book cover of The Taint

The Taint

(A book in the Doctor Who series)
A novel by

Michael Collier's previous book, The Longest Day, featured some good characters (especially the inspired Nashaad) and an interesting alien in the Kusk. With The Taint, all we get is very confused indeed as a group of inadequately described loonies takes over the asylum. It's very difficult to keep track of who is who early on, and so at the end knowing who lived or died is impossible.

The idea of alien mind parasites is nice if unoriginal, and the two robotic guardian-types were also neat, but their function in the novel is unclear. The new companion character Fitz remains something of an enigma, although he does have some nice moments and some interesting defining characteristics.

There are some good ideas in The Taint, but unfortunately the writing never manages to rise above the level of competent, and the plot gets a little submerged under a surfeit of characters. It's a pity, especially after the excellence of The Janus Conjunction, Vanderdeken's Children and The Face-Eater. --David J. Howe,

Genre: Science Fiction

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Used availability for Michael Collier's The Taint

Paperback Editions

February 1999 : UK Mass Market Paperback

Title: Doctor Who: The Taint
Author(s): Michael Collier
ISBN: 0-563-55568-8 / 978-0-563-55568-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: BBC Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA