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Doctor Who: The Death Pit

(Time Trips)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Something odd is going on at the Fetch Brothers Golf Spa Hotel. Receptionist Bryony Mailer has noticed a definite tendency towards disappearance amongst the guests. She's tried talking to the manager, she's even tried talking to the owner who lives in one of the best cottages in the grounds, but to no avail. And then a tall, loping remarkably energetic guest (wearing a fet ...more
Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published December 5th 2013 by BBC Digital
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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Start your review of Doctor Who: The Death Pit (Time Trips)
Well written but lacks excitement.

This is a short story, part of the “Time Trips” collection.


The Doctor:

The Fourth Doctor


Bryony Mailer & Ian Patterson


Arbroath, Scotland. 1978.


The Doctor arrives without intention to a hotel, with a golf course, and soon enough he feels that something is terribly wrong there.

In this adventure, The Doctor was travelling without companions, since it’s set right after the serial The Deadly Assassin, but fate puts in his
Dan Schwent
When guests at a golf course start disappearing, Receptionist Bryony Mailer starts investigating. Fortunately for her, she is aided by a scarf-wearing man who thinks he should be in Chicago. Can he put a stop to whatever is happening to the guests? Of course, he can. He's The Doctor... Cue the Fourth Doctor version of the theme music!

This was a Netgalley find.

This somewhat goofy little tale reads like a lost episode from the Tom Baker era of Doctor Who. There's not a whole lot I can reveal of th
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
 photo TP_Preview_FourthDoctor_grid_zps9k1oqdde.png

"Very few species truly understand that actions have consequences. When you destroy something, that isn't an isolated act. Our lives are connected. And other lives are connected to those lives and on and on."

This is a wonderful short novella featuring the Fourth Doctor as he combats a deadly alien who devours people whole-and is hiding in a Scottish golf resort. This was a delightful little story, full of a terrifying enemy and also all the panache and humor that I have come to associate wit
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
There’s something about the latter, funnier period of Tom Baker’s tenure as ‘Doctor Who’ which lends itself wonderfully to literature. Perhaps it’s because an author gets to make jokes in a science fiction context, whilst having a leading character who is so self-confident and impregnable he manages to be both serious and in on the jokes. Or maybe it’s because the TV script editor for some of that period was Douglas Adams, and so no writer is ever going to feel bashful about aping his style.

The first in a new series of Doctor Who novellas: Time Trips. Written by established authors, presumably not normally associated with Doctor Who fiction. And while I've never heard of A.L. Kennedy before, her Goodreads profile shows a good selection of well-rated books. So far the series is showing at five books and the only author I had heard of before is Trudi Canavan. So, it must just be me.

Each of the books tells the story of a different Doctor, and Kennedy has lucked out with the Fourth: my
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my book blog, Rinn Reads.

Just like Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere, this is part of the ‘Time Trips’ series, a sequence of short Doctor Who novellas by different authors and covering different Doctors. This one in particular follows the Fourth Doctor – one I’ve not actually watched in action, but probably the most familiar of the ‘Classic’ Doctors. It has the brilliant Doctor Who trait of combin
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
This is the first in a new series of Doctor Who books under the title "Time Trips". It features the Fourth Doctor landing on a golf course in 1978. In terms of chronology to the TV show this is during the short time the Fourth Doctor is travelling by himself, between "The Deadly Assassin" and "The Face of Evil".

The story is essentially about a golf bunker which eats people. It's a bit silly but it kind of works. There's some of the best, most well-rounded characters I've ever seen in a short Who
Doctor Who has always been one of my favorite fandoms. My husband watched the first season in 2013, and kept telling me about it. At first, I didn't have too much interest in it. However, we sat down over a weekend and marathoned the first season, and by the end, I was in love. It quickly became one of my favorite obsessions. I've read most of the books now, so I always get excited when I discover one I haven't read. Recently, I discovered one of the few Time Trip books I hadn't read, The Death ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was... Okay, I suppose?

I didn't love it; the thing with trying to write funny is that it either works or it doesn't, and in this particular case, the author's sense of whimsical writing and what I like didn't really mesh all that well. It was a problem particularly in the beginning, before the Doctor appeared: I did feel the writing fit the character of the Fourth Doctor well enough.

Four's characterisation was actually the best part of this story / short novella for me; I thought it was fa
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable short trip around the golf course

The fourth Doctor teams up with the receptionist at Fetch's Hotel, in 1978, to defeat the baddie. Thought more would be made of the strange twins, but still thought it was a fun read.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Interesting read, but I felt the ending was incomplete and that bothers me.
Felt like a real Dr. Who episode. A bit strange, a bit wishy-washy-thingy with an open(?) end
The following is a fair and honest review in exchange for a free ebook copy of this novella from the publishers, Random House UK & Ebury Publishing on behalf of BBC Digital, requested and received via NetGalley.

This novella is very short, but some of its content makes me feel I'd like to see what else this author can do. I did get thrown out of the tale quite early on by a sentence that put it kindly, poorly phrased, and took me a couple of readings to fathom the writer's intention. Her
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
After reading the anniversary e-shorts last year I found I was missing reading a short story monthly (or there abouts) and decided to see what else was out there. That's when I came across the Time Trips series of Doctor Who e-shorts/novellas. This first installment features the fourth doctor, played by Tom Baker, during a period when he doesn't have one of his usual companions with him. He is hoping to land in Chicago in 1978 but doesn't quite get there.

