Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Doctor Who the Complete History Volume # 67

Doctor Who The Complete History was a series of hardback volumes which came out every two weeks and covered 3-4 stories each. These were in-depth volumes covering the production of each episode from the first in 1963 to the end of the Peter Capaldi era of the show. In addition to the extensive production notes there were also merchandise and publicity updates and actor profiles. The quality of each volume was exceptional overseen by several different editors. The volumes were only available in the UK and Ireland so were difficult to obtain in other locations. I am more of a Watsonian fan but if you are a Doyalist you will greatly appreciate these books. Even so I give the entire series a solid 8 out of 10. I will rate each episode covered below.

The stories covered in this edition of The Complete History are “The Curse of the Black Spot“, “The Doctor’s Wife” and “The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People. These stories feature The Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory. “The Curse of the Black Spot is pretty much universally appraised as a poor episode by the majority of the fandom. I liked the reuse of the mention of the real life Captain Henry Avery from the TV story “The Smugglers.” Another near death experience for Rory and some nice swashbuckling 7 out of 10.

The second story covered is the great “The Doctor’s Wife.” This rightly classic episode by Neil Gaiman sees the Doctor finally meet up with the personification of the TARDIS. This along with some interesting interactions between Amy and Rory trapped in the shell of the TARDIS make a near perfect watch. The only thing keeping it from a perfect score is the implausibility of building a TARDIS from the broken bits in such a short period of time 9 out of 10.

“The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People” was my least favorite episode of the season. I enjoyed the interplay between the Doctor and his ganger duplicate and Amy’s reaction to them but the episodes did not warrant a two episode length. 6 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Doctor Who Doom’s Day Extraction Point by M G Harris

Extraction Point by M G Harris is the hardback novel portion of the Doctor Who multimedia event Doom’s Day. The novel features Doom with appearances by the Ninth and Second Doctors.

I like the idea of these multi-media events for Doctor Who but Dooms Day has not caught my fancy. I do not like the title character or the premise of the series. An assassin does not seem to be the kind of character that fits into the Doctor’s milieu as a protagonist. The story follows Doom on her quest to catch up with the Doctor she first met but encounters the Ninth Doctor instead. The Second Doctor makes a brief appearance towards the end of the book. The four “hours” of the book all center around the same planet with an imminent collision with an asteroid impending. The story is well written and fast paced with a strong throughline. As a stand alone novel I would give it a 7 out of 10. However as a piece of a long narrative I feel the stories did not advance the plot substantially.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Doctor Who The Glory of the Daleks and Other Stories

The Glory of the Daleks was a story that won the short story competition at WhoCon in 1990 and was intended for inclusion in an issue of Timestreams, the fanzine published by The New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club, until it was decided that the 17,000 word story was just about long enough to be published as a novella-length book of its own. The books sold over 80 copies which was better than sales for any issue of Timestreams. This collection was purchased through Lulu Publishing and may not be an authorized release. The other stories in the collection seem to be taken from Doctor Who Magazine.

The contest winning novella is well written and uses its turn of the century backdrop to full effect. The other stories in the collection are all professionally written and are short and punchy. 7 out of 10 for the collection.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Kerblam! Target Novelization by Pete McTighe

Kerblam! was the seventh episode in the Thirteenth Doctor’s first season. This Target novelization is by the writer of the episode Pete McTighe. The story features along with the Thirteenth Doctor her “Fam” Graham, Ryan and Yaz. This is one of the five Target novelization releases for 2023.

To start of I love the Thirteenth Doctor and think Jodie’s performance is spot on in her characterization. I count her as one of my three favorite Doctors ever. I also like the full TARDIS crew and always thought three members were a good dynamic. For those that say it is too many I point out that stories with less than three members invariably bring in a one off character to help carry the narrative, why not just use one of the crew? This being the first season not all three have their characters fully fleshed out but we do see them each get their due by the end of the run. Having said all of that this was not one of my favorite stories in a great season. McTighe expands the novelization with some nice back stories like the best Targets do. It makes me wonder who the strange little man Judy remembers from decades in the past is, could be Seventh Doctor? Future incarnation? The one thing that I think could have been addressed more thoroughly was the idea of artificial intelligence. Does Max have the same rights and reason to live as organic lifeforms? 7 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Sanctuary by David A. McIntee

Sanctuary by David A. McIntee was the thirty seventh Virgin New Adventures novel and featured the Seventh Doctor and Bernice Summerfield. It was the first purely historical novel in the range and takes place between the audio story Bernice Summerfield and the Criminal Code and the novel Human Nature in the Seventh Doctor’s timeline. This is the period prior to Aces’s departure from the TARDIS and prior to Chris and Roz joining.

This was a great novel well written and an interesting period of history. This being a historical novel when the Doctor and Bernice were split up I was picturing the First Doctor in my mind when the narrative went back to him. By the time they rejoined I was able to visualize the Seventh Doctor. The dynamic of mutual attraction between Bernice and Guy de Carnac was well played out and I very much believed the budding romance between the two of them. You can catch up with some of Guy’s back story in the audio The Quality of Mercy. In the novel Bernice Summerfield and the Glass Prison (see review here) Benny choses Guy as her child’s middle name during his naming ceremony. Guy’s demise at the end of the novel is not seen and it is possible that he survived, I would love to see his return at some point. The writing, characterization and plot lead towards a solid 9 out of 10.