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Review of The Time Travellers by DarthGallifrey

22 May 2024

(Taken primarily from my Goodreads Review | Last Read: August/September 2022)

The Time Travelers by Simon Guerrier was one of the first Doctor Who novels I ever read (I've read a lot more since then) and I loved it. Re-reading it now, with a lot more Who under my belt, I find it still a really good novel that while somewhat lore-heavy and complexly timey-wimey, is still a really good book. And, it's a debut novel (though, as best I can tell, the author had written some Big Finish print short trips prior to this).

The plot revolves around the First Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara arriving in a dystopian 2006 London where England is losing a war with South Africa and the scientific part of the army is working on a time machine. The novel is set between the TV Stories Planet of Giants and The Dalek Invasion of Earth for the TARDIS Crew, while the London they find themselves in is a direct result of what would have happened if the Doctor had not interferred in The War Machines in his personal future. There are also references to The Tenth Planet and Remembrance of the Daleks. But on the whole, it's very much a self-contained, character-driven story.

There are plenty of twists as it progresses, but it's never overly confusing and everything is worked out well. The regulars are all written superbly with each of them getting good moments and something to do. The way the novel deals with time, as well as the First Doctor/Susan and the vague threat of the Time Lords is done very well. With the benefit of hindsight, Guerrier is able work in the aftermath of the "You can't rewrite history" speech from The Aztecs, as well as foreshadow, and make a bit less abrupt, Susan's departure in the next chronological story The Dalek Invasion of Earth. So, this is an excellent novel for Who fans in general, but especially if you like the mechanics/philosophy of Time Travel, and/or the original Tardis Team or the First Doctor era.

Review created on 22-05-24