Alejandro’s Much Ado About Books

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This week will be a very special Literarature Post since instead of 9 options, it will be 12 options to celebrate the start of the new season of “Doctor Who” to be released on August 23rd, 2014, featuring the 12th Doctor. This is why I decided to present 12 different novels, each focusing on each of the regenerations of the Doctor, choosing books that either have a good rating on Goodreads, but also presenting different topics, very unique guest characters, special situations, also including at least one presentation of each of their most famous enemies (Daleks, Cybermen and The Master). I have intentionally left out novelizations of episodes this time, to prioritize stories that the only way to know them, it’s by reading these books. Also, I did my best to include options from the different book series of the saga. Although technically is the same character, each regeneration has led the Doctor to personality changes, so it is not surprising that every fan has his/her own favorite different doctor, but each of them has played an important role in this legacy of almost 51 years of existence as the most famous British sci-fi series. With a selection of novels of over 590 books (including its spin-offs but without counting reference books, second only to “Star Trek” (with 685 novels) and well above of “Star Wars” (271 stories)). The series of “Doctor who” is very versatile where you can read adventures happening at any era, on Earth or at other planets, meeting historical figures (and sometimes even literary ones), villains have become as popular as the heroes , stories where recurring characters can die, even missions where failure is experienced, adventures of laughable humor or tales of genuine terror, and of course where even more than one regeneration of the Doctor can meet others. The potential of “Doctor Who” has no limits except the imagination of the writers. Let’s accept the invitation of the Doctor and save the universe!

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First Doctor – “The Plotters”

The Doctor first meets Guy Fawkes! Any fan of the graphic novel “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore & David Lloyd and / or is a fan of the historical event of the “Gunpowder Plot” where Guy Fawkes was involved should be excited to read this adventure.

The First Doctor is accompanied by Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Vicki Pallister.

The TARDIS arrives in London, in 1605, and although Barbara is a teacher of history, being right in the middle of the events of the “Gunpowder Plot” maybe will generate her more surprises than she thought possible.

This novel published in 1996, written by Gareth Roberts, and is part of the book series “The Missing Adventures” (Do not confuse this with the “lost episodes” that is a separate issue).

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Second Doctor – “The Dark Path”

The Master is one of the most popular villains of “Doctor Who” series, which is also a “Time Lord” and has his own TARDIS, the same as the Doctor. The Master appeared in the TV series for the first time in the era of the Third Doctor, but thanks to this novel, you can read about a meeting “before”, during the era of the Second Doctor, and where the story involving both characters will be deepen and how his enmity was founded.

The Second Doctor is accompanied by Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield.

The adventure takes place on the distant planet “Darkheart” in the year of 3375, where the last remnants of the Earth Empire survive with great difficulty, and after having been the reigning political power in the galaxy, now it’s threatened to be forcibly assimilated by the emerging Galactic Federation.

This novel published in 1997, written by David A. McIntee, and is part of the book series “The Missing Adventures” (Do not confuse this with the “lost episodes” that is a separate issue).

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Third Doctor – “The Wages of Sin”

Dr. Liz Shaw was one of the companions of the Third Doctor, but she could never ride in the TARDIS, because their time together was during the punishment imposed by the Council of the Time Lords and the Doctor that kept him trapped in the Earth to the end of the 1960’s. Jo Grant was the next companion of the Third Doctor and managed to travel many times in the TARDIS, when such punishment was up to the Doctor. Both companions never interacted with each other during the TV series. But thanks to this book, you can read the first adventure where Liz Shaw is aboard the TARDIS and interacting with Jo Grant.

As I mentioned before, the Third Doctor is accompanied by Liz Shaw and Jo Grant.

This adventure will take them to the Russian Empire in 1916, just as the “Great War” is hitting Europe, and when in the Court of Tsar Nicholas, there is a strange monk known as … Rasputin.

This novel published in 1999, written by David A. McIntee, and is part of the book series “BBC Past Doctor Adventures”

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Fourth Doctor – “The English Way of Death”

“He plans to destroy the world, next Tuesday.”

“How vulgar,” replied the Doctor. “Nobody does anything of importance on a Tuesday.”

The Fourth Doctor is accompanied by Romana II (one Time Lady) and K9 Mark II (a canine robot).

The group is enjoying a rest in the London of 1930, when the TARDIS’s warning of a “time pollution” will take them to confront the mysterious machinations of a secret society.

This novel published in 1996, written by Gareth Roberts, and is part of the book series “The Missing Adventures” (Do not confuse this with the “lost episodes” that is a separate issue).

