The Taking of Planet 5 
BBC 8th Doctor Novel
 
With the number of excellent writers who currently work on the BBC Doctor Who novels, it's a measure of the achievement of Simon Butcher-Jones and Mark Clapham that The Taking of Planet 5 is one of the very best entries. The plotting has tremendous narrative sweep and the characterisation of the Time Lord (this is an adventure of the eighth doctor) has all the quirkiness and humour one would expect, along with the fierce intelligence that is so necessary--and became too rare in recent TV outings for the Doctor.

12 million years ago, an interg
alactic war left its ripples on the Earth. Now, in Antarctica, an archaeological team has found something that is the detritus of the cosmic conflict. The creature, which had evolved millions of years ago into an entity capable consuming all life in the universe, will be a catastrophic threat if it is revived. And something outside our universe has decided to do just that. The Doctor, in the far future, has learnt of the war and is obliged to intervene. But things are complicated by the involvement of combatants from his own future.

The Takin
g of Planet 5 combines the very best of familiar SF themes (Armageddon, the altering of the future by actions of the past) and this outing for the Time Lord has all the exhilarating power of his very best adventures. There are also some striking innovations here: Enthusiasts will relish the extra attention given to the TARDIS:

"The TARDIS hovered in space, its fe
llows around it, tasting freedom. Now, if only it could be free of this infestation in its guts, free of this virus that seemed so like a Time Lord, and yet sound alike."
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