(ISBN 0-563-40570-8)







 Britain is at war.

 Night after night

 the Luftwaffe are

 bombing London, A

 killer dubbed the

 Limehouse Lurker

 is stalking the


 streets, AND AN

 EVEN deadlier

 threat falls from

 the sky in the shape

 of a sinister silver



 Arriving amid the

 chaos, the Doctor

 and Ace embark on

 a trail that brings

 them face to face

 with hidden Nazi

 operatives - and

 very old enemies...


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 Illegal Alien







Last month I didn’t blink any eye reading about the sixth Doctor and Mel, who we haven’t seen on television together for the best part of a decade, nor did I find it odd reading about the adventures of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor the month before that. But this month, reading about the seventh Doctor and Ace, the way they were before the New Adventures, feels somewhat bizarre. For some reason, Survival seems so very long ago. Consequently Illegal Alien is a rather an unsettling read; oddly enough, it’s like going back in time…


For starters, authors Mike Tucker and Robert Perry have nailed the regular characters as seen on television. Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor in particular leaps right off the page. You can just picture him – fedora, spoons, rolling rs... Towards the end of the Virgin series, so much had happened to him that it was hard to relate the weary thousand plus year-old Time Lord found on the page to the sprightly nine hundred and forty-something year old schemer that we remember from the television series.


What’s more, as the front cover of the book proudly announces, the Cybermen are back – retro Cybermen too, believe it if you will. We’re talking Troughton era Cybermen with Tenth Planet cloaks, albeit freed from the ‘family’ limitations that the television programme had. Indeed, Tucker and Perry really push the envelope with the silver giants in this novel. Illegal Alien features Cybermats with teeth that put their rather bungling forerunners to shame, and even Cyberbabies complete with spider legs – really gruesome stuff.



Illegal Alien also has a lot of atmosphere; there is something über-creepy about Cybermen lurking in the Blitz. The distinctive setting also allows the authors to create some wonderful,

if slightly clichéd, supporting characters. Cody McBride, the American private eye, certainly adds a lot of colour to proceedings, although he reminds me very much of Terrance Dicks’ Dekker character from Blood Harvest. Lazonby, on the other hand, is a much more inspired creation. An autistic military man, Lazonby is obsessed with the very idea of the Cybermen, but even he is put to shame by the outstandingly eerie cyber-sympathiser George Limb.


As for the plot itself, the authors put a slightly new twist on the traditional Cyberman angle as they tell a story about humans seeking to exploit Cybermen for their own ends, as opposed to vice versa. The British Army want to use them to create weapons and armour that will win the war; the Nazis just want insuperable foot soldiers. The book also features some truly

memorable scenes –

the Doctor commanding

a troupe of Cybermen is

incredibly disquieting,

and the scenes of Ace

being tortured are nearly

as harrowing as Benny’s

in Lance Parkin’s novel

Just War. The ‘Doctor

Peddler’ character was

a nice little in-joke too.


However, the Cybermen’s presence on Earth in this time period is glossed over sloppily, and at times the authors seem to trip over one another in terms of pace and style. These small gripes though are more than made up for by the many things that there are to love about this novel, and believe me, Illegal Alien is worth the purchase price just to read the explosive climax.


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.



The blurb offers little guidance as to its placement, beyond that it takes place after Survival. However, the authors’ characterisation of the regulars suggests that Illegal Alien - and indeed the BBC Books that follow

it - take place before the events of the New Adventures start to leave their mark on them. We have therefore placed this story between the Big Finish audio drama The Fearmonger and the novel Matrix.


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