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Fifth Doctor – “Fear of the Dark”

“On the very edge of the galaxy lies Akoshemon: a putrefied world of legendary evil.”

The Fifth Doctor is accompanied by Tegan Jovanka and Nyssa.

In the year 2382 archaeologists land on Akoshemon’s only moon, searching for evidence of the planet’s infamous past. But when the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa are drawn into the lunar caverns they find more than a team of academics — and help uncover much more than ancient history.

This novel published in 2003, written by Trevor Baxendale, and is part of the book series “BBC Past Doctor Adventures”

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Sixth Doctor – “The Shadow in the Glass”

The Sixth Doctor had a bad reputation in his era with the fans, causing that he only last for two seasons. In my case, I have no problems with that doctor. The usual complaints were that he initially tried to strangle his companion, Peri Brown, in the disoriented wake of its regeneration and introduced a darker, more cynical, and prone to violence personality. I think we should take into account that his “death” while being the Fifth Doctor was the most traumatic and painful that he ever endured and that should leave “marks” in his mind that will inevitably cause more obscure trends in the next regeneration. Furthermore, analyzing in retrospect, I honestly believe that the only sin committed by the Sixth Doctor was being a “visionary” character, as currently the “anti-heroes” and characters with dark, cynical and violent characteristics have become very popular, with clear cases as Dr. Gregory House (House, MD), Walter White (Breaking Bad), Raymond “Red” Reddington (The Blacklist) and Francis Underwood (House of Cards).

The Sixth Doctor is accompanied by Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

In England, in the area of Dorset, in May 1944, a unidentified aircraft was downed, all seemed like a routine mission in the midst of World War II … but then why all the nearby village was evacuated due the event?

In 2001, this village is still guarded by military troops and its access is prohibited.

A crew of reporters infiltrates to investigate the secret of the place but they ran into more than they thought or can handle.

The Brigadier, retired, many years ago of active service of UNIT, calls his old friend, the Doctor, looking for help, but turns out to be a “version” of the Doctor with which he is unfamiliar and he doesn’t know whether if he can trust him, but it is the only option to avoid a resurgence of the remaining deadliest secret of the Second World War.

This novel published in 2001, written by Justin Richards & Stephen Cole, and is part of the book series “BBC Past Doctor Adventures”.

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Seventh Doctor – “All-Consuming Fire”

The Seventh Doctor meets Sherlock Holmes!!!

This adventure is part of the “expanded universe” of the Seventh Doctor that during the years in which the TV series was kept without displaying a next doctor, the adventures of the “active” Doctor continued in the format of novels published by Virgin Publishing, and where even was created Bernice Summerfield, one of the first companions created in books without ever appearing in the TV series, becoming so popular that she even has her own book series with her as the star of her own adventures.

The Seventh Doctor is accompanied by Ace and Bernice Summerfield.

The novel tells the “real” events that were described in a book titled “All-Consuming Fire” written by none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but the Seventh Doctor said that although very approximate, is not quite as “really” happened .

In England in 1887, have been stolen several books that supposedly contain the power to invoke mythical beasts and to open portals to other worlds. To solve the case, there are hired Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. However, the pair of detectives soon realize that they are not alone in the case and meeting a mysterious man known as “The Doctor” who claims to be the only person still alive who has read the stolen books.

This novel published in 1994, written by Andy Lane and is part of the online book “Virgin New Adventures” published by Virgin Publishing.

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Eighth Doctor – “The Tomorrow Windows”

The Eighth Doctor only appeared in the 1996’s TV movie simply titled “Doctor Who” as a joint attempt by Fox, Universal Pictures and BBC to re-introduce Doctor Who in the American market. However, when the film was broadcast on the FOX Network, just that same night, the TV sitcom “Roseanne,” which was one of the series highest rated at the time, aired a key episode where the character of Dan Conner (John Goodman) suffered a heart attack. Therefore, almost no one in America, which was the target audience for this “new” Doctor Who, was able to watch the film. And even while it was broadcasted, months later at England, with very good ratings. Due the mess of copyrights of the project was decided not to continue. Thus, the Eighth Doctor is the doctor with the most “expanded” adventures captured in novels and audio dramas.

The Eighth Doctor is accompanied by Fitz Kreiner and Trix MacMillan.

Is London in 2004, and the Tate Modern museum opened an exhibition called “The Tomorrow Windows” which ensures that you can see the future which will ensure the end of wars and suffering. The exhibition suffers a terrorist attack and a bomb destroys it. The Eighth Doctor and his companions must investigate who is behind the vandalism and why. The novel presents cameos of real life celebrities such as JK Rowling and Stephen Fry.

