The Taking of Planet 5

The Taking of Planet 5
Hang on a minute... I recognise that skull.
Hang on a minute... I recognise that skull.
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Series Unknown))
Release No. Unknown))
Release date Unknown
Author Simon Bucher-Jones & Mark Clapham
Doctor Eighth Doctor
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 The Taking of Planet 5 is the twenty-eighth book in the ridiculously long—but still, not long enough—series known as the Eighth Doctor Adventures (but probably not the ones you were expecting...), written by two irrelevant pretty cool guys called Simon "Butcher"-Jones, and Mark "The Clap"-ham.

Contrary to popular belief, nobody in the book ever actually visits Planet 5, nor does anyone technically take it. You could probably sue for false advertising, or something.

The most important thing to know about this book is that it's literally just a bunch of Time Wankers having a tiff over memes. That's all. There's some other stuff in there too, and it's pretty cool, but don't let it distract you from the big picture.

Summary

Not that you'd be foolish enough to start reading the series from here, but let's say that you did. Let's say you were just that fucking dense. I'd have to tell you about a bunch of stuff, then, which I will—however, it has to be noted that I am under no obligation to tell you the truth.

So, the dramatis personae:

  • The Doctor: no prizes for guessing which one.
  • Fitz Kreiner: a.k.a. best companion. If I have to explain this character to you, you're dead to me—educate yourself.
  • Compassion: she was probably given this name ironically, seeing as she's a bit of a bitch rude individual. Also, something something TARDIS something something, but that hasn't happened yet.
  • Homunculette: not cool enough to have a wiki page, but he's pretty good in this, and he has a TARDIS called Marie; go read Alien Bodies, then get back to me.
  • Time Lords: there's a lot of them, and I can't be bothered naming them all, and for some reason they've all regenerated into Lovecraftian eldritch horrors, probably for funsies or whatever. The main one is called Xenaria, but there's a kid called Holsred and some twat named Allopta who dies pretty early on (oops, spoilers), but nobody cared about him, so it's all good.
  • Celestis: so at some point, the CIA fucked off to their own little pocket universe, because they were tired of dealing with everyone's shit and they didn't really want to die in the impending Time War, and that was that. They ascended to some higher form of being or whatever (Rustle "The" Davies assures me that he's never, ever read the novels) and spent the rest of their days fucking around with everyone just because. The only important characters to make note of are Investigators One and Two, because all the rest are losers who get utterly btfo.
  • Humans: a bunch of them, and they all suck and die, except for the only interesting one, who turned out not to be human after all. Honestly, what does the Doctor see in us?
  • TARDISes: yes, these count. They're sentient, after all. I shouldn't have to explain to you what a TARDIS is, but I ought to point out that the ones featured in this novel are pretty advanced in comparison to the one we know best. In short: they can fuck.
  • Memeovore: it eats memes. Some people apparently spell it as "Maemovore," and that's not only terrible incorrect, but also much less funny.

So, there you have it. All the important characters, and I didn't even lie. Much, anyway.

Plot

The beginning of the book introduces some interesting stuff that's never mentioned again, so that's nice. It doesn't really matter, though, because everything thereafter is far better anyways. It's a prime example of a Time War story done right, so someone should probably mail a copy to Briggs and the gang so they don't fuck things up more than they already have.

Of course, the war being referenced within this particular novel isn't against those terrible little salt and pepper shakers, it's the other one, against the Enemy. You know, the one Lawrence Miles cooked up in the shed in his back garden? So, in other words: it's a lot more interesting than every nuwho Time War story combined.

When you think about it, this book could've been really, really shit.

Basically, inside the titular Planet 5, there's this thing—or these things?—called Fendahl, which you may already know, and apparently everyone wants a piece of that. Even though "that" has long since been eaten. But the story doesn't actually start there, because that'd be too simple. In fact, the Doctor only stumbles across this elaborate plot whilst investigating something else entirely, which honestly happens too often to be a coincidence. Turns out that the people he dropped by to check up on (who apparently don't exist) had actually been killed and replaced by Time Lord infiltrators, and honestly, I can't remember their reasons for doing that. I'm sure it was important, though.

Meanwhile, in the shitpit that is Mictlan, Celestial Lords have been disappearing—along with every impact they've ever made on the universe. Something is erasing them all from history, undoing all their shenanigans, and that just won't do. But not to worry, Thing One and Thing Two are on the case! They pop back in time, bump into the Time Lords, and decide that things have been looking remarkably unfucked lately, so they figure that they really ought to fix that.

And thus begins an elaborate game of 4D chess, in which nobody is who they claim to be, genocide is the only answer, and a bunch of TARDISes have a really shit time. I'm not gonna spoil this book for you, because you should read it. Just know that at some point you'll probably gasp aloud at the realisation that you've been thoroughly bamboozled.

Reception

GOAT GOAT GOAT GOAT GOAT GOAT. Seriously, this book is excellent. If you've ever felt like the usual Time War stories have never lived up to much, this novel might redeem the concept. Still, it requires a bit of foreknowledge to fully understand—certain concepts and characters reappear and are never really explained for new readers, but will be of great significance to anyone who isn't an absolute fool starting at the twenty-eighth book in a series. For authors who don't even qualify for their own wiki pages (yet), Simon and Mark really hit it out of the park with this one.