27 February 2018

Publisher: BBC Books

Written By: Douglas Adams & James Goss

RRP: £16.99 (Hardback)

Release Date: 18th January 2018

Reviewed by: Richard Binnington

Rediscover the lost Doctor Who adventure by Douglas Adams. 

Intergalactic war? That’s just not cricket … or is it? 

The Doctor promised Romana the end of the universe, so she’s less than impressed when what she gets is a cricket match. But then the award ceremony is interrupted by eleven figures in white uniforms and peaked skull helmets, wielding bat-shaped weapons that fire lethal bolts of light into the screaming crowd. The Krikkitmen are back. 

Millions of years ago, the people of Krikkit learned they were not alone in the universe, and promptly launched a xenophobic crusade to wipe out all other life-forms. After a long and bloody conflict, the Time Lords imprisoned Krikkit within an envelope of Slow Time, a prison that could only be opened with the Wicket Gate key, a device that resembles – to human eyes, at least – an oversized set of cricket stumps…

From Earth to Gallifrey, from Bethselamin to Devalin, from Krikkit to Mareeve II to the far edge of infinity, the Doctor and Romana are tugged into a pan-galactic conga with fate as they rush to stop the Krikkitmen gaining all five pieces of the key. If they fail, the entire cosmos faces a fiery retribution that will leave nothing but ashes…

Romana thought she was having a bad day when The Doctor decided to take her to the cricket. But that was nothing when the most deadly robots in the universe turned up. The Doctor and Romana romp around the universe racing to collect all the pieces of the Wicket Gate key in order to stop the Krikkitmen freeing their home planet, Krikkit, enveloped in a slow time field by the Time Lords, after a devastating conflict. The entire universe is at stake, with the Krikkitmen aiming to destroy everything and everyone as they step up to the bat. Oh and did I mention the most incredibly dangerous weapon in the universe is rolling around looking very much like a Cricket ball from planet earth? With Time Lords, Tea and ‘regrettable acts between the swimming pool and the car park’, this adventure in time and space is magnificently crafted, which will no doubt fill you to the brim on a nostalgia hype.

The most tantalising part of the book is how evident the voice of the writer's is. I found it seamlessly Douglas Adams but with James Goss’ exceptional skill to tell the story through a combined humour and wit which permeates throughout. Whether it is detailing the quiet hobbies of Time Lords back on Gallifrey (including their favourite, ever-loving quest for a lovely cup of tea) or The Doctor checking if he's talking to the right K9 and not the one he left with Leela, who is running about on the planet somewhere.

Doctor Who And The Krikkitmen is a fantastic celebration of one of the best writers Doctor Who has ever had, and has brought his spirit back to life. It’s rooted full of mythology from the history of the series, which makes it even more enjoyable - particularly, The Doctor spending a large amount of time back in The Matrix.

Unusually, this book had its own set of ‘Special Features’ just like what we’re used to from the brilliant DVD range. Goss details how ‘The Krikkitmen’ came to be, alongside the original 32 page treatment written by Adams, which contains a version of the story with a different companion, Sarah Jane! Originally cited as ‘Jane’ within the treatment, Goss tried out a version with her and discovered that it would make more sense for Romana, as played by Lalla Ward, to feature, due to its connections with Shada. It includes these first few chapters, which is immensely interesting to see how much changed by swapping out the companion.

Overall, it's a fantastic romp in the style of, what some consider, the best era of Doctor Who. A thoroughly enjoyable read, full of attention to detail, and, quite simply, a lost classic on screen. On finishing, it left me wanting more and I immediately popped City of Death in my DVD player for a seamless experience. This addition to the range of Fourth Doctor novelisations (Shada By Gareth Roberts, City Of Death by James Goss, & The Pirate Planet by James Goss) continues to delve into the details of how magical a writer Douglas Adams was. Even the chapter titles have humorous elements to them, my favourite: Chapter 42: The Meaning of Life. If you’re in need of a new Fourth Doctor fix, get out there and read this now!

+  Doctor Who And The Krikkitmen is Out Now, priced £16.99.
+  BUY this title on Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow Doctor Who Online (@DrWhoOnline) on Twitter.


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