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In the year 2382 archaeologists land on Akoshemon's only moon searching for evidence of the planet's infamous past But when the Doctor Tegan and Nyssa are drawn into the lunar caverns they find than a team of academics and help uncover much than ancient history Something is lying in wait deep inside the labyrinth of caves something that remembers the spiral of war pestilence and deprivation that ruined Akoshemon Something that rejoiced in every kind of horror and destruction An age old terror is about to be reborn But what is the hideous secret of the Bloodhunter? And why does Nyssa feel that her thoughts are no longer her own? Forced to confront his own worst fears even the Doctor will be pushed to breaking point and beyond


10 thoughts on “Fear of the Dark

  1. says:

    Easily one of the scariest Doctor Who stories ever written with such a claustrophobic atmospheric feel throughout this adventure really pushes this TARDIS team to the limitsSet just after Tegan’s return in Arc of Infinity as the trio land on Akoshemon’s only moon whilst their they join a group of archaeologists as they explore the dark cavesNot only is the setting dark but the Doctor’s companions also experience a tough time Tegan is anxious about her time away from the TARDIS whilst Nyssa has recurring nightmares of TrakenAll three are perfectly captured and this really felt like an extension to the televised seriesAs well as a very companion driven narrative this story also has a very strong alien threat that adds to a thrilling final actThis easily one of the best novels to feature the Fifth Doctor it’s not surprising that this story was reprinted to represent this incarnation for the 50th anniversary of the show


  2. says:

    Everybody at some time in their lives fears the darkClose your eyes what do you see Darkness but it's are worst fear to be alone in the darkness of fearThis set in 2385 after Earthshock Snakedance during season 20So there is no ghastly Adric to spoil itNo Turnough just Tegan Nyssa who is having bad dreams of Traken a ghastly bearded man in black laughing Alone in the dark digs of Akoshemon's only moon searching for the past finding horror in the deep darkness is ghastly evil hiding in the cold darknessTegan is also dreaming of dark snakesIn the nightmares of your mind is the fear that's what this about Like Mira in Snakedance playing on mankind's greatest enemy his imagination their dreams bad onesThen they find a door to hell an abandoned lab full of bodies sucked dry as if a Vampire had drunk them dry in the darknessVegan perfect name for a mole man alien ghastly pun on vegetarianism the Bram jokeThis a give you willies good old fashioned creepy Poe style Raven Never Never rapping rapping at my Tardis door came at tapping at my Tardis door Never


  3. says:

    Fear of the dark is really just a fear of the unknown What can't be seen Like the future But I don't fight the future I fight for the future And I protect it from the things that thrive on the unknown Fear Hostility Cruelty Injustice I don't rejoice in death I don't believe in violence or cruelty Where I can I try to save lifeThe Fifth Doctor and his companions Teagan and Nyssa join an archaeological team who are mining the moon of the ruined planet Akoshemon But there is than this situation that meets the eye For the archaeological team are up to than just studying the past And Akoshemon has a whole horde of murderous secrets it has waited a long time to display to the world And the Doctor and his companions have been caught in the middle And no one is safe in the darkI know I said that The Last of the Gaderene was my favorite Doctor Who book I read thus far but after reading this I may have to amend that statement This book literally just blew me away First of all just as stories go this one is just brilliant It was scary and intense and thrilling and I didn't want to put it down even for a second And it was also such a beautiful rendition of the fifth doctor I loved every second of this book


  4. says:

