This book, looking at the fourth regeneration of the Doctor, played by Tom Baker, takes a slightly different approach to the preceeding volumes, in structure if not in content. The first chapter looks at what makes Fourth Doctor adventures different from any other ones, the second covers the Doctor himself and his companions from this era in detail, and the rest of the book lists the adventures that he undertook in the TV show. But first, won't you have a jellybaby?
Every regeneration is quite different from all the others, but this one is the most 'alien'... and perhaps the most fun. Or at least, he seems to have the most fun charging round the universe and saving it, anyway. This period is also one in which the nature of the Time Lords is explored more thoroughly, and it sees the beginning of the Time War, echoes of which are still felt in the current season of the show. Several adventure seeds as well as more wide-ranging ideas are given for those who like this period but want original adventures rather than those shown on TV. There's also an interesting discussion about Time Lords as player characters, showing more clearly how the rules balance the relative strengths of Time Lord and human (or indeed other races) characters and even giving ideas of how to run games with two or more Time Lord characters in the party. If nothing else, that's a good time to visit Gallifrey as they can be less than welcoming to outsiders! This chapter also includes a wide range of new traits, including several new ones for Time Lords.
Chapter 2 takes a detailed look at the Fourth Doctor and his companions. There's Leela (a barbarian), K-9 (a robotic dog... strictly speaking, two of them as the first was left with Leela and the Doctor made another), Romana (a Time Lord, who regenerated during her time with the Doctor so there are two versions), Adric (a smart kid), Nyssa and Tegan. It's a bit of a toss-up with most Doctor Who fans as to whether Adric or Tegan was the most annoying! Character sheets for all of these as well as for Sarah-Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan (both detailed elsewhere and more associated with the Third Doctor than the Fourth) are provided should you wish to play them or have them as NPCs. This chapter also looks at the TARDIS, now back in working order (mostly).
And then we're off with a survey of all the Fourth Doctor's adventures. These follow a common pattern: a synopsis of the adventure, notes on how to run it should you so choose, character sheets and other information for key NPCs and monsters, and a selection of further adventures based on the original broadcast. There is very little repetition of adversaries, so this is a good set for those who like new things rather than the same old monsters...
This series just gets better. This one is replete with ideas that you can use in your game, from complete adventures to throw-away ideas that spawn whole new adventures of your own. It's well worth a read, even if you don't want to use this era or to play out TV adventures.
[5 of 5 Stars!]