Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Doctor Who: Bloodtide by Jonathan Morris

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*No Major Spoilers*

The prehistoric Earth is dying. Thunderclouds roll across the skies, cloaking the land in darkness. The seas crash and boil as the rain turns to acid. The remnants of the Silurian race place themselves in suspended animation, deep below the surface.

One day they will awaken and reclaim their world…

The TARDIS has landed on the Galapagos Islands, a desolate outcrop of rocks shrouded in mist and fear. In the settlement of Baquerizo Moreno, there are rumors that prisoners have been mysteriously disappearing from the gaolhouse. A fisherman has been driven insane by something he saw in the caves. And the Doctor and Evelyn are not the only new arrivals; there is also a young natural philosopher by the name of Charles Darwin.

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I have been a fan of Doctor Who for several years. I don’t remember exactly when I first started watching the show, but it was back when Doctor Who was still on Netflix. I fell in love with its quirky humor and characters you can’t help but love.

I have been reviewing the Doctor Who “expanded universe” books and audio dramas since I started writing this blog. I have been using these stories as a way to dip into something familiar. I have to restrain myself from just turning this into a Doctor Who blog sometimes. Even too much of a good thing can make it toxic and unhealthy.

Bloodtide follows traditional Doctor Who formula. Since this is a historical novel, we get to meet Charles Darwin on his historic trip to the Galapagos Islands. When the sister of one of the prisoners on the island asks the Doctor for help, they soon discover things aren’t as they seem.

Overall, I enjoyed this audio drama. The actress who played the sister of the prisoner I found to be annoying and irritating. I love how throughout the story, we see Charles Darwin’s inner battle with what he’s discovered versus what the Christian church has taught.

Even in modern times, the discussion of evolution is controversial in more conservative and religious areas. The idea that species change to fit the needs of their environment is generally acceptable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we came from primates. You can easily fall into the rabbit hole about “the missing link” and how that may or may not be related to Sasquatch or Bigfoot.

The Christian belief says that God created the Earth as it is, and nothing has changed since He created it. The fact that you have the same species of finches with different sized and shaped bills can cause deep thinkers like Darwin to question everything he’s thought up to that point to be true.

I won’t spoil the “big reveal,” but it was a shocking surprise. I think anyone listening to this will be pleased with the plot twist and how the story ends.

Overall, I think any Doctor Who fan will enjoy Bloodtide. The thing I love about the show as a whole is how comforting it is. If you are having Doctor Who withdrawals or just craving something familiar, then I would highly recommend Doctor Who: Bloodtide.

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Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

Mental Health and Quarantine

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Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Here is a small life update about things going on behind the scenes. If you follow me on social media I have been absorbed in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The screenshots from the more memorable moments in the game have been a majority of my Twitter posts.

As much as I’ve wanted to discuss my thoughts and feelings of the game on my blog, I know no one wants to hear more about this game that has basically taken over the Internet while the world is basically falling apart due to the pandemic. So I will just quickly dedicate a paragraph or two before going into my mental health updates.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game where you build and create your own remote island. You basically start off in a tent, and you have to fish, catch bugs, and harvest fruit for you to upgrade to a house. Visiting friends’ islands helps, but it is not necessary to progress. So if you’re a loner like me, I have been getting everything upgraded just fine.

I am unashamed to say that I have put a lot of time into this game. It’s been a good way for me to spend time with one of my best friends who I haven’t seen in a long time. We’ve been having fun helping each other out with making our islands the best they can be. However, now that his work is ramping back up and he’s an essential worker he’s not going to be spending much time as he had been.

Other than Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I have been battling the ups and downs of depression. Mostly just the downs. I can usually tell when I’m having a down spell because I start sleeping more and not eating much. So we’ll see how things go from here, I’ve left some toxic Facebook groups and started listening to the podcasts I had stopped listening to. As well as doing puzzles and playing some enjoyable games.

I ordered some Doctor Who books to add to my collection. ThriftBooks is a really good place to get good quality second-hand books for a reasonable price. I’m not sponsored by them, I’m just a loyal customer who loves their services.

Well, since May is quickly approaching, let’s see how things go. I just hope things only improve from here.

