“A fast paced, entertaining novel that reads very much like an episode of the series. It’s always fun, blending some wacky conspiracies with interesting enemies to keep the momentum high throughout the novel.”~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields
“Well, I doubt you’ll ever see a bigger insect.”
Gabby Nichols is putting her son to bed when she hears her daughter cry out. ‘Mummy there’s a daddy longlegs in my room!’ Then the screaming starts… Alan Travers is heading home from the pub when something rushes his face — a spider’s web. Then something huge and deadly lumbers from the shadows… Kevin Alperton is on his way to school when he is attacked by a mosquito. A big one. Then things get dangerous.
But it isn’t the dead man cocooned inside a huge mass of web that worries the Doctor. It isn’t the swarming, mutated insects that make him nervous. It isn’t an old man’s garbled memories of past dangers that intrigue him.
With the village cut off from the outside world, and the insects becoming more and more dangerous, the Doctor knows that no one is safe. Not unless he can decode the strange symbols engraved on an ancient stone circle, and unravel a mystery dating back to the Second World War.
I’ve been a massive fan of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor so far, even if the individual episodes of Season 8 haven’t exactly been spectacular to say the least. So it was welcoming then that when I did actually get around to reading my first Doctor Who tie-in novel featuring the new Doctor, It wasn’t a complete disappoint, instead providing something that allowed for a read that’s just simply sheer fun, and feels more like a conspiracy thriller than Doctor Who has in ages, making The Crawling Terror as a result feel very much like Dan Brown with aliens.
The novel itself feels as though it could easily be an episode of the series (case in point, when writing novel in this sentence, I accidentally wrote episode first) and it’s got all your ingredients there – a typical English backdrop (in this case a small village) and an alien twist on something historical, However, with the advantage of a novelization, Tucker doesn’t have to be held back by the constraints of budget and time-limit, and allows to as a result create a fast paced thriller that works very well, and I had very little issues with this given its intentions as a tie-in.
The characters are familiar and Tucker gets the interaction between the Doctor and Clara very well, for example, a highlight early on is when they first arrive in Wiltshire (the location of the events in this novel), and Clara is disappointed that it’s not an alien planet, and just Wiltshire. The exchanges between these two continue throughout the novel and it’s no surprise that the book is at its strongest when the two are together. But not everything is perfect though – The Doctor himself feels a bit flat and underdeveloped as a character, with nothing really distinguishing himself to be the Twelfth Doctor. He could have easily been the Eleventh or even Tenth and I wouldn’t have noticed the difference, but that in large part is probably due to the fact that this novel was released (IIRC) before the first episode of the new series even aired, meaning that the writer was probably constrained by what he had to show as a result.
The secondary characters however shined when it came to this novel with a variety of people getting plenty of pagetime. It was good to see Tucker not just making everything about the two main recurring characters, and as a result this allowed for a better novel character-wise, which was very good to see.
The plot speeds along at a lightning-fast pace and if this was an episode of the series then It would most certainly be more in tune with the fast-paced The Bells of Saint John or The Eleventh Hour as opposed to the recent Listen episode. The conspiracy element of the novel works well and there’s a reasonable explanation for the mystery that’s presented here, which dates back to the Second World War in a big way. I liked how Tucker used the TARDIS in this novel as well, making a refreshing change from where writers in either the show itself or the novels only use it to get the Doctor to a location where he will stay still for an entire episode.
The Crawling Terror then, is a pretty good tie-in novel. Don’t go in expecting to read the novel equivalent of instant-classics like Blink or The Doctor’s Wife, but it’s very much one of the stronger ones that I’ve been able to read from the series. Doctor Who fans will be entertained by this one for sure, and as a result I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
Very short read - my first Doctor Who book featuring 11 & Clara. Some decent stuff here - Colgan nails the personality of 11 & Clara pretty weVery short read - my first Doctor Who book featuring 11 & Clara. Some decent stuff here - Colgan nails the personality of 11 & Clara pretty well. Full Review Soon!...more
“Something that is a great fun to read for Whovians like myself, but is prevented from becoming a must read by a few key issues.” ~The Founding Fields
Writers: Andy Diggle, Brandon Seifert | Art: Mark Buckingham, Phillip Bond | Publisher: IDW Entertainment
The Doctor is back!
New York Times bestselling writer Andy Diggle joins Eisner Award-winning artist Mark Buckingham as a shadow being emerges from a machine used to view alternate realities, stealing time from those he touches in order to become “real.”
Can the Doctor save the Hypothetical Gentleman’s latest victim?
Also, writer Brandon Seifert and artist Philip Bond collaborate on a story. The Doctor and Rory, on a boy’s night out gone wrong, leave Amy to face the Silence on her own!
Doctor Who is probably one of my favourite TV shows at the moment, falling slightly behind Firefly, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones in that order, but beating the likes of Sherlock and Supernatural. However, the first volume of the third series of graphic novels published by IDW Entertainment is my first foray into the comics of the Eleventh Doctor, and I was a bit anxious about what to expect. Having requested the title from NetGalley during a period where there was no Doctor Who on Television and after the finale of Amy and Rory in Angels Take Manhattan, I decided that I’d have to put up with my least favourite companion (Amy) of the New Series (All episodes from 2005 onwards) one more time to read a graphic novel featuring the Doctor.
And, well – I have mixed feelings about it. It’s one of those titles that’s not bad, but it’s not good either. The Hypothetical Gentleman is a very meh title. The plot focuses around Amy and Rory in search of a holiday/vacation spot and even sees the return of Christina from Planet of the Dead, a Tenth Doctor Special, ,but unfortunately before that storyline could come to a resolution my review copy seemed to end rather bluntly without any real conclusion.
The Hypothetical Gentleman is the main story here and for me is the more enjoyable one. I would have liked the backup more if it had a proper conclusion, but this reads pretty much like an episode of the TV series, which is what a Doctor Who graphic novel should do. Each volume should be an individual ‘episode’ with a concluding storyline, in my book – and this graphic novel does that element quite well.
Andy Diggle is a veteran comics writer, having written Green Arrow: Year One for DC Comics and is more recently known for his work on the New 52 Action Comics, where he departed the series after just one issue. He even has a character in the TV show Arrow sharing his surname. But this graphic novel didn’t make me have the urge to go out and read more of Diggle’s works immediately like was the case with authors such as Joe Abercrombie and Iain M. Banks, or even in the comics medium, Scott Snyder and Jason Aaron, despite the fact that Green Arrow: Year One has been under my radar for quite some time.
The art in The Hypothetical Gentleman doesn’t help the presentation either and it is clear that there are different styles in this graphic novel which is very noticeable. I’m not a big fan of the different styles myself and neither stood out as being superb and eye-catching, which also let the graphic novel down – as you know, the difficulty of good graphic novels is that they have to have a strong as well as strong artwork, and unfortunately – this graphic novel has neither.
My first outing of a Doctor Who graphic novel has turned out to be a fairly average experience. The storyline turns out to be a bit random, with lots of stuff crammed in and whilst it may have the pace of a recent Moffat stories such as The Wedding of River Song, the finale of Series 6 of the TV show, it lacks the awesomeness factor that that episode boasted. I wasn’t drawn into this graphic novel like the way I was drawn into the TV show, but it was far from the worst comic that I’ve read (That honour goes to Superboy Volume 1 by Scott Lobdell) and it was actually a fairly fun read throughout, and I probably won’t be sticking around for the next one.