Book Review: Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice

Doctor Who fans will rejoice at Baxter’s take on the Second Doctor that evokes those characters of old, most notably Patrick Troughton, Frazer Heines and Wendy Padbury. The Wheel spinning around a moon of Saturn houses a mining company seeking Bernalium, a material in high demand, so the long string of missing or broken equipment and accidents is being felt far and wide. The Tardis has brought the Doctor, Jamie and Zoë to the Wheel because it felt something was wrong and that something could involve time travel. As the three begin investigating reports from the colony’s youngsters about strange creatures in the lower levels, the miners suspect their problems are due to the Doctor and his companions. Meanwhile, a sixteen-year-old boy rescues a strange blue box from Saturn’s rings and who knows what secrets lie within. Before long, they encounter a race known as the Blue Dolls and an ancient mystery that could kill them all.

Readers can almost hear the voices those actors that brought the television series to life while the overall feel of the story brings back visions of the Second Doctor with surprising clarity. The satisfying plot is complex enough to hold interest as the characters unravel the mysteries aboard the Wheel. One need not be a Doctor Who fan to appreciate Baxter’s recreation of an old favorite grounded in just the right amount of solid science to be credible and leaves one looking for more.

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