Trin's Reviews > Doctor Who: The Last Dodo

Doctor Who by Jacqueline Rayner
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's review
Feb 01, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: filmtv, ficbutnot, sci-fi, english-lit, time-travel
Read in February, 2008

I think the basic premise of this book, in which the Doctor and Martha visit the Museum of the Last Ones, is quite cool; the book in general, however, is rather blah. Not terrible, but it reminds me why I don’t usually bother with tie-in novels (and why, if I need some extra-show kick, fanfic is infinitely preferable): they completely lack the ability to change the status quo. I think it’s the rare tie-in novel in which you’ll encounter a “gasp” moment—a moment where the established paradigm shifts, or a character grows and changes. Those moments are one of the major reasons I enjoy serialized entertainment as much as I do. (That and the pretty pretty boys.) Without them, you’re not left with much. And unlike in fic, in tie-in novels, you don’t even have the expectation of sexxors to spur you on.

Sorry, this has turned into MY THOUGHTS ON TIE-IN NOVELS. Back to this particular tie-in: weaknesses included not particularly interesting OCs, no real Doctor/Martha relationship development (purely platonically, understand), and some headdesky moments whenever Rayner shifts into Martha first-person POV, as opposed to the alternating generic third. I just don’t believe it sounds like that in Martha’s brain—very scattered and fluttery? No. Martha’s a doctor, I want to see her think like a doctor. Also, I really doubt she’d see a black man driving a fire truck and think, “There’s a black man driving a fire truck.” I could be totally off-base, of course, but I think Rayner needs a Characters of Color POV lesson from Neil Gaiman (or even better, any writer of color; but see Anansi Boys if you don’t know what I mean).

I liked all the stuff about the extinct animals, mostly because I like weird facts about things like extinct animals. For that, I’d probably be better off reading Gerald Durrell, though.

HOWEVER, these thoughts are based on my impressions from when I actually read this book, several months ago. Since then, I’ve sat through the Doctor Who S4 premiere. In comparison, this novel seems AWESOME. Way to lower my standards, Rusty.
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02/18 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Shelley (last edited Apr 10, 2008 09:36PM) (new)

Shelley This author is usually pretty good, but in this case, the book was plotted and the writing began as Tenth Doctor/Rose.

You know, the Torchwood books might be up your alley. Clearly, big changes can't happen in them, since it's not the main canon, but there are huge amounts of back story given. And with the last three, there was quite a bit of foreshadowing, too. Up to and including an item that briefly appeared in ep 2x12, if you've seen it yet. Not so much changes, but like the website content, it gives us what they can't fit into the episodes. They feel much less shoehorned in than the Who books do, like they're genuine parts of the canon.

Trin Ahh! You know, I almost said, snarkily, "It sounds like she's writing Rose!" but I didn't want to cast aspersions. So now I guess I’ll say, “This book needed more editing, man! The bloom is not yet off the—“ Yeah.

As for Torchwood, the finale totally broke me. I mean, the show doesn’t even usually WORK for me, and yet still I was/am devastated. So I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle anything to do with that show for a while. But if I ever recover…I’ll keep them in mind?

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