    Publisher's summary On a moon of the ruined planet Akoshemon an age old terror is about to be reborn Something that remembers the spiral of war pestilence and deprivation – and rejoices in it The Fifth Doctor joins a team of archaeologists searching for evidence of the planet's infamous past and uncovers than just ancient history Forced to confront his own worst fears even the Doctor will be pushed to breaking point – and beyondWell this seems to be another book that I really damn enjoyed but the majority of people had problems with Ah wellAnyway remember me saying that Ten Little aliens was dark? Well compared to this book that book is like the Cat in the fucking Hat To put it bluntly this book is savage It's the epitome of the word bleak It's brutal it's hard and it's unrelenting in it's passages of death and emotional torture The whole book is utterly without any sense of happiness or hope and throughout the book you just get a really heavy hanging sense of dread The setting is suitably grim with our characters on an empty rock far away from any civilisation right by a dead planet consumed by volcanic fire a monstrous creature that is seemingly indestructible is hunting them all down characters who are kind and nice and witty and intelligent die in the most horrendous of ways and there's seemingly nothing that the Doctor can do to stop it all It really pushes him to his limits I think it was a very smart move to make this a Fifth Doctor book More than any other doctor before or since you get a sense of fallibility with him A feeling of perhaps this time it won't turn out all right as it did in Earthshock As Baxendale so eloquently put it in his introduction Often in the TV series he would come up against some of the bleakest and meanest of worlds mercenaries and machine guns voracious corporations cold war computers and they were just the product of human beings Our most human of Doctors was often faced with our species at our most inhuman And he's right when you think back over some of his stories Earthshock Terminus Warriors of the Deep Frontios Resurrection of the Daleks The Caves of Androzani all bleak bleak stories or at least for Terminus and Warriors bleak on paper So that's why putting him in a situation like this one is so suited Other Doctor's like the Fourth or Sixth who are very confident and self assured you would feel like they would have the situation in their control and come up trumps in the end But with Davidson's Doctor the caring and gentle side to him is going to be harder hit then most when tragedy comes a' knocking It makes you feel things really will end badly which makes it automatically much terrifying Suspense in this book is built terrifically well in the opening chapters of this book There's the Bloodhunter the hideous creature that is running around sucking the blood out of the characters lurking somewhere in the darkness and you have no idea when it's coming And then when it does come it seems to happen so fast and with such ferocity that it seems almost unstoppable It really puts you on edge and it's really genuinely creepy and nerve racking With the first death of the book being a really heart stopping momentOne factor of this success is Baxendale's powers of descriptive writing He can use the English language in such a way to conjure up apocalyptic almost Biblical images of terror and destruction The horrific nightmarish feel to the book is created because of his choice of words Page 145 is a particular highlight for me He heard it then unmistakeably the horrifying shrieks and cries of a thousand million beings consumed by blackness It was very distant made almost imperceptible by time but it pushed a cold blade of despair deep into his chest The agony of all those tormented souls welled up inside him like a physical pain Bloody good stuffThen there's the other main enemy itself the entity simply known as The Dark It's a truly terrifying threat partly because of how unknowable it is It's implied to be a being of the Pre Universe and personally I like to think it's one of the pantheon of beings known as the Great Old Ones as hinted in the book and only die hard Whovian nerds will know about them really and as such has powers and abilities far beyond anything in our regular universe It is mostly because of it's physical appearance ie none It's just a huge mass of amorphous black liquid that you can't kill won't kill and is just going to keep killing and killing until nothing else is left alive It's a really horrible and disturbing villainThis book starts depressing and just gets depressing Despite the fact it's meant to be set in Season 20 it feels a Season 21 affair with the body count Out of all the supporting characters only the Doctor Tegan and Nyssa survive and it makes the whole book feel really bitterly tragically sad as a result One of the main characters called Stoker finally manages to make up and fall in love again with a captain of a ship that comes to rescue them But just as soon as they find each other again it all ends in tears The captain guy ends up being used by the Dark and ends up crashing the ship leading him dead Or is he? Turns out he is alive but just barely He's turned into a grizzled barbecued human just barely recognisable And then he dies properly along with Stoker afterwards Things like that just add to the despairing feel you get with the book and makes you sigh very heavily indeedNow this book would've been a good un' in my mind with probably a 5 star rating Except for one thing the ending My god it's terrible All that build up all that suspense and horror and heartbreak all to be undone in a chapter It's a major let down on all fronts The Dark which was previously this unstoppable Lovecraftian horror achieves final corporeal form and guess what? He's turned into a bore He's now a cliché generic ranting megalomaniac spouting stock I will destroy the universe phrases who's threat and menace have instantly disappeared It also feels rushed and anti climatic a simple add on used to simply give it an end Stoker's death as well feels unnecessary and forced as if Baxendale was thinking Oh well I've killed everyone else of so I might as well kill her as well It feels like it was merely obligatory and not a meaningful needed death It does have a good epilogue though Anytime the Doctor reflects on the death toll of his adventures and questions whether he really is a force for good in the universe are good in my book And also confronts the eternal curse of time travelling in which you could feasibly change the events of the past and stop millions of people dying and suffering but can't because of numerous disastrous consequences of such a changeA great shame then that a book that starts and continues so good should end of such a resounding thud The rest of the book is mostly gold Bleak and tragic with a chilling ambience of fatalistic doom The entire time you're on tender hooks constantly fearing for the character's lives and feeling tremendously sad when they do inevitably perish Suspense is built wonderfully and the whole book has a really truly grizzly adult feel to it So apart from the stupid ending I'd thoroughly recommend this Be warned though prepare something nice and happy to read afterwards because you're gonna need it


