4) The Gallifrey Chronicles, by Lance Parkin
My decision to read the BBC’s Eighth Doctor Adventures in a peculiar order has brought me to the end of the line, in internal chronology, after reading fewer than a tenth of them; so I could be filling in the gaps for some time to come.
There are some slightly baffling bits of continuity. I still don’t have the backstory abouit the destruction of Gallifrey (in EDA continuity, that is; I have enjoyed the Big Finish version) but it’s not as relevant to the plot as I expected. Likewise the Doctor’s adopted daughter Miranda makes an appearance, the first time I had encountered her.
This was also the first book I’ve read with companion Trix, who has replaced Anji as female sidekick to Fitz (though Anji makes a welcome cameo appearance). Trix and Fitz take advantage of the approaching end of the sequence of novels and fall in love, after travelling together for some time – I think the most overtly physical relationship between two companions in the whole extended canon before New Who, though it’s not particularly explicit and is abruptly interrupted.
The ending is not really as conclusive as you would have liked for the termination of a series of more than 70 books. Of course, this is probably Russell T Davies’ fault more than Lance Parkin’s, but it’s a bit of a shame.
Anyway, once again Lance Parkin has produced a mildly confusing if generally readable book. Once again, I find myself thinking that I wouldn’t recommend it as a starting point for anyone wanting to get into the Eighth Doctor Adventures; but I have to admit I haven’t really identified such a starting point as yet.