BBC 8th Doctor Novel
Set in the Second World War, this first 8th Doctor novel from David McIntee effectively captures the relentlessly grim nature of the War as well as containing numerous scenes of bloody carnage.
It can be a bit too gruesome: in one scene Sam is sprayed by blood, brain and bits of skull from a hapless driver when their transport is ambushed. An awful lot of people in this novel die in horrible ways: mutilated by German and Allied forces (depending on which side you're on), shot in the head, chest and back and generally not given a nice ride at all.
Amid this real-life horror is a more science-fiction element whereby the dead start vanishing in a strange mist, and some of those in charge seem to know more about what's going on than others. And then there's a mysterious prisoner captured by the Germans and kept in an electrified cage...
While McIntee's tying together of a brutal war with the Philadelphia Experiment (involving a vanishing ship) is admirable the end result just doesn't work. The juxtaposition of brutal death with alien faerie folk clashes and the splitting up of Sam, Fitz and the Doctor serves no useful purpose apart from following one of the tropes from the series.
As a novel which brings home the horrific pointlessness of war Autumn Mist works really well. However, as a Doctor Who adventure it just doesn't feel right. Once again Sam gets all the interesting stuff, Fitz stands around doing not hing and the Doctor tries to get away with a minimum of blood on his hands. Disappointing. --David J Howe
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