Reviews selected from TV Zone #142

Reviews online this month
(ratings are out of 10)
Doctor Who: The City of The Dead, from a new BBC author
Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars, the new PC game
and Andromeda's freshman Season ends in fine style with Its Hour Come Round At Last

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The City of The Dead Rating: 9
Written by Lloyd Rose
BBC Books, ISBN: 0563538392
Out: 3 September 2001
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Reviewed by
Neil Corry

Break it down again

The City of The Dead - order this at up in a case of vicious homicide in New Orleans, we quickly discover that the TARDIS crew have become embroiled in a tale of murderous magic. But who is dabbling in the Black Arts and why is the Doctor suddenly the centre of everyone's diabolical plans? As the Doctor is forced against his will into magic rituals, Fitz and Anji are hunting for a missing man and all their trails lead to a very alien force that could destroy everything.

While the black magic tale is obviously central, there is a welcome additional element to the books, one that's taken perhaps too long to appear. The Doctor's utter amnesia following the destruction of his home planet is showing signs of breaking down. After a whole year's worth of stories detailing his 100 years of solitude on Earth and of his erratic travels once the TARDIS had repaired itself, it's only natural that the Doctor's memory should also begin to be renovated. The Doctor dare not sleep. Every time he falls unconscious, his dreams terrify him as they will the reader. While some of the dreams feel vaguely reminiscent of Paul Cornell's trip through the Doctor's mind in the New Adventures novel Timewyrm: Revelation, this never diminishes their impact.

With a limited cast, the unveiling of the villain of the piece should be a given, but this is no stereotypical tale of a megalomaniac with plans to have the universe as its plaything nor is it a clever whodunit, the book is far too clever for that. There are a number of red herrings dangled in front of the reader but Rose creates a constant feeling of doubt and mistrust that you can never be sure about anything.

More, the book is stunningly written and Rose easily matches The Banquo Legacy for atmosphere. The prose is rich but never purple, evocative but never melodramatic. While it contains strong elements of magic and, unsurprisingly, Science Fiction, Rose colours this world in bitter shades and, by doing so, grounds the characters in an everyday reality, making the fantastical that little bit more terrifying.

More Doctor Who material reviewed in this issue: David Darlington on Chris Boucher's Psi-ence Fiction novel, Tom Spilsbury on 'The Movie' DVD and the Dalek Empire II audio, David Miller on The Abominable Snowmen audio, Ben Woodhams on BBC Online's Death Comes to Time, Richard Atkinson on the Big Finish audio Bloodtide and Terry Richards on the Genesis of the Daleks audio

Deep Space Nine On PC
Star Trek - Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars Rating: 5
Pan Interactive: Windows 95, Windows 98 Out August 13 Reviewed by
Ian Hockley
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Attack-Pattern Delta

Dominion Wars - order this at several failures (and fail they did) software companies seem undeterred to use the Star Trek name to churn out game after game that seem to miss the mark.

Based on the period of fighting between the Federation, Klingons, the Dominion and the Cardassians, Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars picks up the real time strategy where Armada left off. The main difference you will notice is the emphasis on a fully rotational three dimensional battlefield. Don't let this fool you. The control of your ships is somewhat limited with only the view of your ship truly seeming three dimensional.

Unfortunately, the game seems undeveloped with few features to keep you interested. The battles between ships sometimes seem too calculating and lack any real thrill. The toolbar used to keep control of individual ships and the fleet as a whole, is quite confusing and overall control is greatly reduced when trying to toggle between firing modes, speeds and shield configurations. As is often the case, the game could have been great if more time and money were put into the project. With no skirmish mode to arrange one player ship-on-ship duels, players will tire quickly of Dominion Wars based on its campaigns alone.

Despite this, there are some well thought out ideas, most notably the ability to target different parts of an enemy ship and the option of using warp speed to travel large distances.

Star Trek fans should buy this game if only to clench their teeth in true Shatner style shouting "Fire!" while launching a final blow in torpedo form.

selected from TV Zone #142
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction
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