Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation – Gary Russell
Christmas 2015, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Imagine everyone’s surprise when a time portal opens up in Sydney Cove. Imagine their shock as a massive pyramid now sits beside the Harbour Bridge, inconveniently blocking Port Jackson and glowing with energy. Imagine their fear as Cyrrus “the mobster” Globb, Professor Horace Jaanson and an alien assassin called Kik arrive to claim the glowing pyramid. Finally imagine everyone’s dismay when they are followed by a bunch of con artists out to spring their greatest grift yet.
This gang consists of Legs (the sexy comedian), Dog Boy (providing protection and firepower), Shortie (handling logistics), Da Trowel (in charge of excavation and history) and their leader, Doc (busy making sure the universe isn’t destroyed in an explosion that makes the Big Bang look like a damp squib).
And when someone accidentally reawakens The Ancients of the Universe – which, Doc reckons, wasn’t the wisest or best-judged of actions – things get a whole lot more complicated…
My thanks to BBC Books.
“I’m an archaeologist, but probably not the one you were expecting.” It is on the back of the book, in big bright white letters – if you recognise the origin of the line then you should know you are in for a treat. Gary Russell’s contribution to Doctor Who down the years is not insignificant. He knows what the fans like (in fact he created a lot of what the fans like) so you know that there will be fun times ahead when you start to read Big Bang Generation.
Now take a glance back to the cover of the book and you will see the Doctor, you will see the TARDIS but someone is missing…no Clara. Not a design choice, Ms Oswald is not a player in this story, instead the Doctor is reunited with a former travelling companion and (no spoilers) it works brilliantly. The TARDIS crew in Big Bang Generation is a treat for the long standing fans who have travelled with the Doctor beyond the tv shows through the many books and audio adventures.
Forming part of The Glamour Chronicles trilogy I feel that Big Bang Generation provides the reader with the most information about the mysterious Glamour it certainly features much more than it had in Royal Blood (which I had read before Big Bang Generation). The scale of Big Bang Generation is also much greater than the other books in the trilogy. Events unfold over long periods of time and there are several different destinations covered through the telling of the story. This book felt (at the time) like the finale, however, the author did confirm that he felt Big Bang Generation could fit anywhere into the trilogy.
The Doctor finds himself pursuing the Glamour once again but not to own one of the most coveted treasures in the galaxies: as that way lies a dangerous path. He needs to track it down to try to contain or supress its power and ensure it does not fall into the wrong hands. Should The Glamour be damaged or misused the effect upon the surrounding land could be catastrophic.
So when an archaeological dig threatens to uncover the Glamour from its hidden resting place it is somewhat surprising for the lead archaeologist to meet their future self and be warned that the dig should cease. Time travel does throw up some unusual conversations at times.
What follows is a hugely entertaining chase through space (and time) to gain control of The Glamour and ensure it always remains in the ‘right’ hands. The story is full of subtle jokes and observations which fans will spot and love (I am pretty sure I missed one or two along the way – so a re-read will be guaranteed).
Gary Russell is one of my favourite Doctor Who authors and Big Bang Generation did not disappoint. Many more of these please and the Doctor will continue to shine.