When Time Lord Victorious was first announced I was disappointed that more recent Doctors were not part of the story – namely the 12th and 13th Doctors – but with Steve Cole & Una McCormack being the writers of these brand new novels, I just had to give them a go. And, to be honest, they did an awesome job; I loved being able to explore The Dark Times, a period of history that we’ve been teased about for years, & it was fantastic to have more of Nine as well! I’m definitely excited to explore more of this story in the comics and DW magazine!
The Knight, the fool and the dead by steve cole
⚠️ Typical Doctor Who violence, genocide of an alien race, suicide & war themes ⚠️
In the first of the two novels we are introduced to the Kotturuh, the “bad guys” of The Dark Times, & we also meet two women called Estinee & Fallomax, one of whom I loved, & the other I was not so sure about. One thing that I really liked about this story, was that I would have still enjoyed it, even if it had been told outside of the Doctor Who universe – if the Doctor had been removed from the story, & it was just about the Kotturuh & their impact on the lives of Estinee & Fallomax, I would have still loved it, & I think it would be great if Steve Cole wrote a sort-of prequel about what the Kotturuh did to Estinee’s people. I found the Kotturuh incredibly fascinating, & I loved the interactions between Ten & Estinee.
Ten’s behaviour in book one was rather reckless, & if there had not been references to the already-established events of the TV show, I would have thought it incredibly out of character for him; but, by telling the audience where this story fits into Ten’s timeline, it helps to integrate Time Lord Victorious into the show, allowing it to become a real part of the Doctor’s history.
One thing I must also quickly mention, is the randomness of an Ood assassin called Brian, & how his role in the book actually worked quite well… even if I struggled to hear his words in the calming voice of the Ood we all know & love, I really ended up loving this strange character & I think he should totally get his own spin-off!!
Book one ended in a fairly surprising way & left me super curious about how the story would continue in book two, especially as it was another writer taking over – thankfully, I love both Steve Cole & Una McCormack’s work anyway so I wasn’t too worried about the change. This was a great way to be introduced to the Time Lord Victorious saga & now that I’ve worked out what Time Lord Victorious actually is, & how the different perspectives and media will all fit together, I think it’s a great idea, and I’m really excited to explore the different parts of the story.
All Flesh is Grass by Una Mccormack
⚠️ Typical Doctor Who violence, death, war themes & use of weapons ⚠️
The second of the two Time Lord Victorious novels picks up directly where the first book ends, which was great because I didn’t want to miss a thing! I was also very excited to have Nine (& Eight) properly introduced into the story, especially as we never got to see Nine & Ten on-screen together – seriously, having these two Doctor’s in the same story was awesome! I especially loved seeing the differences & similarities between the different Doctors in the story, & the whole thing just made me super, super happy ahah. Unfortunately, I can’t really comment on the accuracy of Una’s Eighth Doctor as I’m yet to watch Classic Who, but I could hear Nine’s voice in my head throughout the entire book, & Ten was written really well too.
As with the first book, I loved the new characters we got to meet, especially Madam Ikalla, & the vampires; I found her species as interesting as the Kotturuh & she’s yet another character that I would love a spin-off with. Something that makes Time Lord Victorious even more unique than it already is, is the view we get of the Daleks – we get to see them in a new light, although they are still alien psychopaths, & I found their involvement very entertaining. There was actually quite a lot of humour in Una’s story as well, which was a lot of fun.
I love Una McCormack’s work & she did a really great job of picking up the story where Steve Cole left it, with the change being pretty much seamless, despite there being an obvious, & interesting, change in focus & pace. I wrote hardly any notes during my actual read of this book, as I was just so absorbed by it, but when I finished it I was buzzing & couldn’t write fast enough.
When Time Lord Victorious was announced, many people were worried about how accessible it would be, financially, because of there being so many parts to it, in so many different forms of media. But, I can happily say that I think it’s completely possible to understand what happened in the Dark Times just through these two novels; yes, I am eager to explore the Ninth Doctor’s instalments, but I know that in doing so I will only gather extra details, rather than fundamental parts of the story – which is a big relief.
I was sceptical about the Time Lord Victorious story before reading these books, but now it’s just another part of the Doctor’s life, & one that I found incredibly interesting; my review has been pretty pants, but I definitely recommend this adventure!
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