The Dangers of Exceeding the Blinovitch Limitation EffectAlways the Third Doctor!;Jo Grant;Katy Manning;Jon Pertwee;Sequel to INFERNO;


REVIEW: The Dangers of Exceeding the Blinovitch Limitation Effect

Story by Jeri Massi

Review by S. Daniel Wilson

Original story copyright 1998 by Jeri Massi. All rights reserved.

The Doctor (Third, of course), in his experimental and meddling best form, manages to slip sideways into the same splinter universe that he encountered in the Doctor Who episode, "Inferno"-- the episode that this story is a sequel to.

His intentions are to stop one Dr. Stahlman from initiating a project which involves drilling deep into the earth's surface. The first time that the Doctor ventured into this world, this project was carried out, and as the Doctor was leaving for his own universe he witnessed the destruction of the alternate world.

This time, however, his intentional trip into the other universe manages to bring Jo Grant along with him, when she inadvertantly becomes part of a circuit that is intended to conduct power from the TARDIS to its disembodied control console.

Once in this strange new world, the Doctor and Jo discover the existence of an evil version of the Doctor (thwarting the theory that the Doctor is a unique presence in any reality); a much nicer, albeit just as cold blooded, counterpart to the Master; a very hard-lived version of Jo whom everyone calls 'Kit'; as well as some other interesting surprises.

I don't want to give away too much of the story, so I'll be brief with my review. I thought that the story was written quite well, presented expertly, and never once was I lost in details, nor did I ever have to backtrack earlier into the story to recall fine details of later references (something I find necessary in many large novels). In many ways, a good story is like a jigsaw puzzle. To put it together, it's best to construct the border first, then fill in the center until you've finally gotten together a complete picture with no missing pieces. Jeri Massi's writing does just that. The basic plot of the story is built early on, and slowly but surely, all of the elements come together wonderfully, and by the time the story is finished, there's not a single bit missing.

I especially enjoyed the end of the story. I've never seen or read a more emotional or endearing testiment to the strong bond between the Doctor and Jo. Their relationship is by far the strongest and most believable of all of the Doctors and all of the various Companions over the years. While the portrayal of their emotional moment after returning to their own world was very charged with 'pulling-of-the-heart-strings' material, it didn't stoop to being a gimmick whose only concern is that of getting you, the reader, to 'turn the page,' as it were.

One thing that I always look for in any fiction based on Doctor Who is this: Would this story appeal to, or at least be easily followed and enjoyed by, anyone who had never seen or liked the show? In this case, I would have to say no. Though the writing is equal to or better than much of what is currently on bookshelves right now, I think that someone who is not a DW fan might be able to follow along, but because of their infamiliarity of the show and of the characters in the story, they wouldn't get as much enjoyment out of it.

Overall, I was very pleased with this bit of Massi's work. I can honestly say that it is the best fiction, Who or otherwise, that I've read this year. My rating: * * * * 1/2 (out of a possible five).

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