Doctor Who: Combat Magicks by Steve Cole (book review).


When the TARDIS bumps into an obstruction above the Earth, it makes an unexpected landing in Roman times. In ‘Combat Magicks’, the Doctor still seems to be getting to grips with the controls, which has been a recurring theme of the series.

The team have arrived in Gaul and it’s about to witness the bloodiest battle in history, Attila the Hun lines up against the might of the Holy Roman Empire. There’s something not quite right about this scenario and the power of the supernatural appears to be at play. The Doctor is here to level the battlefield.

As the four are split up and must make allies with who they can, it becomes apparent there is a malign outside influence at work and the Doctor is facing a massive challenge, even for her.

I’m thinking if this was a TV episode or, more likely, a series of two to three, many children would be having nightmares over the incredible enemy and its abilities. There is a lot going on, not least some potted history thrown in as a bonus. Cole uses excellent description and the dialogue as ever is a dynamic part of the story that makes it jump along.

This is also available as an audiobook, read by Mandip Gill (Yaz), and I’m sure it will be excellent as the structure really lends itself to the spoken word. If you can’t afford, it then just take it in turns with your family to see who can be the best Graham.

Sue Davies

December 2018

(pub: BBC Books/Ebury Publishing/Random House. 264 page small hardback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK), $10.99 (US), $16.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-78594-369-0)

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