.
Nor public flame, nor private, dares to shine;
Nor human spark is left nor glimpse divine!
Lo! thy dread empire, Chaos! is restored;
Light dies before thy uncreating word;
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall
And universal darkness buries us all.
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744

Morality Tale: n. a kind of drama (popular in the sixteenth century) in which the characters represent virtues, vices etc.
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When gangster Tommy Ramsey is released from prison, he is determined to retake control of his East End territory. But new arrivals threaten his grip on illegal activity in the area. An evangelical minister is persuading people to seek redemption for their sins. A new gang is claiming the streets. And a watchmender called Smith is leading a revolt against the Ramsey Mob's protection racket. When Tommy strikes back at his enemies, a far more terrifying threat is revealed. Within hours the city's air turns into nerve gas and thousands succumb to the choking fumes. London is dying... An adventure set in 1950s London, featuring the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee and his companion Sarah Jane Smith.

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