Review: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories

Review: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories12 Doctors, 12 Stories by Various authors
Released by BBC Books on 2 December 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 876
Format: Ebook
ISBN: 9780141359717
Source: Purchased

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The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Anthology is the perfect collection of adventures for Doctor Who fans.This print edition is the culmination of a year-long series of ebooks to celebrate fifty years of Doctor Who. Eleven Doctors, eleven stories, eleven unique interpretations of the Doctor, his terrifying alien enemies and his time-travelling adventures.

Last year, Doctor Who celebrated their 50th anniversary, and for that, eleven children’s authors were asked to write eleven short stories, each of which was released near the end of ‘their’ month (like, the First Doctor’s story was released in January, the Fifth Doctor’s story in May, etc). At the end of the year, all stories were bundled in one paperback. I have got all eBooks separate but decided to review them in the same post, because they are just so short.

First I’m going to start with the stories that I really liked

I liked The Spear of Destiny mostly because it featured Norse Gods. I haven’t seen any of the episode of the Third Doctor (yet), so I have no idea how he is as Doctor, but I enjoyed the story mainly because of the Norse Gods; or tribes as they aren’t really Gods in this story, and they aren’t really from Norway either (they were in Sweden?!). The main villain of this story are not Odin and Thor and Balder and Njord; no there is a man called Frey (who I thought was Freyr, brother of Freyja), who reveals his true self near the end of the story; I was very surprised and delighted!

I gave The Roots of Evil four stars, because it featured the Fourth Doctor, though I haven’t seen any of his episodes either; I just like him because of his scarf (and yes, I might have teared up when he appeared in the 50th Anniversary episode). His companion in this story was Leela, who I already like very much thanks to this story. Basically, in this story, the Doctor gets blamed for stranding these people in that tree-world for nine-hundred years, but the Doctor doesn’t even remember it?! View Spoiler » I loved how the tree in this story was alive, which very much reminded me of the Ents in Lord of the Rings and the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter.

Spore featured only the Eighth Doctor, who I saw in a short episode called Night of the Doctor, I liked that episode very much and I really want to see the movie as well. This story was a bit gruesome, with a creature that eats people up from the inside and turns them into ‘goo’. It reminded me of something I’d either seen or read before, but I can’t really remember what. Anyway, I liked this story a lot.

The Ninth Doctor’s story is The Beast of Babylon, which unfortunately does not feature Rose (which is one of my favourite companions). This story happens in that moment at the end of ‘Rose’, where the Doctor leaves Rose and Mickey in that alleyway, only to come back seconds later to invite Rose into the Tardis for the second time. Of course, we all suspected that the Doctor travelled alone for a bit before he came back to that alleyway, and this story confirms it. There is a slight plot twist at the end, one that involves ‘companion’ Ali, and I can only say that I was not expecting that!

And the last story I loved was The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage; where the Tenth Doctor and Martha end up in a story. But is it really the story that Martha read and loved when she was a child? Or is there something else going on?! I liked the small Hogwarts cameo, and some other stories also have their appearances in this e-short. The only thing that I thought was a shame, was that it ended. Haha!

And here are the stories that I didn’t like very much

I love Eoin Colfer, I really do. I enjoyed reading Artemis Fowl, but A Big Hand for the Doctor just wasn’t it for me. Not because it featured the First Doctor and his granddaughter Susan (I only saw the first ever episode, An Unearthly Child); but because it was just so strange. After I finished reading, I didn’t really remember what I read, or what the story was about exactly. And there was also the mention of the Eleventh Doctor, and the First Doctor being able to see his feature selves? Nah. It also reminded me of Peter Pan a lot, which is why I did smile at the end when I read the Epilogue. Oh well, I’ll just keep reading Artemis Fowl then!

The Nameless City was also a bit of a shame. I own The Alchemyst, by Micheal Scott, and I couldn’t get myself to continue reading past the first chapter, so it’s not really a surprise that I didn’t like this story. I did like that this story featured a male companion, Jamie McCrimmon, instead of the usual female companions. But other than that, like with the First Doctor’s story, I didn’t really remember what the story was about (apart from the fact that the TARDIS was broken).

The Fifth Doctor’s novel, Tip of the Tongue, was also not very nice. It hardly featured him and his companion Nyssa at all, it was actually about two kids whose names I don’t even remember. The sad part about this is that you don’t see Five and Nyssa actually solve the problem at all, it just magically happens. I would have loved to read more about them solving the problem instead of reading about a boy lusting after a girl who doesn’t even acknowledge him.

Something Borrowed featured the Sixth Doctor and Peri, and though I kind of liked this story, I wasn’t a big fan of it. This is the first (and only?) Doctor Who story that is written in the first-person narrative though. The POV is Peri, and I liked that; because this was also the first story that didn’t change POV every paragraph. I also liked the main villain, which is one I would have loved to see in the newer seasons, but alas.

The Ripple Effect was also a story I liked but also not very much. It featured the Seventh Doctor (who I like very much, even though I haven’t seen any of his episodes), and Ace. And friendly Daleks (?!?!?!?!?!?!). Like the Doctor in this story, I was very suspicious of a trap or a trick or just something weird the Daleks had done to get the Doctor to let his guard down. But of course, he didn’t! The one thing that I didn’t like very much about this story, was the lack of action; of course, it’s not very easy to get a lot of action into a 50-page novella, but there was just hardly anything in this story.

Nothing O’Clock features one of my favourite Doctors and one of my favourite companions (Eleven and Amy Pond). It’s also written by an author who wrote two DW episodes that are on my list of favourite episodes. Why didn’t I like this story? Well, I can’t really explain it, but I just didn’t like it very much? I mean a creature called the Kin buying the entire planet and thus making the human race extinct, nah I just wasn’t a big fan. It was written very well, but I just didn’t like it, meh.

And that includes my review. As you can see, I did enjoy all eleven stories, but only five of those were really amazing; I would love to read a complete novel based on those stories!

Have you read any of these shorts?