Review: Doctor Who: Books: Step Back in Time

In Extra Time, the Doctor, Rory and Amy visit Wembley in 1966 to ensure that everything goes according to history; in The Water Thief, the time travellers are separated and the key to Rory’s survival lies in Ancient Egypt

Very similar in nature to the Quick Reads series, these two-in-one adventures are very straightforward Doctor Who books. That’s not as harsh a criticism as it may sound: both Richard Dungworth and Jacqueline Rayner capture the vibe between the TARDIS crew as well as the occasionally bittersweet tone of the series, but do so in a less complex tale than might be told in other media.

Dungworth’s Extra Time is heavily based around the World Cup Final, with Rory having to step in to make sure that a key decision is made the same way as he remembers, while Amy, the Doctor and a local bobby deal with an alien invader that feeds on luck. If you’re a football fan, chances are you’ll get more out of this story than those who don’t know the play-by-play of that final.  6/10

Rayner’s The Water Thief follows in Extra Time’s footsteps in separating Rory from the Doctor and Amy. There’s a nice circular aspect to the tale, although unfortunately one of the points raised at the resolution is very similar to one made in Rayner’s other recent Doctor Who story, Magic of the Angels. There’s also a moment of contemplation by the Doctor which is absolutely in character and right for the story but feels slightly odd in this younger-skewed book. Add in some nice continuity titbits to previous Egyptian adventures and you’ve got an enjoyable, quick-paced tale.  7/10

Paul Simpson

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