THIS STORY TAKES
place BETWEEN THE
BIG FINISH AUDIO
"THE EMPEROR OF
ETERNITY" AND THE
NOVEL "THE DARK
PAPERBACK (ISBN 0-426
-20480-8) RELEASED IN
THE DOCTOR RETURNS to
the Web Planet TO FIND
A world embroiled in
a bitter war between
the opposing factions
of a divided race...
of the Gods
I should perhaps say for starters that I have always found The Web Planet to be completely insufferable, and so right from the off poor old Christopher Bulis was always going to have a hard time in winning me over with his sequel to it in print, Twilight of the Gods.
Now even in its day The Web Planet was reviled by many as “…a third rate kiddies pantomime” and, for me personally, the comparatively poor production required me to stretch my disbelief just ever so slightly too far. Regrettably, to a young man spoiled by contemporary special effects, the laughable ‘alien’ offerings of the 1964 six-parter fell completely flat. But surely in print, Bulis would not face the same problem? One would think that the Menoptra and the Zarbi would be perfectly suited to this medium because one’s imagination would be given the opportunity to realise them far better than even the special effects of today ever could.
One would think that. But, with images of The Web Planet fresh in my mind, when reading this book I still pictured the Menoptra and the Zarbi as looking exactly as they did on television.
Furthermore, much like the television story that it follows, Twilight of the Gods is poorly paced and contains very little in the way of significant plot. In fairness to Bulis, he has tried
to jazz things up a bit by throwing a new alien race in the mix – the Rhumon – and have
them fight out their own private little war on Vortis, but unfortunately they wind up proving to be just another symptom rather than a cure. At first, I did briefly think that these Rhumon were going to be mildly interesting, but sadly their two extremist factions (the far left and the far right) proved to be as predictable as punch.
Worse still, the Doctor saves the day by making a short hop in the TARDIS – since when could the second Doctor navigate, hmm? The final indignation comes when Bulis decides
to make the Animus yet another one of these ‘Great Old Ones’…
I would like to say that there are some decent bits, but mostly I found Twilight of the Gods
to be as dreary and as torrid an affair as The Web Planet was. That, however, would be a barefaced lie as there are no decent bits. At no point did this novel grab me – a great
shame considering just how much I enjoyed Bulis’ immediately prior (and infinitely superior) offering, The Eye of the Giant, which I would recommend over this book any day.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
This novel’s blurb places it between the television serials The Web of Fear and Fury from the Deep. Within this gap, we have placed it between the audio book The Emperor of Eternity and the novel The Dark Path. Whilst the audio books featuring Victoria were released later, both this novel and especially The Dark Path clearly build towards Victoria’s departure in Fury from the Deep.
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