What’s the story?
To mark International Womens Day 2018, BBC Books have released Doctor Who – The Day She Saved The Doctor. Containing a quartet of short stories, these have been written by four women – two of whom, Jenny T Colgan and Susan Calman, are Scots – with a female cover artist, it’s very much the story of how strong the Doctor’s friends have been for him. The Doctor may have just regenerated into a woman for the next TV series, but these stories prove that positive female role models have always featured in the show, over its near-55 year existence.
Jenny’s story features Rose Tyler, as played by Billie Piper in the TV series, and centres on time disturbances linking Russia and an apartment block in Canada, while Susan’s tale features the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, and his companion Clara Oswald, investigating an impossible maze. Jacqueline Rayner has written for classic series assistant Sarah Jane Smith, alongside Tom Baker’s Doctor, while Dorothy Koomson has penned a tale for Peter Capaldi’s most recent sidekick, Bill Potts. Each moves along with real wit and pace, and are a good, safe, enjoyable read.
As a Doctor Who book, the reader will most likely be a fan of the TV series, and be familiar with the characters. However, my daughter, who has a good idea of what the show is about, was able to follow exactly what was going on. However, it’s well-written enough and you’ll soon ‘get’ the leading two characters in each story.
The book will undoubtedly appeal to Doctor Who fans all over the country, although this is primarily a children’s book. The stories are of a shorter length, making them easily accessible to children, but there’s enough meat on the bones to provide a satisfying read for adults. With a classic series companion in Sarah Jane Smith, as well as three 21st century sidekicks, there’s enough to appeal to all ages of fans.
It’s a good fun book. Although it’s aimed at a younger age group, there’s still lots of enjoyment to be had. After all, short story telling is an artform in its own, and all four tales will keep you turning the pages till the end. Susan Calman’s story is a real little gem, and now what you would expect from the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 contestant. Jenny Colgan, although better known for her romantic comedy novels, once again delivers a good, solid read.
The Day She Saved The Doctor, by Jacqueline Rayner, Jenny Colgan, Susan Calman and Dorothy Koomson, £12.99, published by Penguin Random House.