THIS STORY TAKES
NOVELS "GHOSTS OF
INDIA" AND "SHINING
OFFICIAL BBC HARDBACK
RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER
Sebastiene was once
human. BUT NOW He
might look like a
but in truth he is a
A HUNTER THAT IS NOW
HUNTING FOR THE last
of the Time Lords –
Whilst its front cover may hint at a rather grim and gothic tale, The Doctor Trap by Simon Messingham is actually a remarkably fun little novel.
The premise is simple: the Doctor is being hunted by Sabastiene, a gloriously melodramatic megalomaniac from the quasi-mythical Planet 1. And to help ensnare the Doctor, our villain has turned the Doctor’s biggest ‘fan’, Baris, into a Doctor duplicate!
“…the Doctor is very real. Oh he was quiet for a while,
the flame of his memory fanned only by obscure cults,
but now the universe rings once more with his deeds.
Every child in the galaxy has heard of the Doctor.”
As one would imagine, there are lots of
twists and turns to be enjoyed as we have
to guess which Doctor is which and even,
at times, which Sabastiene is which! The
novel also has a wonderfully charming,
indulgent feel to it, as it revels not only in
the conventions and clichés of Doctor Who,
but fandom too. The Doctor Trap gently
mocks those of us that get upset when the Doctor’s timeline doesn’t make sense (nervous
cough), not to mention those who practically live in internet forums, and at least one major
plot point hinges on Doctor Who baddies’ preposterous propensity to gloat.
“It’s what you think they know. It’s what you think they’ve got over you. The Doctor Trap.
I’m rather proud having coined the phrase, now I come to think of it.”
The book is also surprising too. At a glance, the titular “Doctor Trap” paints a very vivid –
and pleasantly naff – picture in the reader’s mind, but in fact this “Doctor Trap” is something completely different; something very much of the Doctor’s own making.
The only real swipe that I could take at this novel is that Donna doesn’t get quite as much exposure as she does in either Ghosts of India or Shining Darkness, but even that would
be a trifle mean-spirited considering just how well-written Donna is when she does feature. And as for the Doctor, well… he’s absolutely off the page. This is definitely one of the tenth Doctor’s more memorable outings in print.
I think what I like the most about The Doctor Trap though are the passages that are written
in this enchanting, almost fairytale style. The ‘pre-title sequence’ stands out in particular as being something really impressive.
And on a final note, I should say that The Doctor Trap has joined a very select club of Who novels that I’ve read straight through in just one sitting. In fact, of them all, I think I got through this one the quickest. It’s exciting, enthralling and even a little bit mischievous; a riotous tribute to 21st century Who.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2008
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
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