Story: The TARDIS brings the Doctor and Ace to ancient Mesopotamia, a critical juncture in human evolution which demands strict non-intervention. But Ace is appalled at how women are treated in this place and time, and worse yet, the Doctor receives a recorded message from his fourth self warning about an ancient menace capable of ravaging the web of time from its beginning to its end. On Gallifrey, they had a name for this menace – the Timewyrm. And to the Doctor’s horror, it has arrived on Earth and is already influencing events.
Review: Who would have guessed that great things would have come of this first book? It’s almost hard to imagine that a series of novels with the depth and complexity of the New Adventures began with this novel, which barely fit the range’s early tagline of “stories too broad and too deep for the small screen.”
For what it’s worth, John Peel does a decent job of picking up from where Survival left off (though that’s almost been made obsolete by the flood of BBC past Doctors novels and audio plays that also happen in an unspecified post-Survival timeline). But there’s something pedestrian about Peel’s writing style that always kept me from really sinking my teeth into this book. Don’t get me wrong, back in 1991 after a year’s drought of Doctor Who following the show’s quiet cancellation, I was grateful to have a new story. But aside from taking place in a setting that would’ve been impossibly expensive to mount on a BBC-TV budget, and featuring suggestions of nudity and a few cases of extreme violence, there’s little about “Timewyrm: Genesis” that was beyond the scope of the average Target novelization. Indeed, Target Doctor Who novelizations such as “The Curse Of Fenric” and “Remembrance Of The Daleks” had already far exceeded this novel in a stylistic sense.
Still, considering how utterly different the NAs became later on, “Timewyrm: Genesys” was a good way to ease into the series, and the best was truly yet to come.
Author: John Peel