Whovians are in for a real treat when they read the latest Doctor Who novel, City of Death, by Douglas Adams and James Goss. Once I started reading this book, it was hard to put down. I LOVED it! The beginning of the story was filled with mystery and intrigue, and that's what pulled me in. Then the Doctor – in this case, the Fourth Doctor – made an appearance and there was no pulling me away from this book now! You don't need to see all of the Doctor Who episodes with the Fourth Doctor to enjoy this story, though a slight familiarity with his background is helpful because he does mention a couple of things. But the Doctor is his likable, fun-loving, whimsical and eccentric self.
Readers are in for a surprise here: The Doctor's "companion" this time around is another Time Lord. Of course, fans of Doctor Who know that there have been other Time Lords on the show, and characters like Donna (a companion) and River (one of the Doctor's wives) were part-Time Lord (though Donna was human for most of her adventures with the Doctor), but rarely have we seen the Doctor's traveling companion as a true Time Lord. From Gallifrey, no less!
It was funny when the Doctor called someone K-9 (the actual K-9 makes an appearance in this story). Actually, there's a lot in the story that was funny, if not humorous ("What are we going to see today? A couple of dozen Eiffel Towers lying about?" Or even "Did Davros wheel out a fruit platter? He did not."), and there's enough realism from the characters who aren't too keen on what the Doctor is, what he knows, and what anything else is either. (Oh, a time traveler? Nonsense!) I loved the part with Leonardo Da Vinci – the artist we sadly do not get to see – as well as the part where Romana (the Time Lord companion) and Duggan (a human) temporarily team up and, when captured, Duggan is all sour because Romana is allowed to put her hands down but he can't.
It's a funny, exciting, adventurous and daring story. It is Paris 1979, and it is the Doctor, who cares about the human race, fighting a monster who doesn't care about the human race. This story captures the passion, the courage, the love and the defiance that is the very definition of Paris, France. Vive la Paris!
The Doctor takes Romana for a holiday in Paris - a city which, like a fine wine, has a bouquet all its own. Especially if you visit during one of the vintage years. But the TARDIS takes them to 1979, a table-wine year, a year whose vintage is soured by cracks - not in their wine glasses but in the very fabric of time itself. Soon the Time Lords are embroiled in an audacious alien scheme which encompasses home-made time machines, the theft of the Mona Lisa, the resurrection of the much-feared Jagaroth race, and the beginning (and quite possibly the end) of all life on Earth. Aided by British private detective Duggan, whose speciality is thumping people, the Doctor and Romana must thwart the machinations of the suave, mysterious Count Scarlioni - all twelve of him - if the human race has any chance of survival. But then, the Doctor's holidays tend to turn out a bit like this. Featuring the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker, City of Death is a novel by James Goss based on the 1979 Doctor Who story written by Douglas Adams under the pen-name David Agnew. City of Death is one of the best-loved serials in the show's 50-year history and was watched by over 16 million viewers when first broadcast.