doctor who - peacemakerJames Swallow
BBC Books
2007

The sun rising over the top of the distant mountains made them shine like polished copper, and Matthew Belfield held up a hand to shield his eyes from the glow.

The peace and quiet of a remote homestead in the 1880s American West is shattered by the arrival of two shadowy outriders searching for “the healer”.  When the farmer refuses to help them, they raze the house to the ground using guns that shoot bolts of energy instead of bullets.  In the town of Redwater, the Doctor and Martha learn of a snake-oil salesman whose patent medicines actually cure his patients.  But when the Doctor and Martha investigate they discover the truth is stranger, and far more dangerous.  Caught between the law of the gun and the deadly plans of intergalactic mercenaries, the Doctor and Martha are about to discover just how wild the West can become…

As time goes on, and the wait between new episodes of Doctor Who seems to get wider from the perspective of this American fanboy, I’m finding that the set of novels continuing the further expanded adventures of the Doctor and his various companions go a long way to not only satisfying my geeky addiction, but also given the fact that, in prose form, the special effects of my own imagination can trump anything used on the television medium any day of the year.  The only drawback being, when it comes to the Doctor Who books, I find I can breeze through them in a few hours’ read time.  That’s not to say that the stories are sub-par, mind you; I just seem to read a bit faster than the given norm nowadays (comes with being a lifelong voracious reader), thus making the overall cost of the book itself, depending on where I get it from, not exactly cost effective.  And considering BBC Books are imported…yeah, it could be a bit costly, here.

But, anyway, enough of my miserly whining.  Just trying to demonstrate the speed at which I made it through this particular Doctor Who yarn, “Peacemaker”.

Once again featuring the Tenth Doctor and companion Martha Jones, “Peacemaker” takes place in the later 19th Century wild west of America, in a ramshackle desert town that has found itself cured of a deadly smallpox outbreak, but is suddenly beset by two rough riders searching for the man who cured the town of the plague, wielding unearthly weapons that cause more destruction than a platoon of six shooters ever would.  And the Doctor and Martha have to figure out who – or what – these two regulators are, what they’re after, and try to prevent more death and destruction.  Just another typical day for the Doctor and his companion, it seems.

I’ve always liked the thought of the Doctor interacting with the Old American West; indeed, I’ve liked the stories set in historical times more than the intergalactic spacefaring yarns, and while I’m not a straight western genre buff, I do like a bit of sci-fi in my genre mixing.  And “Peacemaker” was a rather enjoyable tale in that vein.  Not exactly Zane Grey…but then, I’ve never read Zane Grey, so I have no idea why I brought that up.

Anyway, “Peacemaker” was included with the four book box set collection I got at Half Price Books, and went a long way in sating my lust of Doctor Who stories.  Worth checking out, indeed. Then again, I have yet to come across a Doctor Who book that I was bored with.  Yet.  A good excuse as any to continue looking, yes?

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