  5. says:

    An alternative title for this could have been ‘Primal fears’; or perhaps the much unwieldy ‘A Lot of Stuff Doctor Who Does but Done Very Well’ We have a mining operation Doctor Who has always been a sucker for a mining operation battling ancient evil raised from the earth itself is it most blatant and frequent hat tip to Lovecraft; we have humourless authority figures The Doctor’s most reliable enemy – even than The Daleks The Cybermen and The Master – is an intransigent authority figure who just won’t smile; we have space pirates there actually was a serial called ‘Space Pirates’ and piratesmercenaries are a big part of Doctor Who particularly in this period and we have a lot of running down corridors well corridors and caves On TV this was a staple as it was cheap and filled up time but here it’s rendered particularly effectively in prose All of this stuff is the very stock and trade of Doctor Who and in other hands may have just been a compendium of the cliché but Baxendale actually does a cracking job – giving us a sci fifantasy tale which opens with an explosion and builds from there We’re with The Fifth Doctor Nyssa and Tegan battling an ancient enemy and intransigent authority figures and pirates on a miserable planetoid at the arse end of the galaxy It feels very much like a TV story of this period but one with far ambition than an actual TV story of the period and far competently done


  6. says:

    This was possibly the best Doctor Who novel i've ever read starring the 5th Doctor I would definetly recommend it even if you are not a fan of the series


  7. says:

    As much as I like to mock the designers of the covers of these books I have to give them ample credit for managing to do the unthinkable turn boyish Fifth Doctor Peter Davison into someone creepily unsettling Whatever you might think of the contents of the book you have to admit that its an effective coverThe Past Doctor Adventures haven't garnered much in the way of a good reputation lately veering off the rails of quality to the point where achieving the level of bad parody might be a marked improvement Baxendale fortunately has written some decent Eighth Doctor adventures and for one reason or another decided to try his hand at this story It works here as a Fifth Doctor tale in a way that wouldn't have sufficed as an Eighth Doctor story Like most of the Past Doctor Adventures it has this sense of simplicity that would be fitting for the televised stories lacking the layered complexities and experiments that the Eighth Doctor books might attempt Here what we see is what we get And what we get is darkOnce again a force breaches the TARDIS and Nyssa finds herself being invaded by something that feels utterly evil Landing on the dark moon of a dark planet the team run into a bunch of archeologists that turn out to not quite be archeologists and may have to do with the possibilities for mineral mining that could be going on However like every planet where nobody ever goes and where mineral reaches are plentiful and there for the taking a great evil lies beneath the surface So before you can say all together now from the dawn of timmmeeee it gets right down to business and starts to diligently off the crew in horrible ways that leaves dessicated bodies and helpless screams Which of course means that everyone starts to split upIt shouldn't take long when reading this one that you can decide whether you're going to like it or not Its a fairly standard adventure with some creepy moments that winds up being solidly told for those who enjoy that kind of thing But it makes no attempts to rise above its own cliches or stereotypes Of course the head miner doesn't want to listen to reason and abandon her stake despite the rising body count Of course the character who talks about his family all the time is ultimately doomed Of course two characters are buddies Its not exactly a problem to populate your cast with stock characters as long as the story itself is solid and as long as you don't expect any surprises it will do the trickHowever lack of surprises can lead to a lack of excitement To his credit Baxendale attempts to jazz up the proceedings with some twists people in suspended animation Bloodhunters that gives the plot of a shelf life than you would think But then he has the one spaceship from the local government that does show up be captained by a former lover of one of the miners small world space is eh? and it reminds you of how artificial this can feel at times going through its own motions and looking good while it does so but not doing anything that's going to make you sit up and notice even if you were actively engaged in the material It does do a good job of conveying an oppressive atmosphere but the idea of an evil lurking in the center of the planet feels a little too close at times to Planet of Evil that it starts to feel like a retread You start getting a horror movie that the Doctor has happened to walk in on without subverting any of the genre conventions in the process which can make a comfort food type of read but not one that is going to move you in any wayIt does fall flat when it comes to the entity that lies at the heart of all this Confronted with the embodiment of the forces of evil now called the Dark what was borderline creepy becomes utterly ridiculous when the timeless aura of all that is evil starts talking like a grade Z serial villain personifying the worst of Doctor Who in both the sense of cheesy acting and the notion that its not even trying It makes the climax lack almost all impact that even the author can't disguise it with a mounting body count All the complexities that are attempted to be layered on top of the tale can't distract from the standardness of the whole affairStill it has its moments and charm He captures the regulars quite nicely Nyssa as usual gets the task of having horrible things done to her but gets some moments to shine Tegan remains Tegan and Baxendale gets the bystanderish nature of this Doctor without making him seem like a complete sap Its a story crafted to deliver moments and in those moments it becomes effective However a story can only be strong as its weakest link and when the plot is merely okay the best you can probably say is that it wasn't a terrible experience Which is a step up from where we were believe it or not