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Posted in Discussions, Movie/TV Reviews, Personal Blogs

DISCUSSION: My Thoughts on Doctor Who: Past, Revival, and Current Re-Generation

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Ever since I started this blog, I feel compelled to share my love of Doctor Who, however, I feel I’m constantly repeating myself when I’m reviewing a Doctor Who novel or audiobook. So I have finally gathered up my thoughts on Doctor Who in its entirety to share with you.

How I discovered Doctor Who

Back long, long ago, my ex-boyfriend told me his brother was watching Doctor Who on Netflix. It took me a couple of tries to watch the pilot episode of season 1 of the “reboot/current” series. But once I got past how the monsters were mannequins (hello another irrational fear) I binged the rest of the series.

Now that Doctor Who isn’t on any of the streaming services anymore, I missed 3 seasons of the show. It was Peter Capaldi’s run of the lovable Doctor. I feel like I didn’t miss too much since I follow the memes and humor on the Internet. As well as the fury about the writers changing things (thank goodness most of those were only temporary), and the downfall of the writing quality overall.

Classic Doctor Who

There is so much more of Doctor Who than anyone can keep up with. The show started in the ’60s and they had no idea how huge this small, low budget show would become. Thanks to the Internet, the reboot took off. With the addition of David Tennant and Matt Smith, the show would remain in the mainstream for years to come.

I love Classic Doctor Who and all of its cheesiness. I only just started watching Tom Baker’s Doctor before the streaming services stopped showing Doctor Who. There is so much left to watch, read, listen, and enjoy from this long-lasting franchise.

I like to watch my shows in chronological order, so I started with the man who started it all, William Hartnell’s Doctor. He was a grumpy, yet lovable grampa by the time Mr. Hartnell had to end his reign as the Doctor due to health issues.

Next is Patrick Troughton’s Doctor. I feel this incarnation of the Doctor has a lot of “missing” episodes/stories. I do own one of the DVDs of one of the lost stories, so some parts are filmed, and some parts are animated. Mr. Troughton’s Doctor is the one I know the least about personality-wise. He often refers to his “500-year journal” since his regeneration caused him some amnesia. One of his more popular companions is Jamie, a young man from 18th century Scotland. Even though a lot of what the Doctor does and talks about is beyond Jamie’s understanding, Jamie still enjoys the adventures and travels through time and space.

Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor in the classic series is one of my absolute favorites. One of my favorite quotes from him is

“Courage isn’t a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.”

I’ve seen similar quotes to this, but this one struck a chord with me because when I first heard it I was going through a tough time and it helped me realize not every choice is an easy one, and no matter what you still have to make a choice.

Doctor Who Reboot

I have two main favorite doctors in the reboot/current series so far. Right now those favorites are the 9th and 10th Doctors played by Christopher Eccelston and David Tennant respectively. What I really enjoyed about these Doctors was their personalities, Mr. Eccelston and his sarcasm that he brought to the character was charming. Even though his stint on the show wasn’t long, he is still my Doctor. Mr. Tennant has a great sense of humor and adorable quirkiness. You can see his love for the franchise throughout his run. These two doctors were probably the most unique and interesting Doctors I’ve seen so far.

The Future of Doctor Who:

Right now as far as the current Doctor, Jodie Wittaker is a good actress, especially for the mediocre writing she’s been given, now that’s not to say that the current writing is very poor, but it leaves a lot to be desired. My favorite episode from the 11th season is The Demons of Punjab. The plot is:

The Doctor and her friends arrive in the Punjab, India, in 1947, as the country is being torn apart; while Yaz attempts to discover her grandmother’s hidden history, the Doctor discovers demons haunting the land.

This is my favorite episode because the story was interesting, the writing was better, and the cinemaphotography was gorgeous and made 1947 India a place to visit.

Going forward I’d like to see better writing and better use of the companions in each episode, for example, a companion getting tired and The Doctor brings them back to Earth for a break. Also, three companions seems a bit much for an hour-long TV Show.

Side note: My fiance thinks the audio mixing needs a bit of work, you can’t really understand much of what’s being said without a high-end audio system. Gotta make it work on All systems, ya know? -Alex Dickson (Fiance who loves his woman so very much he will surprise her on her birthday with something special, now with what, he doesn’t know yet, but he’ll figure something out.)

