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Wednesday, 7 February 2018 - Reviewed by Elliot Stewart
Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen (Credit: BBC Books)
Written by James Goss
Story by Douglas Adams
Published 18 January 2018
BBC Books
416 Pages

As we all know The Krikkitmen are now more well known for the action based and anglophile mocking aspects of Life, the Universe and everything, the 3rd book in Douglas Adams 5 book trilogy. So by reading this novel are we just reliving those moments with Ford and Arthur removed and the Doctor and Romana inserted in?

Well no, this is a lovely example of how much Douglas Adams was a massive doctor who fan with a return to Gallifrey and maybe a jokey feel that would more suit his time on the series in late 70’s than the Hinchcliffe era. James Goss has the Adams style down so much, I began to forget that I wasn’t reading Douglas Adams at all, Something that Eoin Colfer’s Hitchhiker installment was lacking, reliant itself on more of a ‘greatest hits’ fan-pleasing prose than a style of its own.

The plot itself follows similar beats to the hitchhiker version with sometimes only location and character changes, but a part of me wishes It had been given the Hinchcliffe treatment.Far out in the spiral arm of a distant reality, Douglas Adams got full creative control of the long-running BBC television institution Doctor Who earlier than expected. Impressing Philip Hinchcliffe with his first proposed idea involving robotic cricket players taking on the whole universe,

in 1977 The whole show was handed over to Doug Who before you could say ‘ok, when did that happen?’ Well sadly in our side of existence, this never took place, the advantage being that Mr Adams went on to make Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy whilst in that reality he just went around telling that biscuit story. So then when after not sitting in a small cafe in Rickmansworth, but succeeding in producing both Shada & The Pirate Planet novels, James Goss had another unique epiphany and did sort of the same thing again only slightly different.

This witty script could have been tailored to that gothic aesthetic and would have replaced the to my mind just as silly android invasion. Imagine the Krikkitmen gleaming menacingly, still ready to strike a lethal six. Obviously, on the show's budget we wouldn’t see as many as their forces as is described here, but maybe less is more. Adam’s script via James Goss’s talent is funny and fast-paced maybe too ambitious for Television, but an absolute hoot to read.

Like pirate planet before it or technically ahead of it (depending on where you are stood in the vortex) The narrative is complex, but the inventiveness is constant, witty and the down to earthness of our heroes helps even if they are both timelords. A race against time literally as The Krikkitmen seem undefeatable, The Doctor and Romana’s dynamic -quipping and solving throughout meeting up with Borusa and others make you care And this comes across in not only the writing but the scale.

The universe has often been on the brink of disaster in recent TV Doctor Who and either avoided or somehow kick-started back into existence with little of us thinking our heroes were that close to losing. In This Novel, I was with The writer, the characters, the plot all the way and hope maybe Big Finish Will consider doing an adaptation. With an infamous fictional book always a comparison, Doctor Who and The Krikkitmen makes you wonder what could have been as it is one of the best books produced this side of the unfashionable end of the western spiral of the galaxy