Doctor Who: The Day She Saved The Doctor by Susan Calman, Jacqueline Rayner, Jenny T. Colgan and Dorothy Koomson (book review).

March 8, 2018 | By | Reply More

To celebrate the new Doctor in female form these four stories feature the favourite companions of recent times with female authors. Yes it’s a novelty piece.

Sarah Jane And The Temple Of Eyes by Jacqueline Rayner

Taking us right back to one of our favourite companions, this is a historical adventure with a twist where Sarah Jane and the Doctor arrive in the bustling market town of Ostia deep at the heart of the Roman Empire. All seems to be going well until a confused blind woman arrives in the marketplace. It appears there is more to this than sickness and brings to the surface the darkest fears of Sarah Jane. She’s suffered a lot but Daleks are simple pepper pots compared to the fear of blindness.

Rose And The Snow Window by Jenny T. Colgan

When Rose arrives in modern day Toronto, she’s charmed by it despite it not being New York. Rose and the Doctor are sniffing out a time leak and this leads to excessive consumption of muffins, much running and the odd fight.

Clara And The Maze Of Cui Palta by Susan Calman

Arriving on a planet made for leisure is always a mistake with the Doctor and it’s not long before the pair are hopelessly lost inside an endless maze. The trouble is, there’s no quick exit through the gift shop.

Bill And The Three Jackets by Dorothy Koomson

The lovely Bill has a date and an outfit dilemma. She knows the clothes are everything and finds a shop that offers a tailored service. She’s only got a few hours had a whole lot of self-confidence to acquire. Nothing goes to plan and Bill’s giant chip on her shoulder grows to enormous proportions. That’s a metaphor, not a real chip.

Although I enjoyed the stories, I never got much sense of the Doctor, quite an important character. Most companions here, apart from Bill, travelled with more than one Doctor and in three of the stories the character is absent. In Jacqueline Rayner’s story, his hair and teeth are referred to which means Fourth to me but the others are ciphers, probably due to the available word count. The stories would be great on audio constructed as a play because they do have clear direction, managing to be thoughtful as well as full of adventure.

‘Rose And The Snow Window’ is by far my favourite but the only clue to which Doctor she’s with is them stopping at floor 9 in the elevator.

These are very enjoyable stories aimed at younger reader. They are easy to visualise and prove the companion is not a decorative object except for the amazing dress worn by Rose and Bill’s jackets, of course. I hope the boys enjoy the stories as much as the girls. They enjoy dressing up, too.

Sue Davies

February 2018

(pub: BBC Books/Penguin Random House. 185 page hardback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-405-92997-4)

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Category: Books, Doctor Who

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