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Publisher: Telos Publishing Ltd
Release Date: January 2004
ISBN: 190388928X
Format Reviewed: Hardback
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Genre: SF/TV Tie-in (Dr Who) [1865, West Virginia etc]
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:

Blood & Hope
Dr. Who Series
By Iain McLaughlin

   When you consider what Dr Who became - possibly the ultimate in SF family viewing - it is sometimes odd to think that it was actually created as an educational series. Presumably the Doctor and his companion(s) would appear in some new historical venue each story and there would be plenty of opportunities to learn some more about that period. This didn't happen, but in this book I rather think that it has. The fifth Dr Who, Peri and an ancient Egyptian princess called Erimem arrive for a vacation in what the Doctor imagines is the Wild West. Trouble is, he is at least a decade too early and instead arrives towards the end of the Civil War. Erimem is a dark-skinned girl and is instantly thought of as a slave, and the group will soon be learning more history than they wished for.

   There is a lot to applaud in this novella. The Doctor and his companions get to meet Lincoln and witness not only the end of the war but the destruction that it has wrought to the country and its people. I wouldn't say that there is as much of an adventure in here for the time travelers as there could have been if the book had been longer (if only it had been) but I would heartily recommend it to anybody (perhaps a younger person) who thinks history is boring and the past is irrelevant. Race issues, the terrible nature of a civil war, and heroism are obvious topics, but they seem so much more immediate as this novel is written in the form of extracts from letters and journals. We eavesdrop on a romance between to sets of friends from the North and the South and its outcome, discover Peri's opinions of the time, and threaded in are also extracts from newspapers and other current documents. Something along these lines in the upcoming TV series would make for a very involving history lesson.

Obtainable from Telos Publishing Ltd, 61 Elgar Avenue, Tolworth, Surrey, KT5 9JP
Standard edition £10, Deluxe edition £25
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