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The 10th Doctor gets caught up when a princess loses a shoe…
Yes, it really is the Cinderella story – turned, to an extent, on its head – that gets the Doctor Who treatment in this latest Time Trip. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most forgettable of the short stories which have come out in either series of ‘famous authors writing Doctor Who’ which we’ve seen in the last 18 months.
The problem is fundamentally that it just doesn’t feel like either the Tenth Doctor, or indeed really the Doctor at all. He’s a very passive figure in the first quarter of the book – which is fair enough to establish the situation – but then you don’t feel as if he’s become engaged in the situation bar a ‘might as well do something’ feel. There’s none of the internal monologue which Nick Harkaway captured in his contribution to this series, and this Doctor in particular would comment on some of the absurd connections between this and the Cinderella tale.
Ahern is an established author so the quality of writing is surprisingly poor: I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice the timeframe of the tale doesn’t work properly, and the descriptions don’t always tally. The idea of the bog people (inspired presumably by the discoveries last year) is a good one, but not handled well here.
Verdict: A misfire of an idea that had a lot of potential. 3/10