Target Zone June 2014
Doctor Who and the Armageddon Factor 005
Writer Terrance Dicks
ISBN 0 426 20103 5
Reviewed by Simon Mallinson
Some time ago, the White Guardian, one of the most powerful beings in the Cosmos, had set the Doctor an urgent task - to find and reassemble the six segments to the Key of Time.
The Doctor and Romana had successfully retrieved 5 of the segments and now they had reached the planet Atrios in the middle of an atomic war, to search for the last, most vital piece.
Sinister dangers await them in this final stage of the quest...
This story again by Terrance Dicks in the novelisation is very awe inspiring. The concepts of The Shadow, The Marshal and how war is ultimately senseless and de-humanising are well told in its pages.
I remember this story from when it was first aired, was a strange one, the Doctor had taken us around the galaxy searching for keys or segments to this all powerful machine. After story upon story, well five stories, we are at last going to see an end of it.
It was Mary Tamm’s last story and I remember I cried afterwards, as she was brilliant. Long, sultry and sexy, Mary graced our screen and took this boy’s heart. She was every bit as intelligent as the Doctor and damn style conscious to boot, and in this story she bowed out with grace and appeal that will have you transfixed.
Also as Lalla Ward’s first story, it introduced an amazing actress which continued to be a good foil and strangely enough naughty schoolgirl look, okay it worked.
Back to the story, strange how information can be misleading, certainly in this story you tend to bounce from one conclusion to another before finally thinking er okay so why the Shadow.
In fact to be honest, reading the book is probably more enlightening than watching the story on DVD, as you get written clues to what is happening. Terrance could never help himself on that front and I for one think he is a god for it, or maybe a grey guardian.
A good book read and will keep you enthralled to the end. Also if you like soppy romance then keep reading and you have a lump in your throat.
©BBC Doctor Who 1963