Book Club: Timewyrm: Apocalypse

Time for another book! We are going to read together Timewyrm: Apocalypse

Please discuss below - no need to finish it first, discuss as you go along but please add spoiler tags for anything that could be considered a spoiler!

If you’ve previously read the book and want to join in the discussion, that’s great too!

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So, I read this over the weekend, and it’s marginally better than Genesys, but a major step down from Exodus.

Such a weird beginning on this one. The prologue and chapter one had me hopelessly lost with all the names, places, and terms. Chapter 2 then begins with a scene with the Second Doctor looking for Polly, and I was convinced I was reading the wrong book until it became clear what was going on. The story returns to the Second Doctor occasionally, as this earlier adventure directly ties to the current one.

This book is the epitome of average in that it takes a very traditional Doctor Who story set-up and throws in a bunch of one-note characters, predictable twists, and generally good action scenes to keep it going. It’s an example of the “false utopia” subgenre that Doctor Who does a lot, with a seemingly perfect society hiding terrible secrets such as inhumane genetic experimentation, oppression, and brainwashing. The story is in many ways similar to The Krotons, The War Games and, to an extent, Galaxy 4.

This is a brief book and a quick read at 200 pages, but it still feels pretty long because there is very little here to keep things truly engaging. The narrative moves forward but doesn’t have much dramatic fuel, so I kind of had to convince myself to finish it.

The Doctor feels like the Seven we know and love in this one, but is the most boring he’s been in the series so far and doesn’t get very involved in the story. Ace is also very well written and very well used. The supporting characters leave no lasting impressions, and the villains are pretty flat, except for a couple of the monsters that do appear (such as the horrifying Homunculus).

I don’t like how the Timewyrm is never mentioned throughout the entire book until the very end, and even when it finally appears for the final confrontation, it is quickly disposed of in a rushed finale, as if it were added in as a last-minute revision to tie this novel into the Timewyrm arc.

Nigel Robinson’s strengths lie in describing the planet of Kirith, its people, and the horrible experiments and mutations that we come across throughout the adventure, some of which are truly gross and involved in many great action scenes.

Overall, this was disappointingly safe and forgettable.

My score: 55/100


@MrColdStream you basically wrote the exact thoughts I have about this book :+1:

The story felt a bit too “safe”, relying on a very used sci-fi trope of the “false Utopia” as mentioned above without a clear, original idea or vision for the plot.

If you disregard the overall Timewyrm arc I think it stands better on it’s own merits, you are constantly waiting for the Timewyrm and how this book ties into the larger story - and the truth is that it doesn’t really, which is kind of disappointing.

The book is well written and highlights Ace as a character who is evolving beyond her TV appearances.

Overall I think it is the weakest of the tetralogy and have rated it 2,5/5 :star:
One more Timewyrm to go :+1:


Personally I really like this book. It took me a couple chapters to get into it, but once I did I was into it until the end. Kirith is a cool setting once you go beneath the surface, and I like the stuff that happens in it too! This is the first VNA that I think is solidly good all through. It doesn’t compare to many of the more adventurous and experimental books to come, but it’s still a great little Doctor Who story.


Just finished this.

On the plus side: it was a short book :laughing:

Unfortunately as @MrColdStream and @BillFiler have already said, it’s a standard story with a rather predictable and overdone trope. There weren’t really any twists or turns, and the Timewyrm is shoehorned in at the end.

It felt like a big checklist of tropes to be honest: false utopia, Soylent green, aliens acting as gods and controlling everyone, mind control, genetic experiments, mutants, “god machine”…

What little interaction there was between Seven and Ace was good, but there wasn’t much.

It has a nice cover, with a good picture of Ace :grin: trying to find positives. The picture on the cover of what I assume is the Humunculus is what I thought was the Timewyrm when I first looked at these books :laughing:

I hope the next Timewyrm book actually deals with the Timewyrm (I’m sure it will, being the last one) because it’s been a bit of a non-arc so far.



The creature on the cover is actually the sea monster that kills Miríl if I’m not mistaken. You can see that they’re on a boat in the sea.


Oh yeah :joy: that sure came outta nowhere

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Here’s the Poparena video:

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I watched this yesterday, it’s another good one! He points out a lot of the problems I had with this novel.

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I am around the half way point. There is nothing wrong with it. But find it attached a bit boring compared to the first two. The part I am mostly interested in is why the second doctor keeps popping up. I hope that they have a good explanation for that.


Okay, I finished this. I think the video said it well when they said that this is like a Target novel for an unaired episode. I think that I rank it below both the other books, mainly because it feelt too safe.

Gave this 3/5

It will interesting to read the fourth book and see how they finish the Timewyrm story.


This book really felt like it could have been a TV episode. I enjoyed it for what it was - a fairly standard Doctor Who story - but have to rate it down simply because once again it was not about the Timewyrm in what was supposed to be the Timewyrm arc.

It really feels once again as if the story had been written first and the author was only told at the last minute that it would need to form part of an arc. Sorry but if you are selling this as a 4-book arc about the Timewyrm, then the stories need to be about the Timewyrm. The “arc” parts for all four books should have been devised first and then each segment assigned to an author to flesh out.

As regards the actual story, setting & characterisation, most of what I would have said has already been covered above.

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Personally I kind of hated it. I did not like the prose and really had to push myself through finishing the book. 2/10