15 years ago the Fortress appeared from nowhere in the city of Arcopolis, wiping out the entire population in an instant. Now the Doctor has arrived, determined to destroy the devastating weapon house at the heart of the Fortress. But he discovers the remnants of the civilisation, a generation raised with curiosity in their minds and wanting to know what secrets the city holds.
Now the Eyeless arrive and discover the Fortress, wanting its secrets for themselves. Can the Doctor reach the weapon before the Eyeless and avoid a catastrophe or will they prevail and wipe out everything?
I came to this book through a comment on the blog at the start of December – a comment was left in the monthly releases post saying that they had heard this could be one of the best Doctor Who novels for a while and the best that Lance Parkin had written. I was very intrigued by this and really wanted to see what the Doctor Who novels had to offer compared to the TV series (of which I’m a viewer, but not the biggest of fans). So what did I think? Read on…
I did enjoy The Eyeless for various reasons, but equally I had some issues with it. The story is a decent sci-fi one and offers some good looks and descriptions of a ruined and abandoned city and remaining population. The motivations of the characters are believable (as are the characters themselves) and the generation gap between the surviving adults and their children born since the disaster is looked at and explored nicely. The Eyeless and the Fortress are both mysterious, we know about them and, to an extent, what they can do, but it isn’t until later on in the novel when we really find out more about either of them. I won’t go into spoilers, but suffice to say that it is all very much Doctor Who, and that’s where my problem lies.
Although good, The Eyeless read very much like a Doctor Who episode, from the arrival of the Doctor, the inevitable issues with the culture and the endless infinite knowledge of the Doctor. As this Doctor is the David Tennant incarnation he is always in my mind when the Doctor is on the page. Lance Parkin has written the Doctor very well in this sense – all the mannerisms are there and he does an excellent job of portraying many of the elements of a complex story very effectively.
The Eyeless was a good, quick read, but perhaps one suited for fans of the Doctor Who universe rather than just general sci-fi fans. All in all this is a very worthy addition to the universe, just not entirely my cup of tea.