Tripwire Reviews Doctor Who: Adventures In Lockdown

Time For Adventures

Tripwire’s contributing writer Laurence Boyce casts his eye over BBC Books’ Doctor Who: Adventures In Lockdown

Doctor Who: Adventures In Lockdown
Various Authors,
published by BBC Books

For all its action adventure
trappings, for all its fantastical sci-fi ideas, for all its complex
continuity, one of the main reasons that that Doctor Who has endured is very
simple. It’s a story about hope. No matter how dark things get, no matter how
grim the outlook is, Doctor Who tells us that there is one person in the
universe who will do what’s right. Who will never be cruel or cowardly. Who
will show us that the ways of bravery, selflessness and honour will always
triumph against evil. That everything is going to be OK.

Given that 2020 has been somewhat
of a dumpster fire, it’s unsurprising that Doctor Who ‘watchalongs’ have proved
a great comfort to those in lockdown. The chance to watch some episodes of
Doctor Who, alongside some tweeted comments from those in the show, have not
only provided entertainment but reminded us that even in isolation we are not
as alone as we thought we were. Accompanying these watchalongs have been new
snippets of material, written by some of the some of the leading lights of the
modern incarnation of the Time Lord that add new depth to previous stories as
well as provide some new adventures for the Jodie Whittaker’s incarnation of
The Doctor (is she counted as Number 13 anymore? Only Chris Chibnall knows….).
Doctor Who: Adventures in Lockdown collects these ancillary stories as well as
promising to donate £2.25 from every sale of the book to BBC Children In Need.

Many of the stories are unsurprisingly
continuity heavy. Rose: The Sequel by Russell T Davies sees a lone remnant of
the Nestene Consciousness survive its encounter with the Ninth Doctor (PCN –
Pre Chibnall Numbering) and find a new form, with a typical vein of political
satire that RTD wove into his work. RTD also provides Doctor Who and the Time
War, originally written for Doctor Who Monthly and then scrapped when Steven
Moffat revealed his intentions to explore the event. Now an ‘Elseworlds’ type
story, it’s full of RTDs invention and references to fateful events we have
never been witness to. Mark Gatiss writes Fellow Traveller (one of the three
stories written specially for the collection) in which a woman on an Earth
ravaged by the Daleks meets a face that is both unfamiliar and comforting. With
a whiff of gothic horror, Gatiss ties in both the past and present of the show
in a subtle and affecting way. In another tale, Neil Gaiman recounts an
adventure of The Corsair (the Time Lord memorably mentioned in his Doctor Who
penned episode The Doctor’s Wife), a rip roaring adventure story which also
ties into the past of the series.

But while the past of the show is
reflected upon quite a bit in this collection – and it’s true to say that the
continuity heavy stories are aimed more at the hardcore fan of the show to pick
up the references – there are also plenty of adventures for the current era.
Paul Cornell’s The Shadow Passes provides a metaphor for the lockdown situation
and shows you what The Doctor what do if caught up in quarantine. It’s a fun
little tale – and rather comforting as well – as it’s a paean to friendship and
hope and provides a good showcase for Jodie Whittaker’s wide-eyed and positive
incarnation of the Time Lord. Chibnall gives us Things She Thought While
Falling, which does what it says on the tin as the Doctor’s thoughts
post-regeneration and pre-crashing through a train roof in The Woman Who Fell
To Earth.

Perhaps the best story in the
collection is Steven Moffat’s The Terror of the Umpty Ums, which allows the
former showrunner to write for The Thirteenth Doctor (PCN) – in a roundabout
way. A futuristic deathbot hears the voice of The Doctor in his head. What is
the Time Lord doing there and what will she do to him? To say too much about
the story would be to ruin it, but it’s a constantly surprising and meta piece
of work that morphs into something rather affecting.

This is a collection of brief and
breezy stories some of which are very good indeed and there is a certain sense
of comfort in some of the tales on offer here in light of the current world
situation. Both by virtue of its origins and its altruistic aims it would seem
churlish to criticise this collection – the worst you could perhaps say is that
it’s a shame there are no outings for the Eleventh or Twelfth (PCN) Doctors –
and it remains enormous fun. Even if the majority of the stories are available
online, this would make a perfect stocking filler for any Doctor Who fan whilst
also helping charity.

Doctor Who: Adventures of Lockdown published by BBC Books is available now priced at £8.99, with £2.25 from each sale going to Children In Need.

The post Tripwire Reviews Doctor Who: Adventures In Lockdown appeared first on TRIPWIRE.

Time For Adventures Tripwire’s contributing writer Laurence Boyce casts his eye over BBC Books’ Doctor Who: Adventures In Lockdown… Doctor Who: Adventures In LockdownVarious Authors, published by BBC Books For all its action adventure trappings, for all its fantastical sci-fi ideas, for all its complex continuity, one of the main reasons that that Doctor Who
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