THIS STORY TAKES
NOVELS "THE INDEST-
RUCTIBLE MAN" AND
"THE COLONY OF LIES."
OFFICIAL TELOS DELUXE
HARDBACK (ISBN 1-903
889-11-1) RELEASED IN
a young man called
Carnacki, an expert in
all things mystical,
helpS the Doctor AND
ZOE TO investigate a
series of bizarre
I really don’t see what made Foreign Devils such a popular release back in 2002.
A paranormal mystery cut from the same cloth as his Big Finish audio drama, Winter for the Adept, the only thing extraordinary about Andrew Cartmel’s contribution to the Telos range is that it features William Hope Hodgson’s supernatural detective, Carnacki (a gimmick that I’d have been blissfully ignorant of, were it not for Mike Ashley’s introduction).
Usually a great admirer of Cartmel’s work, I found this little
novelette doubly disappointing. Cartmel’s scheming second
Doctor reads like the seventh in a Beatles’ mop wig; a facet of
this story that, particularly when fused with some incongruous
sexual allusions and the absence of the stalwart Jamie, really
knocks Foreign Devils considerably off beam. Which is most
probably the point, I suppose.
“Her nipples were revealed as perfect pink rose buds sprouting
from the inhumanly smooth domes of her milky breasts.”
Of course, Cartmel’s story does have its moments – Celandine’s
stunning transformation into a plant is a notable highlight, though
even this feels a little unbefitting thanks to the number of times her
nakedness is highlighted. I’m all for a bit of oomph in the New Adventures and in the like,
but in what purports to be monochrome Who? It just feels wrong somehow. Brave, and I
dare say commendable, but wrong nevertheless.
“The foreign devils have finally been vanquished.”
Overall then, I found Foreign Devils to be an extremely unsatisfactory read; so much so, in fact, that I didn’t even bother with Hodgson’s Whistling Room that rounds out the book’s page count.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2009
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
Neither this novella’s blurb nor its text offer any firm clues as to its placement. Given the companions used and how they are portrayed, we suspect that this story is set somewhere between the television serials The Invasion and The Krotons. Within this gap, we have placed it between the novels The Indestructible Man, which appears to follow The Invasion quite closely, and The Colony of Lies, which was released later.
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