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Divided Loyalties by Gary Russell
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Divided Loyalties

by Gary Russell

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This should have been great, because HELLO CELESTIAL TOYMAKER, but the author was way more interested in imposing the world's longest and most tedious flashback, to the Doctor's student days (yawn), devoting over a third of the book to it, than in doing anything much with this fantastic villain.

What stars it gets are largely due to Tegan. Which, no one it's as surprised as I am about that! ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2367758.html

the only original Who novel to feature the Celestial Toymaker (The Nightmare Fair is based on an unmade TV story), along with the Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan. I see from online commentary that the book is generally hated by fans; I am really rather puzzled by this. Perhaps this is the effect of reading it in 2014, when we have had a number of Fifth Doctor audios reuniting Tegan and Nyssa (and Turlough rather than Adric), and the Doctor's relationship with Gallifrey has been remoulded rather substantially; what was described as fanwank in 1999 seems if anything rather forward-looking now.

Anyway. Each of the four main characters is forced, as part o the Toymaker's games, to relive elements of their past lives, which I thought were extrapolated rather well given that we saw bits of Adric and Nyssa's home planets on TV and live on Tegan's. The most entertaining bit for me, especially knowing now that I am re-reading Lungbarrow next month, was the idea of the young Doctor hanging around with nine friends on Gallifrey, including basically almost all the renegade Time Lords we had ever heard of and a couple more; I found it a neat effort to explain and make consistent our hero's observed relationships with, for instance, the Monk and Drax, not to mention the Master.

It was still a bit rambling in places, so it won't get top marks for me, but I'm genuinely surprised by the vitriol this drew from fandom on first publication. It seems to me rather unfair on Gary Russell, whose record has many more hits than misses. ( )
  nwhyte | Oct 27, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Russell, GaryAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Black SheepCover imagingsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The TARDIS was hovering in the space-time vortex - drift compensators stopping it from going anywhere hazardous - although soon its automatic guidance controls would silently operate on a pre-programmed set of commands, opening a gateway between the vortex and real space.
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An adventure featuring the fifth Doctor Who, Tegan, Nyssa and Adric, and delving into the past of the first Doctor. The story explores the relationship between the universe and one of the Doctor's oldest protagonists, the Celestial Toymaker.

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