Review: Doctor Who: Books: A Handful of Stardust (Time Trips)

Doctor-Who-A-Handful-of-StardustBy Jake Arnott

BBC Books, out now

An encounter with Doctor John Dee is just the start of an extraordinary odyssey for the 6th Doctor and Peri…

The Time Trips range continues to attract authors who you might not automatically associate with the Doctor’s adventures, but who clearly have a love for the series. Jake Arnott gives us a tale which shows a keen eye for historical detail as well as a rich imagination for the less-Earthbound portions.

It’s a story that fits nicely with Colin Baker’s first full season as the Doctor, with the Time Lord engaging in an intellectual butting of heads with Doctor Dee, as well as the return of an old foe (whose identity the reader will guess even quicker than the time travellers). Both the Doctor and Peri are true to form, even if the foe in question is a little too informal with the young American at times.

The text becomes quite graphic at times – one of the things that marks this series apart from the Puffin stories that came out last year – and some historical nastiness isn’t glossed over; indeed, it’s essential to the story. Arnott paints word pictures which give just the amount of detail needed without wasting his word count, leaving just enough for readers to fill in themselves.

Verdict: A short but sharp tale for an often overlooked incarnation. 7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Doctor Who: A Handful of Stardust from Amazon.co.uk

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