  8. says:

    Wow just wow what an incredible story with some dark disturbing stuff and 3 dimensional characters making this story the most excellent horror story you could read highly recommended to those who love spine crawling stories 1010


  9. says:

    There are some corners of the Universe that have bred the most terrible things Doctor Who The Moonbase As part of the celebration of Doctor Who's 50th anniversary this past Doctor novel was reissued I missed it the first time it was in print but am glad I got to read it this time around For a series which takes pride in sending viewers behind the sofa It dosen't always do horror well There have been homages to horror classics like the mummy movie See Tomb of the Cybermen and Pyramids of Mars If this book has anything in common with horror I'd compare it with Alien or Predator There's a genetically engineered monster dubbed The Blood Hunter by The Doctor hunting down everyone on the moon orbiting the planet Akoshemon Warning THE BODY COUNT IS HIGH It's similar to Tomb of the Cybermen in that respect However in keeping with Star Trek then Doctor Who many of the deaths go unseen only to be discovered laterThere's something else I noticed about this book It shares plot elements with some of the Fifth Doctor's TV episodes An evil entity trying to manifest in our universe by bonding with the Doctorsee Arc of Infinity the same entity trying to influence a companion through mind controlsee Snakedance Kinda Don't let that fact stop you from reading There's still a lot that's good about this novel Most notable the characterization of the Doctor The Fifth Doctor has often been portrayed as vulnerable than previous incarnations Author Trevor Baxendale does a great job portraying this deconstructing the Doctor and leaving him a cowering mess toward the end of the novel but also slowly building him back up so that by the end of the book he's glibly trading insults and jabs with the evil entity known as The Dark Playing for time while trying to figure out how to defeat The Dark In the end it takes great courage and sacrifice to win against The Dark


  10. says:

    I've read a good few tie in novels for various franchises over the past few years and I think this may be the first I loved as a book first and as a version of a series I love second Some people will probably find the plot overly simplistic the repetition of the same series of actions boring or the portrayal of the Doctor himself to be off putting but I found the whole thing compelling and unsettling by turns and ultimately terribly relateableThe Dark is going to get you That childhood fear? It's founded in an animal memory far older than conscious thought And when miners find an old abandoned science facility or is it? they find that the wisest thing to do is to forget what your parents taught you you SHOULD be afraid of this Dark I enjoyed this as a borderline horror book but I think my favorite part was the portrayal of the friendship between Teegan and Nyssa I really enjoy reading or watching these two ladies and seeing the devotion they have to one another their friendship really made the book for me The Doctor was or less himself though as the story goes along there are some moments plot induced I think but still where it just started to feel wrong Weird But for me it was in a good way