(ISBN 0-426-20490-5)







 Seeking respite after

 the traumatic events

 in the 30TH century,

 the Doctor and Chris

 travel to LONDON IN

 THE 1950s. But all is

 not well in bohemian

 Soho: racist attacks

 shatter the peace and

 a Driverless TAXI cab

 stalks the night.


 While Chris enjoys

 himself at A club, the

 Doctor investigates a

 series of ritualistic

 murders with ONLY

 ONE uncommon link -

 the victims all have

 no past. Meanwhile, a

 West End gangster is

 planning to clean up

 the town, apparently

 with the help of the

 Devil himself. And, in

 the corridors of an

 abandoned mental

 hospital, SOMEONE is

 conducting some very

 bad therapy indeed.


 As stakes are raised,

 healing SOON turns IN

 to killing, old friends

 aRE FOUND IN strange

 places - and even

 toys can have a

 sinister purpose.



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Bad Therapy







Think about how Time-Flight handled the repercussions of Adric’s death so very tactlessly, imagine the opposite and you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect from Matthew Jones’ first novel. Bad Therapy is a carefully plotted and emotionally mature tale; not only

is it a great Doctor Who story in its own right, but it also manages to mirror the emotional turmoil of the two regulars perfectly in its principal villain. Neither the Doctor nor Chris can accept that Roz has died; Moriah, similarly, can’t accept that his wife Petruska has died,

and he’ll go to any lengths to bring her back in one form or another. And on this the book

is built.


Nevertheless, the thing that I feel stands out the most about Bad Therapy is what a good, solid Doctor Who story it is. Coming as it does so soon after the unspeakably complicated ‘psi-powers’ arc only makes this fact all the more evident. The Doctor – donning his tweed TV Movie jacket for the first time - goes off and has an adventure with Jack and Inspector Harris; Chris, meanwhile, falls in love with a faceless toy that was created to mould herself

to his needs. The book is littered with memorable characters such as the wonderful Tilda Jupp and the insecure extortionist Gordy Scraton; there’s even a driverless black cab that eats people - how old-school Who is that? And best of all, it unfolds so subtly; so perfectly. Bad Therapy may tie up beautifully at the end, but whilst you’re reading it the book certainly keeps you guessing.



One surprise that doesn’t really work is Queen Gilliam of Kr’on Tep falling to Earth. Gilliam? Kr’on Tep? The game is up in the first paragraph! That’s right – Perpugilliam Brown returns to Earth after twenty-five miserable years of being married to a man that she didn’t love after having been abandoned by the Doctor on Thoros Beta in The Trial of a Time Lord. Yet Peri is well-handled, if one can forgive her transparent introduction. I love her bitterness and her anger towards the Doctor; save for his ups and downs with Ace and a last-minute tiff with Tegan, the Doctor has never really had to face the wrath of a woman scorned before. You should hear the bitch slap!



There were some elements

that I really didn’t get on with

though. After the homosexu-

ality graphically depicted in

the last adventure published,

Damaged Goods, I thought

that it was a bit much to have

a huge section of the plot centred around another a gay relationship, and an illicit teenage one at that. Admittedly, in the context of this book it works splendidly – the bigoted attitudes of the time really help to evoke the stifled 1950s atmosphere, and all the gangster / extortion stuff does add a lot to the early chapters. But, as I say, hot on the heels of Damaged Goods it feels like sudden overkill.


Aside from the foregoing, there isn’t really anything else to complain about. Bad Therapy is perhaps a tad too long but, as I was thoroughly enjoying reading a relatively straightforward Doctor Who novel for a change, this didn’t really bother me at all. In fact, I’d go so far as to peg this one as something of a classic.


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.

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