Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Has Dean Koontz watched Doctor Who?

I  have recently finished "77 Shadow Street," one of Dean Koontz's most recent novels. I am not the only one to have noticed the similarities between this book and a number of different Doctor Who villains and plots. And I am not only referring to the fact that his villain's catch phrase is "exterminate." Let me show you the many parallels I found between "77 Shadow Street" and the Doctor Who universe. Spoiler alert!

1) The first thing you do come to is the similarity to the Daleks. In various scenes in the book, the TV screen goes wonky and a voice comes out describing the location and the person of whoever is in the room. The voice then anounces, "Exterminate, exterminate."

2) The next parallel I found was in how the characters are transported into the future. It seems as if they and anything that is on their person is transported into the future during a thunderstorm. Just like the 10th Doctor and Martha Jones is transported to the moon in "Smith and Jones."

3) If you do not want the book ruined for you, I advise that you quit reading right now. I'm about to reveal the biggest plot twist. The scary, twisted world that the characters are transported into is caused by the creation of nanorobots. These small machines were created to heal people of their infirmities. They instead run amuck and decide that the world is a better place without people. This plot reminds me of “The Empty Child” where alien "nanogenes" which were made for healing start to heal humans using an incorrect template.

4) The fourth similarity I found is a really general one. This entire book screws with time. Somehow, people are transported into the future to make sure that future never happens. The two scientists responsible for the nanorobots are killed, presumably preventing the nanorobots from being invented. Okay, so how do these people get transported into a future that will not exist? What about the people in the past who were also transported into this hellish future? How could they have gotten killed in a future that will not happen? The past season of Doctor Who has been all about screwing with the concept of time. I have to admit, some of it has been fun, and the rest I've had to suspend disbelief in order to simply enjoy a good story. I had to suspend disbelief for this story as well, because if you think about it too much, your head will hurt.

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