Doctor Who Collection – Overview

We recently converted our living room library into a showcase for our Doctor Who collection, it is a project in progress so pardon the mess. This is also a partial collection as there are a large number of books not on display as I have not yet read them all! There are also numerous action figures and play sets in Alex’s bedroom.

The audio collection is nearly complete with all of Big Finish’s Doctor Who content on display along with other audios tangentially associated with the program

Doctor Who nonfiction

DVDs and Blu-rays with some sundry miscellany items on top

Annuals classic and new series

Graphic novels

miscellaneous magazines

Anthologies on the far left

First through Fourth Doctor Novels and Novelizations

Fifth and Sixth Doctor Novels, Games and complete collection of Doctor Who Magazines

Seventh and Eighth Doctor Novels (many not included because they are in a queue to be read), complete NuWho novels, novels of companions, enemies and associates

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – A Future in Five Minutes a Biography of Jacqueline Hill

Jacqueline Hill was one of the very first companions in Doctor Who. She played Barbara Wright a History teacher at Coal Hill School in Shoreditch, London. A Future in Five Minutes by Louise Bremner is Jacqueline’s biography. Barbara along with her fellow teacher Ian Chesterton were instrumental companions to the First Doctor. When we first meet the Doctor he is not the inspirational hero we know today, it was their influence that brought him humanity. This book tells the story of the actress that brought that character to life.

The title of the biography refers to a BBC talent show in the early days of television; Shop Window. Jacqueline’s five minute performance in the summer of 1953 brought her to the attention of directors and producers and launched her career as an actress. The happenstance of the timing of her performance with the vast acquisition of televisions by the British public for the Queen’s coronation and the lack of alternative TV options put her in the spotlight. Bremner’s biography follows Jacqueline through her troubled upbringing and her first roles. It is a straightforward linear progression through her career and is easy to follow. Her time in Doctor who is covered in one chapter and focuses on her feelings during the run as it should. The book is a nice overview of Jacqueline’s life and career with a lot of detail on her acting efforts and less so on her personal life. 7 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Star Quest: Roboworld by Terrance Dicks

Star Quest Roboworld is not strictly Doctor Who related but it is written by the Uber Doctor Who author, script editor and overall Whovian savant Terrance Dicks. The novel is one of three published by WH Allen from 1978 – 1981. This novel is the second of the three that was published. All three novels follow the exploits of a trio of young Earth teen cousins Jan, Kevin and Anna.

The three cousins; Jan (American), Kevin (English) and Anna (Swedish) are waiting on the planet Mondor while their friends from the League of Sentient Life Forms try to return them to the right time and place back on Earth. While waiting they go on a “victory tour” celebrating their achievements documented in the first novel of the series Spacejack. They become trapped on an asteroid with the evil scientist Faber and his robot army. Dicks’ fast paced straightforward style leads our trio of heroes into influencing the other stranded humans and the head robot Ultimo into a revolt against Faber. The cousins have distinct personalities and are each given a chance to carry the action. A fun space opera adventure geared towards the YA audience but an enjoyable and quick read 7 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Bernice Summerfield Old Friends

Bernice Summerfield companion to the Seventh Doctor was in introduced in the New Adventures novel Love and War by Paul Cornell. Long before River Song this adventuresome archeologist headlined her own series of novels and audios. She can arguably be considered the most successful companion post travel in the TARDIS ever.

Old Friends is the ninth volume in the Big Finish Bernice Summerfield series of novels, short story collections, audios and novellas. This series picked up following the novels featuring Bernice published by Virgin Books in their New Adventures line. This book contains three interconnected novellas featuring Bennies’ encounters with “old friends.” The first novella by Jonathan Clements is titled Cheating the Reaper. In this novella Bennie is lamenting the absence of old friends and the fact that her lifestyle has precluded her from keeping touch with her friends over the years. She hears about the death of one of her friends from decades ago the demi-lemur Ivo and makes her way across the galaxy with her ex husband Jason Kane to attend his funeral. Upon arriving she meets up with several more old friends and discovers a mystery surrounding his death 7 out of 10. The second novella The Ship of Painted Shadows by Marc Platt tells the story of Bernice’s first meeting with Ivo and the mystery on the spaceship where they were booked together when she was just 22 years old 5 out of 10. I found this novella slow going and the mystery not very interesting but it did set up the relationship between Bennie and Ivo. The last novella The Soul’s Prism by Pete Kempshall was the best of the three 9 out of 10. It reveals the mystery of Ivo’s death and the planet he was murdered on. The action packed xenomorph story maintained a hectic pace and built to a satisfying climax with thrills and near deaths along the way. Overall rating for the book 8 out of 10.