(ISBN 0-563-48604-X)






 Ace is dead. Or at

 least she will be -

 soon... In a secret

 room deep inside the

 TARDIS the Doctor

 has been examining

 the body of Ace's

 future self. He now

 knows how she was

 killed, where she was

 killed and when she

 was killed. What he

 doesn't know is why...

 To find the truth

 the Doctor makes a

 dangerous decision

 and takes Ace to

 the very time and

 place of her death,

 hoping to cheat Time

 and find her killer

 before he can strike -

 but Time has other



 With Ace missing and

 the clock ticking the

 Doctor turns to old

 friends for help and

 finds THAT there is

 unfinished business

 for him to deal with...


 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT




Loving the Alien

MAY 2003






If you’ve followed the adventures of the seventh Doctor and Ace through all

of Mike Tucker and Robert Perry’s post-Survival novels, then Loving the Alien is going to come as a real treat for you, just as it did for me. Conversely though, if you aren’t familiar

with at least Illegal Alien and, I suppose, bits of Prime Time, then this one is not going to make any sense whatsoever!


That said, even those who will scratch their heads over most of this one will still really be

able to soak in the ambience – Loving the Alien is a 1950s B-movie through and through, right down to the giant ants; the space race; the cold war; and even a certain murderous young actor by the name of Jimmy Dean.


 “Across the other side of the room the body lay under a dark green surgical sheet.

Ace’s body. Not the body of an old woman, not a shrivelled corpse,

but young, as she was now, and if he [the Doctor] had any thoughts that she had

died of natural causes, the bullet hole in her forehead had put paid to them.”


And, steeped as it is in the series’ mythology, Loving the Alien has a real series finale feel about it. The subject matter is momentous, the story’s main hook having cumulated over several novels now, including one not written by Tucker and Perry, and several characters also return from previous Tucker / Perry stories.


First and foremost, we have ageing American detective Cody McBride (from Illegal Alien) who, despite toying with cliché throughout (in a very similar manner to another American detective friend of the seventh Doctor’s), carries large chunks of the narrative. McBride manages to add a much-needed dose of comic relief to the proceedings, whilst still somehow having the key events of the novel pivot on his actions or words. Brilliant stuff.


Secondly, we have the dastardly manipulator George Limb (another returnee from Illegal Alien). It’s Limb that’s responsible, albeit indirectly, for Ace’s death the ensuing problems with the web of time, as he used a Cyberman time ship to try and alter history for his own ends.


“You can try to break free from the clutches of time, but in the end there is no escape.

Whatever you do, however many alternatives you create, the end will always be the same. Destiny.”


As one would infer from the book’s blurb, much of Loving

the Alien dwells on the ramif-

ications of foreknowledge and

on predestination, making it a

really absorbing read. Tucker

and Perry do a tremendous job of portraying the emotion behind the Doctor’s dilemma – should he try and fight the future, save Ace, and risk who knows what happening to the timeline? Or should he accept the death of yet another companion? I love how it takes the rather dense McBride to give the Doctor the answer that he has been torturing himself over for so long – “you are her friend.” It just sums it everything up so fiercely.


However, the actual science fiction behind the Loving the Alien is solid, but very frustrating. Parallel universes are all well and good when it comes to exploring wacky possibilities, such as within the context of the Big Finish Unbound audio dramas, for example, but here I think that Tucker and Perry use the concept as something of a crutch. Fair dues, it gets them out of a tight spot with Ace and restores harmony with the chronologically-ensuing Big Finish audio dramas and Virgin New Adventures, but it really does feel like an almighty cop-out. Nevertheless, this complaint doesn’t really spoil what is an otherwise extraordinary read – just be prepared to curse at the ending!


And so, on the whole, Tucker and Perry have really done themselves proud with this climax. Had the seventh Doctor and Ace continued on together on television after Survival, then this would really have been the ideal swansong for them both. I can’t think of any higher praise than that. Highly recommended.


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 adventure resolves the inconsistency of Ace’s death by having an almost-identical Ace from a parallel quantum reality assume “our” Ace’s place, apparently none the wiser.


Unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are copyrighted to the BBC and are used solely for promotional purposes.

Doctor Who is copyright © by the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.