Review: Doctor Who: Books: Doctor Who and the Invasion of Christmas

Scan_20160212The Midnight Folk*

Not-quite-Target, limited edition

The tale of how a lot of the Doctor’s old friends nearly helped him defeat the Sycorax and a Chin-Stroking Man was immortalised in print…

It’s obviously a time for nostalgia in the Doctor Who world as we wait out the months until the show’s return at Christmas! With 1995 movie Downtime now available on DVD, a brief opportunity came up earlier this week to get a copy of one of the rarest Target books of all – Doctor Who and The Invasion of Christmas. Okay, it didn’t really appear in spring 2006 as it should have done; instead, this is a lovingly prepared pastiche of all that we enjoyed about the Target novelisations wrapped around a solid Terrance Dicksian working of Russell T Davies’ scripts for The Christmas Invasion and… do we have to call it Pudsey Cutaway?

The core novelisation has the changing points of view and brief descriptions that were a hallmark of the range, and the odd inconsistency – just who did undress the Doctor and put him in Howard’s jim-jams? But the fun sections are the parts around that core – the bits and pieces that we came to appreciate about the books in the latter years, as continuity from the entire series was applied, and we got whole new scenes from the points of view of characters who might not even have been in the original. There’s a hysterical set of messages exchanged between various characters from the Doctor’s past, as well as two alternate points of view for the deadly Christmas tree…!

And there are illustrations by Paul Magrs. The front cover gets all the key elements in while the back is reminiscent of the 1975 releases (Green Death/Giant Robot). That applies to the style of the internal pictures too – all very Peter Brookes/Alan Willow. And a certain former Titan editor might be delighted to find that his all-important cameo on the Powell Estate is captured for all time by Magrs’ pen…

Only a limited number of these books were produced, to raise money for charity. If you get a chance to get one, then take it – and make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust when you do.

Verdict: More of these would be a delight – the one element that modern Doctor Who so lacks! 10/10

Paul Simpson

 

*Paul Magrs, Andrew Hickey, Stuart Douglas, Nick Campbell, James Gent, Ira Lightman, Ian Potter, Phil Craggs and Matthew Bright

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