Doctor Who: Diamond Dogs by Mike Tucker (book review)

One of three new novels for the new ‘Doctor Who’ companion ‘Diamond Dogs’ tips a curtsey nod to the late great David Bowie with its title.

An off-planet adventure for Bill and the Doctor sees her introduction to his interesting moral code as they land inside one of the biggest diamond vaults anywhere so he can take a small diamond to pay for Nardole’s housekeeping. Apparently, he’s not good at budgeting. As the Doctor explains these diamonds are a by-product of Saturn’s atmosphere and they don’t belong to anyone and, anyway, it’s not stealing, just tidying one or two up.

Of course, this is not just their story as we previously met Laura Palmer, another nod popular culture. She is the security officer on the Kollo Zarnista Facility 27 that oversees the diamonds and their collection. It’s a little unfortunate then that the Doctor is caught diamond-handed at this point. Laura is an addict but only to viewing the beauty and majesty of Saturn’s rings. It’s the reason she took the post as the station is no holiday camp.

Luckily, for the Doctor, there are more immediate problem for the crew as they have lost a man overboard. When they try to retrieve his capsule, it’s empty and, in that moment, the Doctor rather forcefully takes charge. They all listen to the distress call of Baines, who appears to be alive, thanks to the amazing technology of his suit. They all think it’s a simple recovery job but life is never straightforward when the Doctor is around.

A good off-world adventure with some thoughtful character building of the supporting cast and some excellent discretions of the incredible area around Saturn and its rings. Thank goodness, the whole diamond thing is fiction or people would be building spacecraft in their back gardens. The dynamic between Bill and the Doctor is fun and she gives as good as she gets. The ending is nicely rounded and satisfying just like an episode when it all goes to plan.

Sue Davis

June 2017

(pub: BBC Books/Ebury. 256 page small hardback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78594-269-7)

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