This novel published in 2004, written by Jonathan Morris, and is part of the book series “BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures”.

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Ninth Doctor – “Only Human”

The Ninth Doctor was the start of the so-called “New Series” for Doctor Who, but in general consensus, the entire series since its premiere in 1963 is considered the same series, simply presenting different “regenerations” of the same character, also because all the events in the era called “Classic Series” still remains canonical in the “New Series” and even there are made references and taken again some topics. For some sad reason, the Ninth Doctor did not like to the British fans. I think that he has a fantastic “look” really brought Doctor Who to the “modern” times of England. For better or worse, this Doctor lasted only one season. Sadly not having many novels (only six, not counting appearances in short stories from anthologies) due to the “new” format where BBC stops publishing adventures of a “new” Doctor when this one is no longer appears in the TV series.

The Ninth Doctor is joined by Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness.

Reports of a time disturbance leading to the Ninth Doctor to London in 2006, where he discovers a Neanderthal Man, twenty eight thousand years after his race became extinct. A trip to the dawn of humanity only deepens the mystery: Who are these strange humans in the distant future now living in the distant past?

This novel published in 2005, written by Gareth Roberts, and is part of the book series “BBC New Series Adventures”. Also it was chosen as the Ninth Doctor novel for the 50th Anniversary event and re-published in 2013.

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Tenth Doctor – “Prisoner of the Daleks”

The Daleks are the most popular villains of the series of “Doctor Who” that first appeared in the second story arc in 1963, and since then its popularity has only increased. The Daleks have been incorporated into British culture so intensely that even the Oxford Dictionary included the word “Dalek” explaining that they are enemies of the TV series “Doctor Who”.

The Eleventh Doctor is accompanied by Major Jon Bowman and Koral (if you do not recognize the names, don’t worry, they are characters created especially for this book).

The Daleks are advancing, their empire constantly expanding into Earth’s space. The Earth forces are resisting the Daleks in every way they can. But the battles rage on across countless solar systems. And now the future of our galaxy hangs in the balance… The Doctor finds himself stranded on board a starship near the front line with a group of ruthless bounty hunters.

Earth Command will pay them for every Dalek they kill, every eye stalk they bring back as proof. With the Doctor’s help, the bounty hunters achieve the ultimate prize: a Dalek prisoner – intact, powerless, and ready for interrogation. But where the Daleks are involved, nothing is what it seems, and no one is safe. Before long the tables will be turned, and how will the Doctor survive when he becomes a prisoner of the Daleks?

This novel published in 2009, written by Trevor Baxendale and is part of the book series “BBC New Series Adventures”.

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Eleventh Doctor – “Plague of the Cybermen”

The Cybermen are the second most popular villains of “Doctor Who” series, first appearing in 1966 in the iconic story arc “The Tenth Planet” where the First Doctor “dies” and it occurs for the first time a “regeneration” giving the way to the Doctor Second and step in the following season. It is not difficult to see that the Cybermen were the main inspiration for the Borg, the most popular villains of “Star Trek” appearing in the spin-off “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and where there is even a comic book recently published featuring a crossover of “Doctor Who” (precisely using the Eleventh Doctor) and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (set in the era of the TV series) facing the combined forces of the Cybermen and the Borg.

The Eleventh Doctor is accompanied by Olga Bordmann (character created for the novel)

When the Eleventh Doctor arrives in the 19th-century village of Klimtenburg, he discovers the residents suffering from some kind of plague. The victims face a horrible death – but what’s worse, the dead seem to be leaving their graves.

This novel published in 2013, written by Justin Richards, and is part of the book series “BBC New Series Adventures”.

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Twelfth Doctor – “The Crawling Terror”

The Twelfth Doctor is the “new” Doctor introduced in this saga and officially debuted in the TV special titled “The Time of the Doctor”, and will begin its first season on August 23rd, 2014 with the episode titled “Deep Breath”. And of course, BBC already has scheduled three new novels using the Twelfth Doctor to be published in September 2014.

The Twelfth Doctor is accompanied by Clara Oswald.

Gabby Nichols is putting her son to bed when she hears her daughter cry out. “Mummy there’s a daddy longlegs in my room!” Then the screaming starts… Alan Travers is heading home from the pub when something rushes his face — a spider’s web. Then something huge and deadly lumbers from the shadows… Kevin Alperton is on his way to school when he is attacked by a mosquito. A big one. Then things get dangerous.

But 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.

This novel will be published in September 2014, written by Mike Tucker, and is part of the book series “BBC New Series Adventures”.

UNTIL NEXT WEEK HAPPY READING!

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