Reviews and Commentary

 Blood Harvest 
The New Adventures
Terrance Dicks
©1994

I like this book, but it does contain a glaring inconsistency that I ignore steadfastly. (More on my ability to ignore inconsistentcies here). You familiar with that picture of Sophie Aldred in her Space Ace costume? If you aren't, you're fortunate. Just thinking about that photo makes my eyes bleed.

But what really bothers me is that it's based on this book, which uses a costume description that simply doesn't jive with all other previous and later descriptions by all the other authors. I call the Blood Harvest version of Ace's costume the "Gallifreyan Vampirella" (in keeping with the book theme). What is she supposed to be? Batman's sidekick?

Who in their right mind wears plastique around their neck?

Before going any further, let me tell you about another ol' time author. His name is Chris Claremont and he wrote a shitload of X-Men stories back in the day. Big name writer. He left for a while, then came back and was, naturally, given his own title to write. The trouble is, while he was gone, he didn't pay much attention to the other kids playin' in his sandbox. When he came back, he was retconning things left and right - not intentionally, but out of pure sloppiness. The work of those other writers simply wasn't worth his time.

Terrance Dicks is like that. I give him credit where credit is due, but I get the impression that he wrote this book with the following information: The Doctor is kinda like a mob boss, Ace wears fetish gear - leather or somethin' - and shoots people, Benny is like, this detective chick that gets in trouble a lot. And that's it. *raises a finger* If he had read one, just one, NA he wouldn't have made as many minor goofs as he did regarding character appearances and mannerisms.

Unfortunately, I don't think he did.

Therefore, in this one instance, Ace wears some sort of skin-tight leather catsuit with a scoop neck and high flared collar. And that's supposed to protect her against plasma blasts? I own a leather biking suit. It's great for abrasion protection involving pavement at high speeds but it won't stop bullets or knives, never mind plasma blasts. Leather has already been replaced by synthetics for protective purposes.

From the getgo, Ace's suit was described as being made completely from synthetics. It's composed of an inner suit that sizes to the user (the skintight aspect), controls body temperature, releases local anaesthetics, applies artificial skin to injuries, etc. Over that is a flak armor structure covering the torso, shoulders, lower arms (the detachable gauntlets) and, originally, power-assist boots. She lost those and replaced them with doc martens. We're talking Robocop, not Vampirella.

What adds insult to injury is, because he was a "ol' timer big name author", future cover artists referenced him. *shudder* I try not to look at those covers. When I read this book, I ignore his description, because it's otherwise a very entertaining story. And that's my other point. Despite the liberal cheesiness caused by continuity sloppiness, even I can't resist Ace being referred to as a gun moll or the Doctor brewing booze in the TARDIS pool. (They probably had to fish Benny out a few times).

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