Happy Endings

Overview

happyendingsIt’s the wedding of the 21st century and you’re invited! Bernice is marrying Jason, who she met in the previous book ‘Death and Diplomacy’, and the Doctor arranges for friends from their previous adventures to attend the ceremony at the sleepy village of Cheldon Bonniface.

There is fun, laughter and drama as the big day approaches. Bernice is not convinced that Jason will be faithful, something that Acce puts to the test. The Martians are brawling with the UNIT soldiers and Sherlock Holmes is playing cricket.

When Lady President discovers the Loom of Rassilon’s Mouse has be stolen it indicates that there is an uninvited guest at the wedding and it is the Brigadier who pays the ultimate price.

It is hard to imagine a more self-indulgent book, dripping with references to the 49 previous novels. It is a celebration of the New Adventure range, bringing together a host of characters together.

I remember that there was a real sense of excitement when the book was released. I obtained my copy at a science fiction convention, before I’d seen it in the shops. The cover was a wedding photo, the inside cover revealing the identity of everyone shown. Typically of the Doctor he manages to be both on the right and left side of the photo at the same time.

The stakes are low but the book is fun to read because we get a chance to catch-up with the characters from earlier stories. It is also a novelty to have so many Dr Who characters in one place, something that would be difficult to achieve in the television show.

The departure of Bernice Summerfield signalled that the end was coming but for now we could be happy.

So if you’ve read many of the New Adventure range this book is a must.

Plot

An adventure doesn’t always have to be about saving the world. Sometimes it is enough to celebrate being a live. Happy occasions, whether they be weddings, birthdays or the arrival of a new child are important landmarks in the PCs lives.

It is a chance to revisit NPCs from past adventures and see what happens when they get together. It can give the campaign breathing room to tie up loose ends. The upbeat tone can establish that the PCs lives are more than escaping one peril after another.

Not that there won’t be any danger. Here the Master was carrying out cloning experiments in the village when it just so happened that the Doctor decided to hold the wedding there. All of the problems were a result of the Master trying to ruin the wedding and just get the Doctor and his companions to leave.

This humorous set of circumstances illustrates the part that dumb luck and farce can play in an adventure. This can provide some challenges for the PCs without distracting from the overall focus of the game.

Just making sure that events go as planned and the happy day isn’t ruined can be enough. This can be entertaining for players who like to plan and indulge their character.There is nothing wrong with having an adventure where everyone just has a lovely day.

The wedding in this book, with its cast of characters from different planets and eras, would make a good setting for an adventure. If PCs know the Doctor well, or his companions, they could be invited as well and just not mentioned in the book.

Meddlers might decided to strike at the wedding, since so many important people are gathered in one place. The PCs could learn of their plan and crash the wedding to make sure nothing goes wrong.

The Brigadier gains a new leash of life here, becoming young again. Since this story, set in 2010, contradicts how we see the Brigadier in ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ games master might wish to consider this to be non-canonical or a short-lived transformation.

If you do wish to retain this change to the character it is possible that the Brigadier used some form of disguise when visiting Sarah Jane Smith. The reason he has proven so elusive is that his youth is being kept secret so he can undertake covert missions for UNIT.

This can allow us to overlook the sad facts of the real world and allow the Brigadier to have many more adventures in the early half of the 21st century. The PCs might feature heavily in those adventures.

We learn that the Eternal Time is a descendant of Chris Cwej,, although her blood line does contain some very odd elements. It does at least suggest that some of the other Eternals, if not more, had mortal beginnings.

This does raise the possibility that someone could try to eliminate an Eternal by targeting one of their mortal ancestors. PCs could have to thwart this plan and gain  the Eternal as a patron.

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