REVIEW: “Doctor Who – The Target Storybook”

target storybookLast year, the Target line of Doctor Who novelizations burst back to life with the first adaptations of episodes from the revived TV series – Rose, The Christmas Invasion, Day of the Doctor, and Twice Upon a Time. The novels were really solid works in their own right, managing to take all the best elements of their respective TV episodes and weave them into something that worked as a novel. They also had the added bonus of reinvigorating the entire Target line – another batch of new adaptations has been announced for July 2020. And then there’s this collection of short stories that was published in October 2018. Normally, the Target range adapts preexisting Doctor Who TV stories, but this collection of short stories decided to go a different route – bringing readers a collection of stories set before/during/after iconic stories from all through Doctor Who‘s 50+ year history. And, I gotta say, a lot of these stories are really, really good.

Doctor Who: The Target Storybook (featuring stories from various authors)
In this exciting collection you’ll find all-new stories spinning off from some of your favourite Doctor Who moments across the history of the series. Learn what happened next, what went on before, and what occurred off-screen in an inventive selection of sequels, side-trips, foreshadowings and first-hand accounts – and look forward too, with a brand new adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor.

Each story expands in thrilling ways upon aspects of Doctor Who’s enduring legend. With contributions from show luminaries past and present – including Colin Baker, Matthew Waterhouse, Vinay Patel, Joy Wilkinson and Terrance Dicks – The Target Storybook is a once-in-a-lifetime tour around the wonders of the Whoniverse

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Jackie Tyler Shines in “The Siege of Big Ben” – A Doctor Who Short Trip from Big Finish Productions

DWST0806_thesiegeofbigben_1417I rarely listen to the Big Finish Productions audios that only feature one voice actor because I tend to prefer the full cast format to the singular narrator format, but The Siege of Big Ben was well worth listening to. Written by Joseph Lidster, Doctor Who: The Siege of Big Ben is the latest installment of Big Finish Production’s monthly Short Trips series, a series of audios featuring a short story related to one of the Doctors Big Finish has the rights to and read by one of the original cast members from the TV series. This story featured Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler in a story featuring the Meta-Crisis Doctor in the parallel Earth seen at the end of Journey’s End. “Jackie Tyler has everything she’s ever wanted: a loving husband and, two children. But a terrible, far-reaching plan is underway, and only Jackie and a single friend stand in the way of it. But the Doctor isn’t the man he was…”  Continue reading

REVIEW: "Black Dog" by: Neil Gaiman

It’s hard to compare Black Dog with The Monarch of the Glen. They’re such different stories. But I have to say that I think I like Black Dog better. Monarch felt more like an American Gods story, but Black Dog was more engaging.

I loved the kind of ghost story feel it gave me the whole time I read it. Again, there was some nice development with Shadow, but I still wish they’d focus more on the whole son of Odin thing.

But I digress. This short is really good, it’s well paced, builds up tension expertly, and then resolves everything in a satisfying way. I definitely enjoyed it. Here’s hoping for a true American Gods sequel!

(4 out of 5 wands)

REVIEW: "The Monarch of the Glen" by: Neil Gaiman

Some amount of time has passed since the end of American Gods, and Shadow Moon has been traversing around Europe. He ends up in Scotland, hired to be security for a mysterious party held in a mysterious mansion. As always, all is not as it seems.

It’s an interesting little follow-up to American Gods. There’s sort of a throw-away reveal about Shadow in the story. Who he is. I wish that had been elaborated on more. Maybe that’ll be the topic of any eventual full sequel to American Gods.

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