Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2017 Book #1: The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen

I was given a copy of The Forgotten Son to read before Christmas and although I'm not a massive Doctor Who fan, I was intrigued by the idea of reading a spin off of the show.

Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is a much-loved character from Doctor Who, first appearing in the show's 1968 episode Web of Fear. The Brig (as he came to be known) returned numerous times to Who (including various spin offs, novels and audio plays) up until the actor Nicholas Courtenay's death in 2011 – and even got a posthumous mention in one episode of Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor. 

The Forgotten Son is set just after the events of Web of Fear, when the Great Intelligence tried to conquer earth. I haven't actually seen this episode, but there was enough explanation for me to understand what was going on (I think!). The events in the book pick up after the Doctor has defeated the alien invader and disappeared off on another adventure, leaving behind Lethbridge-Stewart (who isn't a Brigadier yet) and the rest of Britain's military to clean up London in the wake of the alien invasion's aftermath. 

The Great Intelligence has already returned, however, attempting to take over the world (again) by infiltrating a spooky abandoned manor house near a quiet Cornish village.

When L-S is asked to investigate strange goings on in the village (which just so happens to be the place where he grew up as a boy), it soon turns out that things are not a coincidence and that the village holds a lot more significance for him than he'd bargained for.

With rampaging mechanical Yetis, re-animated dead soldiers and ghostly apparitions all with a bucketload of 60s references, The Forgotten Son is a well-crafted tale that feels very much a part of the Whoniverse but still manages to feel fresh and stand on its own.

Andy Frankham-Allen's writing is spot on. It's well-paced with a climatic ending worthy of any of the Doctor's adventures. Andy clearly knows his subject well and L-S's character is portrayed with utmost respect and reverence, albeit with a twinkle in his eye.

Great stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment