Last of the Gaderene by Mark Gatiss

The Doctor and Jo are sent by the Brigadier to the village of Culverton, only to find sinister plans afoot and an old enemy.

Accomplished writer and actor Mark Gatiss takes us back to the Third Doctor’s UNIT days in hugely nostalgic story. The Third Doctor is most strongly associated with the UNIT ‘family’ and they all here to battle alongside the Doctor once again. Its massively nostalgic and the story has lots of nods to the past. The Doctor dashes off to Culverton at the mention of Legion, with no explanation of why he reacts so strongly, much like ‘Devil’s Hump’ prompted him to dash off in The Daemons. We’re also teased with descriptions of an unseen character’s hands are ‘pale and waxy, like a doll’s’. In addition, Culverton is the very traditional fictional ideal of an English village, enjoying the kind of endlessly sunny summer as everyone’s childhood remembrances are made up of.

The Doctor is introduced to the narrative with a James Bond-style sequence, where we join him at the end of a previous adventure. This is fitting for the most 007 of the Doctors, Pertwee’s gadget and car-obsessed man of action. Recent revelations about his wartime espionage exploits just bolster this reputation.

In keeping with the era, the Master appears in Last of the Gaderene. He’s in fine cigar-chomping form, oozing charm and smugness. This story is set after Roger Delgado’s final appearance in the series in Frontier in Space, so this could be seen as a farewell to the Delgado incarnation. It isn’t dwelt upon, but is touching when put in this context.

The larger-than-usual for Doctor Who recurring cast are all very faithfully depicted by Gatiss, and new characters like Wing Commander Whistler and Noah don’t suffer, are just as well-drawn and sympathetic. The best recommendation for this book is that one can easily imagine this being made in the 1970s as part of season ten.

Not read Last of the Gaderene yet? Buy now from Amazon:

Doctor Who: Last of the Gaderene: 50th Anniversary Edition

On Kindle:

Doctor Who: Last of the Gaderene: 50th Anniversary Edition

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