This was definitely not my favourite Doct
Karen Cole
Mar 19, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

A little while ago I reviewed Into the Nowhere by Jenny Colgan which I thoroughly enjoyed and vowed then to read more of the Doctor Who Time Trips series of novellas. The Death Pit is about the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker or as I grew up in the 70s, "my Doctor". I've not rewatched any of his episodes as an adult so my memories are only those from my childhood and I felt A.L. Kennedy captured the Doctor as I remember him; eccentric, mysterious and fun but also a little scary. The prose her
Nachdem ich mich im letzten Jahr durch einen Freund für Doctor Who begeistern konnte und ich mir so alle aktuellen Staffeln der BBC-Serie angesehen habe, wollte ich mich auch literarisch mit dem Doctor beschäftigen. Da mir der aktuelle zwölfte Doctor nicht so sehr zusagt wie die vorherigen drei Inkarnationen und zu diesen so gut wie kein Roman im eBook-Format erschienen ist, habe ich mich an dieser Nebenreihe von verschiedenen Autoren versucht, die aus Nebengeschichten mit verschiedenen Doktoren ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a fun short read that tries a little too hard sometimes to be charming and witty, but that attempt to capture the Fourth Doctor's personality and his investigative approach to mysterious occurrences made the story on the whole very enjoyable. The mystery itself is pretty creepy though and I wish the story had more of an atmospherically ominous tone to make the most of the alien threat instead of keeping the tone so whimsical.

Since this is such a short read, I think the author did a grea
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wait is almost over! That's right, Whovians, the Doctor is set to return in August. Until then, BBC Books has a great new series of e shorts to tide us over!

A.L. Kennedy's "The Death Pit" lands Doctor number four in the midst of strange goings on at the Fetch Brothers Golf Spa Hotel where guests have been disappearing for quite some time. Junior Day Receptionist Bryony Mailer has noticed the incidents but honestly believed it could be chalked up to boredom. Until today, that is. Today, the D
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Something was going wrong on a golf course. People were disappearing and no one was really noticing when The Doctor showed up.

I thought the author was able to capture the humor and floppy whimsy of the fourth doctor. I was surprised he didn't actually show up in the story until page twelve and then it was only for a few paragraphs. He didn't reappear for another seven pages. Considering how short the story was I thought it was
Dan Coxon
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it
A little disappointed by this. It seemed such a great idea to let acclaimed literary writers loose on the world of Doctor Who... But the reality doesn't quite live up to the dream. While there are some nice touches, and some typically witty A.L. Kennedy turns of phrase, the plot is flimsy even by usual Who tie-in standards and at times the Doctor just doesn't ring true. Not exactly bad, but not great either. Not sure I'll be dipping into this series again. ...more
Numa Parrott
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
I was very surprised to discover this little gem in the Kindle store, as I've never heard of the 'Time Trips' series before. It's a very short read, but a fun one. The local characters are perhaps a bit oversimplified, but the Fourth Doctor was true to his character and that made the whole jaunt lots of fun. This story was simple, but not juvenile (as many of the modern Who books tend to be). ...more
Richard A. Gallo Jr

May be one of the worst books I have ever read. The writer has no idea of Doctor Who, or even how to write a gripping short story. I made it to the end, but my brain shut down, and my eyes glazed over during the last quarter of the tale. Makes me question pre-ordering the other "Time Trip" tales.
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book. Very much captures the spirit of the Fourth Doctor era, with a bit of the current series thrown in for good measure... The only thing is, it doesn't entirely explain all of what's going on. (And while I'm at it, since Into the Nowhere seemed a little in the middle of things too, I'm wondering if there's some big, overall story that's running in the background...) ...more
Nick Wilson
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good starting book for the series, well written and the characterisation of the fourth doctor is pretty good, seems like there is more to come from this story, seemed to end with a few questions unanswered
Book collector
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
See drosten's curse novel ...more
David Rhodes
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
The fourth Doctor has arrived at a golf course in sunny Arbroath and he doesn't know why. He's not feeling very well like something is pressing into his mind but what??? ...more
David Brook
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Started very strong, but didn't hold out quite for me. By that, I mean the story, not the writing (which is gorgeous). ...more
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Alison Louise Kennedy is a Scottish writer of novels, short stories and non-fiction. She is known for a characteristically dark tone, a blending of realism and fantasy, and for her serious approach to her work. She occasionally contributes columns and reviews to UK and European newspapers including the fictional diary of her pet parrot named Charlie.

Other books in the series

Time Trips (9 books)
  • Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere (Time Trips)
  • Doctor Who: Keeping Up with the Joneses (Time Trips)
  • Doctor Who: Salt of the Earth (Time Trips)
  • Doctor Who: A Handful of Stardust (Time Trips)
  • Doctor Who: The Bog Warrior (Time Trips)
  • Doctor Who: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller
  • Doctor Who: The Anti-Hero (Time Trips)
  • Doctor Who: Time Trips

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