Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man (Book Review)

The classic Doctor Who series had several lines of books associated with it, even after it went off the air. In fact, several of these lines were what kept the flame alive with fans and enabled Russell T. Davies to bring the series back to our screens in 2005. In addition to the novelizations of the televised stories, there were Missing Adventures detailing the exploits of previous Doctors in original unaired stories, New Adventures following the Seventh Doctor and Ace (and eventually other companions such as Bernice Summerfield), Eighth Doctor Adventures which took place after the television movie, and Past Doctor Adventures which was BBC Books' version of Missing Adventures. There were also a couple of spin-off standalone novels: novelizations of radio plays, stories about the Doctor's companions, etc.

Shortly after the new Doctor Who series launched in 2005, BBC Books launched a series of original books featuring the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler as portrayed on television by Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. These books have commonly come to be known as the New Series Adventures. These books were launched 3 at a time with the first three being The Clockwise Man, The Monsters Inside, and Winner Takes All.

I recently completed The Clockwise Man by Justin Richards. The Doctor and Rose land at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924, where they discover that people are being murdered. In the process of investigating, they meet, among other people, the deposed Czar of Russia. One character referenced simply as Anna in the novel is most likely supposed to be Anastasia.

I'm not going to go into a lengthy exposition on this book, but I certainly enjoyed it. It was nice to "see" Christopher Eccleston and Rose again. I really liked Eccleston as the Doctor and felt he didn't stay long enough. The novel also featured clockwork men which were not too dissimilar to those later featured in The Girl in the Fireplace. I'm not sure if there was any connection between them, but there doesn't appear to be. The novel also mentioned "Bad Wolf", which was part of the story arc for this season: a nice touch.

I'm looking forward to reading The Monsters Inside next. Too many books to read and episodes to watch. :)

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