Read My Reviews of Doctor Who Novels and Audio Dramas HERE not all of these I realize are not Doctor Who directly, but other novels that remind me of the show.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker

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*No Spoilers*

It isn’t the dead man cocooned inside a huge mass of web that worries the Doctor. It isn’t the swarming, mutated insects that make him nervous. It isn’t an old man’s garbled memories of past dangers that intrigue him.

With the village cut off from the outside world, and the insects becoming more and more dangerous, the Doctor knows that no one is safe. Not unless he can decode the strange symbols engraved on an ancient stone circle, and unravel a mystery dating back to the Second World War.

Doctor Who has a history of doing storylines with giant insects and/or spiders. Some examples include: “Arachnids in the UK”, “Planet of the Spiders”, and “The Runaway Bride”. This one is no different. However, the circumstances are more drastic than before. Soldier ants, attacking mosquitos, and barrier making spiders scattered along the countryside.

The episode “Arachnids in the UK” felt to me like more of an environmental message than a proper and complete story, but even the classics have subtle political messages (or so I’m told). There are more insects involved in this story than spiders so rejoice for readers who have arachnophobia.

I find no matter how many times the Doctor gets involved with any mystery involving World War II, it never gets old. The mysteries surrounding the horrific war leaves many to wonder how technologically advanced the Nazis actually were. It is involved in many conspiracy theory discussions across the Internet.

This story felt like a real episode of the TV shows. I felt like the stakes were dire and there was a lot at stake. The Doctor always comes out on top no matter how clever the bad guy(s) think they are. It’s what’s kept the show going for over fifty years!

Overall, this novel is excellent at telling a great Doctor Who story. It has great character development, a great story, and the ending is actually satisfying. I would recommend this story for fans of Doctor Who and science fiction in general.

Read More Doctor Who Reviews Here

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Good Doctor by Juno Dawson

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*No Major Spoilers*

On the planet of Lobos, the Doctor halts a violent war between the native Loba and human colonists. Job done, the TARDIS crew departs – only for Ryan to discover he’s left his phone behind. Again.

Upon returning, the Doctor finds that the TARDIS has slipped hundreds of years into the future and that something has gone badly wrong. The Loba are now slaves, serving human zealots who worship a godlike figure known as The Good Doctor.

It’s time for the Doctor to face up to the consequences of her last visit. With Lobos on the brink of catastrophe, will she be able to make things right?

I am a huge fan of Doctor Who I’ve watched both the “modern” and the “classic” series. I also enjoy the spinoff novels as well. Some stories can’t be told in an hour, so I look forward to the novels.

When it was first announced that the 13th Doctor was going to be a woman, I was against it from the start. I thought they were ruining 50+ years of tradition by making this drastic change.

When I started watching this newest Doctor, I was still against the change, but hopeful. I thought the 11th and 12th’s Doctor was getting too silly and losing plot threads left and right.

Overall, I am lukewarm towards this past season of Doctor Who. I felt the writing was hit-or-miss with some episodes, and some of the companions felt useless and like spare luggage at points.

So when the newest batch of novels was announced, I was excited to read The Good Doctor in particular. Graham is my favorite companion, and with him being featured on the cover, I thought he was going to be the only companion featured in this novel. Even though I was wrong, I was still hopeful about this story.

I didn’t realize the native Loba was a dog-like creature. Until the end of the first chapter, I thought they were cat-like. I haven’t read many sci-fi novels where the aliens were dog-like so this concept gets bonus points from me.

I felt like this is how a Doctor Who story should be told. No limit on run-time, and no rush to end the story. This novel was welcomed and restored my faith in the new writers for Doctor Who. The story was complete, whole, and didn’t seem to be rushed at the end.

‘On the horizon, looming over the entire town was a vast tower. It was almost the same shape as a block of flats, but, even in the gloom, Ryan could see it was painted dark blue. There were huge rectangular windows at the top of the stucture.

“Remind you of anything, Ryan?”

It was unmistakable.

It was meant to be the TARDIS.’ – The Good Doctor

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I like the message this novel sends a message about war. No matter who is in “the right” or in “the wrong” the roles get swapped over time. However, there is hope in times of chaos and war.

I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of Doctor Who, Science Fiction, Time Travel, and stories about wars. This novel will show some of the bad side effects of traveling through space and time, and I think you will enjoy the story as much as I did.

Read My Other Doctor Who Reviews Here!