My last book for the buzzwordathon! I technically finishing this the day after the readathon ended but shhh!
This book consists of 11 short stories by a variety of well known authors, one for each Doctor (excluding the war doctor and also ones which have appeared after this book was published, Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker). Sadly I’ve only watched nuWho so far, and a bit of the 1st Doctor (I’m working on it!) but those respective authors really managed to embody the way in which each Doctor was portrayed and I really felt like I was watching the show.
Overall I gave the book a rounded up 4*s on Goodreads, as the average of my reviews was around 3.7*s. Now lets break these down into their individual stories.
The First Doctor: A Big Hand for the Doctor by Eoin Colfer – 4*
I really enjoyed this Victorian romp around, with Colfer really mixing the Doctor’s personality around to work for a more modern reader. Hartnel played the Doctor as quite stiff and although that does remain in this story he is a bit more relaxed as would fit a modern audience and I think Colfer blended the two really well.
The Second Doctor: The Nameless City by Michael Scott – 2*
This was my lowest rated story within this book at 2*s. I honestly felt bored reading it and struggled to get through it. The concept was fine but the characters fell flat for me. It would have been a 1* if not for the Flower of Scotland at the end!!! (I’m half Scottish) I’ve never read from this author before and I’m likely to not do so given my unenjoyment of their writing style here.
The Third Doctor: The Spear of Destiny by Maarcus Sedgwick – 3.5*
A fun viking based story which I was immediately engrossed in and really enjoyed, I gave this 3.5* as it lacked a little extra spark to push it any higher. I enjoyed the little details added in but I feel like it could have done with being a little longer, or a standalone book by itself as there were so many small details added which didn’t get to be explored.
The Fourth Doctor: The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve – 4*
This was a great story, Reeve wrote just the right amount for a novella and the concept of a living tree which had been genetically altered for an evil use is such a great plot. Definitely a fun one!
The Fifth Doctor: Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness – 4.5*
I loved this story! Little truth machines which tell people exactly what you think of them, which is usually quite harsh or unwanted information. The Doctor and Nyssa don’t feature heavily in this story, with the focus being on the children involved, which I definitely think was the right decision by Ness as it brings the reader into their world very directly.
The Sixth Doctor: Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead – 4*
A world which based itself around Las Vegas, with the focus being on a shotgun wedding! This was another fun story, as is the theme of this short story collection, and I enjoyed reading about characters which I’ve heard of but not watched myself so far.
The Seventh Doctor: The Ripple Effect by Malorie Blackman – 5*
My favourite story of the whole collection! If you’re familiar with Doctor Who you’ll be familiar with the Daleks, but not like this! Blackman takes the story exactly where you would expect for her favoured writing topics and it works brilliantly with the Doctor and the Daleks. This novella is written brilliantly and I highly recommend it.
The Eighth Doctor: Spore by Alex Scarrow – 4*
A really interesting take on an alien virus and a great stepping stone from the original Doctors to the new series. There is a virus which is melting people down into goo and conglomerating it to make a form for itself. The Doctor goes in on behalf of UNIT and deals with the virus himself.
The Ninth Doctor: The Beast of Babylon by Charlie Higson – 3*
I probably would’ve given this story 2.5*, but I boosted it up a little because I loved that Higson chose to fill up the gap from when the Doctor left Rose after they first met and then appeared back, mere seconds later, to re-offer her the opportunity of a lifetime. This was actually a large gap in time for the Doctor, and this story takes place within that. Sadly the actual story wasn’t my favourite, the concept was good but it just wasn’t for me.
The Tenth Doctor: The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage by Derek Landy – 3.75*
In this story we follow Martha and the Doctor inside of a Famous Five story knock-off which has come from Martha’s own brain. This is very much Landy’s ballpark and you can feel him having fun with the story. Again, similar to previous novella’s in this book, I think this needed more pages in order to be a fully developed and enjoyable story.
The Eleventh Doctor: Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman – 4.5*
Gaiman perfectly encaptures the madness of Matt Smith and Karen Gillian as their respective characters and really sticks with the style of story which was used within their series’ on the show. It was a great end to the book and I really loved it. I’d be happy to read a lot more from Gaiman writing for the 11th Doctor!
Overall, some of these stories did need more time and space in order to fully reach their potential, but I definitely recommend having a look at these. They were originally published as individual short stories for eBook so if you only want to pick up the ones from your favourite authors or a few that sound good then you can definitely do that. I’m really glad that I’ve finally read this book and it was a lot of fun being back in the Whoniverse while we wait for the next series with Whittaker to be released. Definitely recommended reading for Whovians!