Posted in Discussions, 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’ 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.

 

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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!

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Doctor Trap by Simon Messingham

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*No Major Spoilers*

Sebastiene was human… once. He might look like a nineteenth-century nobleman, but in truth, he is a ruthless hunter. He likes nothing more than luring difficult opposition to a planet, then hunting them down for sport. And now he’s caught them all – from Zargregs to Moogs, and even the odd Eternal. In fact, Sebastiene is after only one more prize. For this trophy, he knows he is going to need help. He’s brought together the finest hunters in the universe to play the most dangerous game for the deadliest quarry of them all. They are hunting for the last of the Time Lords – the Doctor!

One of my favorite underrated companions of the Tenth Doctor has been Donna Noble. I find her to be relatable and I can relate to her background and the way she grew up. So to see her included into a story outside of the main cannon makes he happy.

I enjoyed this audiobook, it was action-packed and full of the Doctor’s cleverness and quirks. The characters were loveable and enjoyable. Even though this is an audiobook you have to focus on, it still was a fun listen and had a great story behind it.

One of my favorite parts of this story is how Donna tries to find her own way to escape from Sebastiene’s prison. She kept knocking down doors, trying to find a way out of the hotel she was trapped in.

Overall, I would highly recommend this audiobook for lovers of Doctor Who, the Doctor Who novels and Science Fiction.

Read My Other Doctor Who Reviews Here!

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: First Evidence by Ken Goddard

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*No Spoilers*

A down-to-earth forensics expert has just discovered a crime scene that is out of this world.

In criminal forensics, they train you to uncover evidence, no matter how brutal or bizarre the murder.

But what if one night you make contact with a crime scene so terrifying, no one on earth can explain it?

It begins at a chaotic crime scene in the deep woods of the Pacific Northwest–site of a reported shoot-out. Investigator Colin Cellars cannot find a trace of perpetrator or victim–or even confirm that anyone has been killed. As he doggedly pursues the case, he realizes there is far more at stake here than murder. Someone–something?–will stop at nothing to prevent him from discovering the truth. For the truth is not “out there.” It is locked away in Cellars’ own evidence file. The evidence points to a killer far outside Cellars’s experience–far outside any earthly experience. But who will believe one maverick cop?

This novel is different from other monster stories. This novel is a mystery, mixed with Sci-Fi, with a dash of romance. The mystery involving the disappearance of multiple deputies and citizens alike. It is up to Crime Scene Investigator, Colin Cellars to figure things out while not ending up locked away in a rubber room.

This thrilling novel will have you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what the mystery is really all about!

My favorite part of this story was how it felt like Colin Cellars was the only one who knew the mystery went further than his fellow officers knew. It felt like no one was believing him, and in the beginning, I was questioning Mr. Cellars’ sanity myself.

If you thought the “shadows” in Doctor Who: Silence in the Library was terrifying, this novel cranks it up to 11. Shadows that appear will give you a new sense of uneasiness. Keep the nightlight on for this one!

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I would recommend this novel for lovers of horror, science fiction, and mystery. This novel keeps you hooked and invested from page one.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

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*No Major Spoilers*

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with the knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

This Young Adult novel travels from Ancient Rome to a futuristic Earth where time travel is possible. I was intrigued by the plot of this story. I am familiar with Doctor Who so time travel is a genre I enjoy.

As a fan of Doctor Who when someone is born “out of time” that spells trouble. The laws of nature do not bend to our will. And when something is out of line, nature will correct itself no matter the circumstances.

I felt like the romance between Far and Priya, the ship’s doctor was natural. She and Far had a friendship before the Invictus first launched. Far would short-circuit medical droids because of his unnatural date of birth. So Priya would arrive and troubleshoot the problem, and that’s how they first met.

The other romance between Far’s cousin Imogen and the ship’s engineer Gram felt forced and awkward. They are polar opposites. Gram felt like an android from the many sci-fi movies. Stiff, robotic, genius as he plays Tetris and has a collection of solved Rubick’s Cubes. Imogen is bright, dying her hair a new neon color every day. She’s the ship’s historian, and she loves to have fun and party hard.

So for unnecessary romances, I only found one of them unnecessary. I wish they could have remained good friends and grow in that way.

This novel is fairly well-paced. Action-packed, and keeps you on your toes by trying to figure out what’s going on with the mystery of the unusual girl Elliot and her secrets she was keeping from the Invictus crew.

This novel is 400+ pages. If you prefer shorter novels, then you’re out of luck with this one. However, if you enjoy audiobooks, the flow of the novel made the over 400 pages go quickly.

Overall, I thought this novel was good. It was action-packed with plenty of time travel and world building. My only downside was the one unnecessary romance, and a few nitpicks. Other than that, I felt like this was a good, well written, Young Adult novel for any age to enjoy.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Holy Terror by Robert Shearman

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*No Spoilers*

The TARDIS lands in a forbidding castle in a time of religious upheaval. The old god has been overthrown, and all heretics are to be slaughtered. Obviously, it isn’t the sort of thing which would happen there every day – just every few years or so.

And when the Doctor and Frobisher are hailed as messengers from heaven, they quickly become vital to opposing factions in their struggle for power. But will they be merely the acolytes of the new order – or will they be made gods themselves?

An evil destructive force is growing deep within the crypt. And the pair soon finds out that they will be lucky to escape their new immortality with their lives.

I am still learning about some of the Classic Doctor Who Doctors. I am not familiar with the 5th-8th Doctors yet. However, I still enjoy reading their spinoff stories.

This audio drama was very interesting. I could imagine the whole story as if it was an actual episode. It was well acted and written.

My favorite character was Frobisher. He was full of good humor and took a major roll in this story. I was a little disappointed when it seemed like Frobisher was overshadowing the Doctor.

One of the instances where I felt Frobisher was overshadowing The Doctor was when the other characters in the story put him into Kinglike and Godlike power over their Kingdom, with that, I found it to be surprised that they didn’t put The Doctor in that position instead since The Doctor is always the main focal character of most of the stories.

With everything that happened in this story, I found it to be well written and the ending wrapped up quite nicely with no loose ends.

If you are looking for a good Doctor Who story, this is your audiobook. I would also recommend this novel for lovers of science fiction and short stories. This audiobook is about two hours long, so its a quick listen if you need something to listen to while waiting on another book.

Read More Doctor Who Reviews Here!