This year we celebrate Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary. One of the ways we do this, is by getting eleven short stories written about eleven authors. Each story is based on one of the eleven doctors, of course. A range of different authors of children’s fiction get to play with a doctor each and each month, on the 23rd, a new short story will be released.
Here’s the schedule:
- January – First Doctor, William Hartnell (1963-1966)
- February – Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)
- March – Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)
- April – Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker (1974-1981)
- May – Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison (1981-1984)
- June – Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker (1984-1986)
- July – Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy (1987-1996)
- August – Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann (1996)
- September – Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston (2005)
- October – Tenth Doctor, David Tennant (2005-2010)
- November – Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith (2010-present)
So the Third Doctor spent a lot of his time in exile on earth, working closely with UNIT. And so it is in this story where he is on the hunt for a very special spear, a spear supposed to have been wielded by Odin himself, the Spear of Destiny.
After having rather seriously underestimated the security at a museum in London where the spear resides at this point in time, 1973, the Doctor together with his companion Jo travels back in time to the time of the Vikings. Here, they find themselves in the middle of a battle between two groups of Vikings on the brink of war. One of these is led by Odin who is wielding a spear which can’t miss.
But quickly it is clear that not everything is quite right, that there is something suspicious about Frey and that the Doctor and Jo suddenly find themselves in rather a lot of trouble, being captured by the Vikings.
I quite enjoyed this story. The Doctor again seemed different from the first two doctors in the first two anniversary short stories but whether it is because of Marcus Sedgwick nailing him or just because of the different writing styles, I can’t tell. He did have the obvious details right, of course, like his favorite means of transportation (Bessie) and his strong personal fashion style as well as a certain arrogance. Also, Jo seems like a girl with a knack for getting into trouble. There weren’t many references to other time periods or more modern culture which of course makes perfect sense since this incarnation spent a lot of his time on Earth, unable to travel in space and time.
I liked the story and the Doctor portrayed in this one and this is the first story which made me not only want to explore it’s Doctor further, but actually made me really eager to do so. I’m really starting to get a sense of the rich heritage Doctor Who has and what exactly it is we’re celebrating. As always, I eagerly await the next installment in the series, the Fourth Doctor’s story, The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve.
- Title: Spear of Destiny
- Author: Marcus Sedgwick
- Publisher: Puffin Books
- Year: 2013
- Pages: 55 pages
- Source: Own collection
- Stars: 3 stars out of 5