Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion by Jenny T Colgan (book review).

The first ever Christmas Special, ‘The Christmas Invasion’ was used to introduce viewers to the new Doctor. Following on from the catastrophic events of ‘The Parting Of The Ways’, Rose is frightened to discover her Doctor has disappeared and to be replaced by a gangly, toothy individual offers to take her to Barcelona. The moment she realises it’s him still brings a tear to my eye. ‘She felt it. Somehow, deep down, she knew.’

Rose takes him home to her mum, Jackie, so they can look after him. The alien that saves the world needs to be saved. Meanwhile, there’s a little invasion happening and Prime Minister Harriet Jones would really like the Doctor to call.

Jenny T Colgan has added depth to the original story with more happening at the Guinevere Launch Site and additional characters. There’s lots of funny dialogue both from the episode and added to it is another example of how bonded we are to the character of Rose and her family. This is what centres the Doctor and, as the first example of regeneration in the new adventures, this has to lock us into the new Doctor.

This was an amazing way to spend Christmas Day in 2005 and the Nobel hits the spot with its familiarity. The episode didn’t shy away from death as there are several brutal executions and it also deals with state and Earth security. Prime Minister Harriet Jones reminds us that we can’t rely on super-heroes to save us. This is the first use of the phrase ‘Don’t you think she looks tired?’ which, as Jenny reminds us, is commonly used these days.

These books are relatively quick reads and, afterwards, you can go and watch the episode again. We take so much for granted but the quality of the writing both of the episode and its novelisation are first class. If anything could get you into reading these little Target novels, this is it.

In her afterword, Jenny Colgan reminds us that it wasn’t set in stone that the public would take the new Doctor to their hearts (ain’t that the truth) and the style of David Tennant is very different to the intensity that Chris Eccleston brought to the role. However, it didn’t take long for the public to relax and welcome the new boy. Let’s hope they are as welcoming to the new girl.

Sue Davies

June 2018

(pub: Target Books/BBC Books/Ebury/Penguin. 224 page paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78594-328-7)

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