Top positive review
A new era in Whovian fiction has begun!
Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2019
As an avid reader of Whovian fiction, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. The “Short Trips” stories have, unfortunately, been dead for years due to copyright issues. However, this is the start of a new era in short form Doctor Who fiction! “Short Trips” veterans Jacqueline Rayner and Stephen Cole return in this book, two names which should be very familiar to you if you know the “Short Trips” series. This in itself is, to me, a mark of quality, that they appeared as authors in this compilation.
Readers are graced with 15(!) new Doctor Who short stories, two of which were written by Colin Baker (6th Doctor) and Matthew Waterhouse (Adric). The 5th and 9th Doctors are not featured in any stories, however, the War Doctor is, which is a rare and long overdue treat. Each story full of characters and Doctors you know and love, and most stories have a great twist at the end. The entire book is paced quite well, with the majority of stories being in chronological order in respect to the Doctor themself (i.e. 1st Doctor, the. 2nd Doctor, etc.)
I don’t want to give any spoilers on the stories themselves, but the stories about the 1st and 3rd Doctors were specifically a treat to read, at least for a classic Whovian. The 13th Doctor’s story was quite strong and was a wonderful introduction of her to the short form. Other Doctors continued to translate well, and some proved their ability to carry a short story as the protagonist. None of the stories fell completely flat with me.
I can only find one downpoint to this book, and it’s the fact that none of the stories feature Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart or Sarah Jane Smith (Although one story mentions her in a very flattering way, which new and classic Whovians alike will enjoy.) These two legacy characters, along with Ace, are a staple in any “Short Trips” book of yesteryear, so their presence was missed.
I really hope that a second book like this is released, even if it’s digital only. Bringing the classic short form Doctor Who story format into the modern era was one of the greatest ideas they’ve had at the BBC recently! Stories like that are sorely missed by fans, and allow a variety of authors to showcase work about a vast world of companions and Doctors, which continues to grow. With a show so large, stories like these are almost a necessity.