Doctor Who and the Keeper of Traken by Terrance Dicks

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Title: Doctor Who and the Keeper of Traken by Terrance Dicks

Notable: Book #37 in the Doctor Who Library series

Premise:

The Doctor and his current companion, a boy named Adric, are summoned to the planet of Traken.  Traken’s Keeper, who is about to die, needs the Doctor’s help to root out an evil which has established itself on their usually peaceful planet.  Once they arrive on Traken, the Doctor realizes that this is no mere grouchy-pants alien he’s dealing with — it’s a foe he’s met many times before.

My thoughts:

I’m not reading the books in this series in order, but honestly I don’t think it matters too much.  Each Doctor Who episode/story generally does quite well as a stand-alone story.  The previous Doctor Who novel I read was also by Terrance Dicks, and his writing was great in this novel, as in the previous one.

One of the things that I love about these books is that I can see the action taking place in my head.  It’s just like a Doctor Who episode, full of dialogue, interesting characters and lots of action.  This book features the fourth Doctor — floppy hat, long scarf and all.  He is accompanied by Adric, a previous inhabitant of E-space, and meets young lady named Nyssa in this story.  I know that the story is based on an actual TV episode, but sadly I didn’t grow up watching Doctor Who, so it has no nostalgic value to me.

Now, this particular story line is interesting.  It introduces us to a society in which one individual takes on the task of “keeping” the rest of society safe.  The Keeper feels all of the emotions that are not conducive to a peaceful society, as well as being a wise leader and maintainer of order.  One of the Doctor’s greatest enemies decides to take advantage of this amazing power and is very nearly successful in enslaving an entire planet.  I don’t want to give you all the details, but it was a rollicking good adventure.

I recommend Doctor Who and the Keeper of Traken to Doctor Who fans everywhere.  Read it so that you can be thorough in your obsession with all things Doctor Who.  😉


Possible Objections:

  • A bit of violence

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Complete Year One by Nick Abadzis & Robbie Morrison

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Title: Doctor Who : The Tenth Doctor Complete Year One by Nick Abadzis & Robbie Morrison

Premise:

The Doctor recently had to leave Donna Noble behind and is currently traveling alone.  During one of his adventures he bumps into a young lady named Gabriella Gonzalez, whose family is caught in the middle of an alien invasion.  Gabby helps the Doctor set things right and accompanies him on several more intergalactic journeys.  Includes comics #1-15 of the Tenth Doctor Year One series.

My thoughts:

I saw this at the library and just had to check it out!  Doctor Who?  Yes, please!  This is my first foray into Whovian comics.  I sort of expected this book to feature characters we had met in the TV series, but it brings in a whole new cast of characters.  At first I wasn’t sure about Gabby, but after getting to know her through the stories, I’ve come to appreciate her spunk and determination.  The storytellers did a great job of capturing David Tennant’s portrayal of the Doctor on the written page–his mannerisms, way of speaking, looks.

Don’t expect a completely seamless artistic experience when cracking open this big, honking book.  It was illustrated by a variety of artists, some of them with widely differing styles.  One of the stories is fairly gruesome as it deals with the subject of WWI.  I wouldn’t want my middle schooler getting his hands on that, but you’ll have to be the judge for your own kids.

I recommend Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Complete Year One to Doctor Who fans.  If you love David Tennant, you will want to see the Doctor’s additional adventures!  I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of these!

Possible Objections:

  • Some violence & gore (particularly in “The Weeping Angels of Mons”)

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks by Terrance Dicks

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Title: Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks (#1) by Terrance Dicks

Premise:

The Doctor and Jo Grant find themselves caught up in an assassination attempt when men from the future come back in time to kill Sir Reginald Styles.  The earth’s future is destined for domination and ruination by the Daleks, and the guerrilla group hopes to stop that from every happening.  Can The Doctor set earth back on its proper course of history before it’s too late?

My thoughts:

I found this book and most of the rest of my Doctor Who collection one day while browsing at Goodwill.  Apparently somebody had offloaded a whole Doctor Who collection at the thrift store.  I was over the moon!  There were several of these early Doctor who novelizations, but I just now got to reading one of them.  So many books, so little time…

Now, let’s be real here.  Anything featuring Doctor Who automatically has a soft spot in my heart.  That doesn’t mean that I would read drivel if it had The Doctor’s name on it, but it does give me warm fuzzies just seeing his name.  When I picked up this book I thought that it might be one of those sloppily produced fan fiction books.  I was very pleasantly surprised, however, to discover that the story was very well written.  It’s not that the plot is amazingly complex (it follows the typical action sequence of a Doctor Who episode), but the writing itself was really well executed.  That was refreshing and gratifying.  Thank you, Mr. Dicks, for your writing talents.

This story features a dystopian future earth, which is always a fun concept to explore.  In this case, it is the Daleks who have taken advantage of the earth’s misfortunes and exploited it for its resources.  Their flunkies, the Ogrons, are an impressive, if intellectually uninteresting species.  They’re the ultimate henchmen, really.

There is one issue with the book, which I could probably figure out if I did some research on the evolution of the Doctor Who story.  In the beginning of the book it is stated that The Doctor stole the Tardis from the Time Lords because he was no longer content to sit around and watch injustice played out across the galaxy.  Apparently when this book was written the story was that the Time Lords were still alive and that The Doctor was a sort of renegade Time Lord.  We know that later in the series the story changes to the annihilation of the Time Lords in the Time Wars with the Daleks.  In that version The Doctor is an unwitting survivor who no longer has a home or people to call his own.  That’s quite a difference in story and I’ll have to figure out when it changed, but right now I need to go take a shower.  😉

Update: I have since figured out the explanation for the change in story and it all worked itself out.  🙂

I recommend Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks to all of you Doctor Who fans out there.  If you’re a fan, I’d say that these classic novelizations are a must-read.  If you’re not a fan, you probably won’t see the merit in this book.


Possible Objections:

  • Some violence

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori