‘The Vampire of Paris’ (DSL) (Book)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

A Vampire, Varlos and the Eternity Crystal with the Tenth Doctor and Gisella

It’s time for Gisella’s first adventure in the TARDIS!

And it’s time for another exciting instalment in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ book series with the Tenth Doctor. Again, these ‘Doctor Who’ books are quite enjoyable and easy reads to get into. There are activity pages and TARDIS information data banks pages, but remove them and you have a good tale.

The fifth book of ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ book series is of course ‘The Vampire of Paris’ by Stephen Cole. I’ve read quite a number of ‘Doctor Who’ adventures by Stephen Cole and he’s written some stories for Big Finish audio. Stephen Cole is in the league of ‘Doctor Who’ writers like Justin Richards.

In that he mostly writes well-written and compelling adventures. It was nice to have him contribute a story to ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series and it’s intriguing he writes one set on Earth in the past during 1895. This might be considered the first historical adventure in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series.

In the story, the Doctor and his new companion Gisella, head for Paris 1895 to try and find Gisella’s father who happens to be Varlos, the inventor of the Eternity Crystal. Once they get there, they find Paris to be in a crisis. There are young victims drained of their life-force by this time-eating vampire.

The Doctor and Gisella meet a young boy called Nicholas who’s become an old man. They meet up with the French police force that happens to be Baron De Guerre and Inspector DuPont. The Doctor and Gisella have to solve the mystery on what this time vampire’s about and how to locate Varlos. 😐

This of course isn’t the first time the Doctor’s been to Paris. On the contrary, he was in Paris as the First Doctor in ‘The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve’. And he was in Paris in my favourite Fourth Doctor adventure ‘City of Death’. There’s even a reference to the tale in this ‘Darksmith Legacy’ tale.

It was fascinating to find Gisella now becoming a companion of the Tenth Doctor in this ‘Darksmith Legacy’ series, having previously debuted in ‘The Depths of Despair’. I didn’t think the Tenth Doctor was going to have a companion in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series and that he’d fight this out alone. 😀

Like previous ‘Darksmith Legacy’ books, the story is divided into 10 chapters. The activity pages in this book are a total of 3, which include puzzles for readers to have the chance to think like the Doctor. The TARDIS data bank pages are on Paris, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and ‘Sacred Heart’. 🙂

It was fascinating to read this story and how the Doctor and Gisella tackled the Eternity Crystal quest with trying to find Varlos in Paris, 1895. I didn’t think we would ever get to meet Varlos and it was a surprise twist once it turned out he assumed the identity of De Guerre, one of the French policemen.

It was also nice that Nicholas, despite being an old man, got to be active in the story when helping the Tenth Doctor and Gisella with solving the mystery of the vampire in Paris. I thought Nicholas was going to be an old man for the rest of his life. Thankfully, Gisella, Varlos and the Doctor sorted it out.

The robot Agent from previous stories in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series makes a return here. I’m sure the Tenth Doctor must get pretty annoyed with having to be chased by a giant robot who wants the Eternity Crystal from him and there’s soon a collision between both the Agent and the vampire here.

The story also features Varlos creating a makeshift Eternity Crystal which becomes essential in the restoration of many people’s lives including Nicholas from old age to young age. I did a sort-of similar thing in my ‘Zorbius’ series where the Doctor made a makeshift version of the Zorbius crystal.

Again, there are elements of the ‘Star Trek’ episode ‘The Devil in the Dark’ in this ‘Darksmith Legacy’ book. I say that as the story has the Tenth Doctor expressing sympathy for the time vampire when it seems to have been abused in its abilities. I don’t think we know much about the creature though. 😐

It does seem to be rather rushed towards the end of the story, especially when the time vampire is not made out to be the villain as I’m sure many readers were led to believe. We don’t even have an appearance of the Darksmith Collective featured in ‘The Vampire of Paris’ story, which is a change. 🙂

There are some tense moments featured in this adventure, especially when the Doctor attempted to tame the time vampire and he fell off the Eiffel Tower building to the ground. I’m surprised he didn’t die and regenerate into Matt Smith at the end. How could the Tenth Doctor survive a fall like that? 😐

I don’t think ‘The Vampire of Paris’ is as good as ‘City of Death’ since that had a balance of comedy and drama throughout whereas this has a consistent serious tone in solving the mystery of the time vampire. Mind you, it’s a plus in making ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ book series consistent throughout. 🙂

The book concludes with the Doctor and Gisella escaping in the TARDIS from the robotic Agent before they follow it in another ship in order to find a way on how to destroy the Eternity Crystal forever. But as they journey in the TARDIS on a fixed course, the TARDIS goes out of control. What?!

At the end of the book, there’s an excerpt from the sixth book in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series called ‘The Game of Death’ to look forward to. Please bear in mind, the ‘Collected’ Party at the end of the book is out of date since October 2009 is over. A shame since I would have liked to have joined in! 😀

‘The Vampire of Paris’ has been another enjoyable book in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series. I enjoyed reading it and Stephen Cole does come across as a good writer in this tale. I wonder what will happen next and how the Tenth Doctor and Gisella will get to destroy the Eternity Crystal forever. 🙂

‘The Vampire of Paris’ (DSL) rating – 8/10

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