Friday, January 10, 2014

Not My Doctor

As I noted a couple of weeks ago, one of my book series for this year are the "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary books - one novel for each of the eleven Doctors to date, plus an anthology of short stories, one for each Doctor.

January, of course, was the month of the First Doctor.

Sadly, I wasn't hugely impressed by either the short story or the novel. In both cases they were okay, but no more than okay. I felt the "Peter Pan" motif in the short story, while cute, was also rather overdone, and I wasn't too enamoured of the Doctor's robot hand issues. The novel, meanwhile, was a murder mystery that started okay, got bogged down, and then ended well.

But what I really felt was difficult was actually the character of the Doctor himself. I found it hard to relate to this character who had a name I knew well but who wasn't anything like what I've become used to.

I guess it's just a matter of it being a product of its time. I came in right at the end of the Tom Baker years (or, at least, I just barely half-remember some Tom Baker stuff that might have been reruns), but in many ways Peter Davison is 'my' Doctor, just as he was for David Tennant (see "Time Crash"). And I find I can relate to every Doctor since then, even the Sixth although he's... difficult. And the Third isn't so far removed from the Fourth, so that's fine.

But the First Doctor is something of an outlier, being really quite different from all the other Doctors. So, it seems that he's just not 'my' Doctor.

(It will be interesting to see what happens with the Second Doctor story and novel next month. Other than "The Five Doctors" and "The Two Doctors", I don't think I've ever seen the Second in action, largely because of the time factor, and also because so much has been lost. And it seems unlikely that he's 'my' Doctor any more than the First. So...)

#2: "Ten Little Aliens", by Stephen Cole


Kezzie said...

I've read 10 little aliens, it was published as a BBC novel ages ago wasn't it? Bit like the Agatha Christie. Pat Troughton was a great Doctor-the Mind Robber was an awesome adventure!

Steph/ven said...

Yep, about 10 years ago. It's just been republished as part of the 50th Anniversary collection.