Doctor Who 50th Anniversary #7

doctor_who___50th_anniversary_poster_by_disneydoctorwhosly23-d5gxelrThis 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 – with links to my reviews (and yeah, I’m behind…):

The Ripple Effect - Malorie BlackmanSo can you ever trust a Dhalek? Would you ever dare to? Even if they have managed to create an equivalent to Plato’s Academy?
The Doctor and his companion Ace find themselves stuck in a kind of space Bermuda Triangle, The Temporal Plexus. Here they struggle to get the Tardis freed and when they succeed, they are thrown across the universe – to Skaro.
But definitely not the Skaro we know and fear. No, this Skaro is the centre of civilization, philosophy, democracy and art. Everyone is flocking here to learn – and the Dhaleks are the teachers. So when the Doctor attacks one of these Dhaleks to protect Ace, he is not exactly praised. Rather the students are very angry at him for attacking one of their friendly and peaceful teachers.
So what exactly has happened – is this another evil Dhalek master plan or is this something else – and something far far worse?
I really really liked this story. But oh, it was far too short. There was so much potential in a Dhalek build Platonic Academy – just imagine the always warmongering Dhaleks as philosopher kings? I can just imagine them walking around the grounds and saying ‘EDUCATE’ …! So it was a bit disappointing to me that it didn’t do more with this setting and elaborate on how a peaceful Dhalek sees the world and what kind of philosophy it (he?) believes in.
Of course the story had other flaws as well. In particular, there was a very sappy moment between Ace and one of the students that was just too much – at least for an adult reader, but I do think that young adults would probably love that … so I guess I can’t complain about that since this series is aimed at a younger audience than me.
So yet again I’m left with a feeling of wanting these to be just a tiny bit longer …

‘If you make a tiny change at just the right moment in time, then everything else follows naturally, like a ripple effect.’ (location 475-86)

First line: 

  • Title: The Ripple Effect
  • Author: Malorie Blackman
  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • Year: 2013
  • Pages: 55 pages
  • Source: Own collection – Kindle
  • Stars: 3 stars out of 5

I read this as part of the year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who.

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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary #6

doctor_who___50th_anniversary_poster_by_disneydoctorwhosly23-d5gxelrThis 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 – with links to my reviews (and yeah, I’m behind…):

Something-Borrowed-50th-short-richelle-meadSo when reading this, I found out that I’m full of prejudice. See, when I saw this book was written by Richelle Mead of The Vampire Academy fame, I was already a bit sceptic. And when I then saw it had a storyline with unrequited love, I was almost prepared to just stop then and there. But well, I rarely quit reading something so I kept on going – and I’m glad I did. Because this wasn’t just an unrequited love story, no, this was something more interesting.
The Sixth Doctor arrives together with Peri on Koturia, an civilization 200 years in our future but modeled on Las Vegas as we know it. They go there to attend a wedding of the son of one of the Doctor’s old friends, Lord Evris Makshi. But when they arrive, they arrive in the middle of a pterodactyl attack. Luckily the Doctor and Peri is able to scare the animals away without anyone being seriously hurt. They learn that these attacks have become more frequent lately – and that the pterodactyls are even carrying people away sometimes.
When they arrive at the home of the Doctor’s friend, they naturally want to meet the blushing bride but she is in the women’s part of the house where only Peri is allowed to go. So she goes – to check out the bride who is apparently alien.  And when she does finally meet the bride, she is instantly recognized … and not exactly made to feel welcome.
I ended up quite enjoying this installment in the short story series but it also made me even more aware that I’m lacking so much Doctor Who knowledge. I’ve slowly started to get into the old episodes and the old doctors – but in this one, I really felt my lack of knowledge of what has been going on. And I’m questioning whether what I liked was the novel – or the villain who is from the tv series. This sort of puts into focus what my overall view is on Doctor Who fiction – it’s not nearly as good as the real thing but helps take the edge of when you’re pining for more Doctor Who related stuff.
The Doctor didn’t really stand out for me in this novel but maybe that’s because it was told from the point of view of Peri, his companion – and she already knew him and didn’t have to explain much about him.
Still, all in all, this turned out to be a story I really enjoyed but also a story that showed me how much I still have to experience with Doctor Who as seen on TV (or iPad or whatever).

First line: It was typical. The Doctor promised me champagne and cake, and instead I got flying lizards.

  • Title: Something Borrowed
  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • Year: 2013
  • Pages: 40 pages
  • Source: Own collection – Kindle
  • Stars: 3 stars out of 5

I read this as part of the year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who.

Related posts:

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary #5

doctor_who___50th_anniversary_poster_by_disneydoctorwhosly23-d5gxelrThis 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 – with links to my reviews (and yeah, I’m behind…):

PatrickNess-TipoftheTongueIn a small town in Maine in 1945, things are happening. People starts telling each other the truth, no matter what it is – and that’s just not the way to make friends. Leading this charge of truth is the Acklin family who owns the local store and who are always first with the new things. Their daughter is organizing Truth Parties which just add a bit more nastiness to the whole teenage experience. And of course to participate in a Truth Party, you first have to buy a Truth Teller at the Acklin store. It’s always nice when families work together, right?
Not quite popular enough to be allowed in to these parties, are the two friends, Nettie and Jonny. The only mixed-race child and the only Jewish child in town, the two were destined to be friends when they met as five-years-old. Now, nine year later, Jonny has fallen in love with one of the popular girls in town and to have a chance with her, he buys a Truth Teller from Nettie. A Truth Teller, which immediately let her know, that he likes her only as a friend.
But of course a Truth Teller is not something that’s supposed to be in Maine in the 40s. So of course the Doctor shows up. A very elegant doctor in a white suit – with a celery in the lapel! And when a female companion wearing pants, the two are sure to attract attention.
What I really liked about this story was, that it wasn’t told from the point of view of the Doctor and his companion. I liked that it was told from Nettie and Jonny’s viewpoint. Normally we are with the Doctor and sees things from his side but I like to see it from the side of those who experience the Doctor waltzing in and doing something strange and – for them – unexplainable.
I also really liked how Patrick Ness used these small alien Truth Tellers to identify the Doctor. And that got me thinking, that I don’t think any of the novels have had a ‘Doctor Who’ moment, you know ‘I’m the Doctor.’ ‘Doctor Who?’ – and I kind of miss that. Of course they can’t put every trope in these short stories but I would like one of these moments in one of them.
Basically, I liked the whole idea of this story and it-s dealing with friendship, racism, bullying and how the rich and powerful can do whatever they want. I thought Patrick Ness manages to do a lot in a short amount of pages but I didn’t feel like I got a very good impression of this, the Fifth Doctor. So one of the strengths of the story becomes also one of it’s weaknesses. So a great short story, but maybe not a good Doctor Who story. But I still liked it …

First line: ‘Is it broken?’ Jonny asked, frowning.

  • Title: Tip of the Tongue
  • Author: Patrick Ness
  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • Year: 2013
  • Pages: 38 pages
  • Source: Own collection – Kindle
  • Stars: 3 stars out of 5

I read this as part of the year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who.

Related posts:

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary #3

doctor_who___50th_anniversary_poster_by_disneydoctorwhosly23-d5gxelrThis 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)

doctor-who-spear-of-destiny-sedgwickSo 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

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