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Doctor Who: The Blood Cell

(Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #55)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,232 ratings  ·  214 reviews
"Release the Doctor — or the killing will start."

An asteroid in the furthest reaches of space - the most secure prison for the most dangerous of criminals. The Governor is responsible for the worst fraudsters and the cruellest murderers. So he's certainly not impressed by the arrival of the man they're calling the most dangerous criminal in the quadrant. Or, as he prefers
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Broadway Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  1,232 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Dan Schwent
When Prisoner 428 shows up at The Prison, the Governor knows he's going to be trouble. But what does Prisoner 428 have to do with the mysterious power fluctuations? And will Prisoner 428 make good on his promise to escape? Of course he will. He's The Doctor...

I got this from Netgalley.

Since I'm a dyed in the wool Whovian, I was pretty excited when this popped up on Netgalley. Should I have been? Meh...

On the surface, this had the makings of a good Doctor Who book. The prison asteroid setting had
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I have been very bad with watching Doctor Who since they change the Doctor. Not that I didn't mind the change. I like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor; I just haven't had time to watch it. But among my countless ebooks did I find this book that I had requested from NetGalley and since I felt that I needed to get through some Netgalley books and since the book wasn't thick (a plus, take easy thin books first before the ones with many pages) did I feel that did was a good choice. Also, the book was int ...more
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Governor is responsible for the most dangerous criminals in the universe. But who is Prisoner 428 who wants to be known as The Doctor and why is he there?

The first of the NSA to feature the Twelfth Doctor, Goss not only captures this incarnation perfectly but with the story’s narrative being told through the Governor’s perspective it really adds to a darker tone.
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is more like it!

On a distant asteroid in a far off and distinctly unstable future, a very sci-fi Alcatraz has been set up: a prison on a rock which, thousands of miles from anywhere, really is escape proof. The Governor rules over it in what he believes is a benign and friendly manner, but freshly arrived in custody is prisoner 428 – a tall, thin man with a Scottish accent and an annoyingly superior attitude.

What truly makes this yarn work, and what sets it apart as a book – as opposed to a
Peter Davies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
"Sometimes, it's not the desitnation that counts, but how you get there. And sometimes both the journey and the destination are most rewarding."

This is one of the first books to come out featuring the 12th Doctor and Clara, and it was worth all the heightened anticipation!

I loved every page of this book! The story itself was really unique and full of suspense which kept me interested and on my toes the whole time. I think the author really nailed this incarnation of the Doctor perfectly; every
Jon Arnold
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who
James Goss is the most reliable of the current crop of writers tackling the standard BBC Doctor Who books right now. Whereas others will work to the formula of their idea of Doctor Who, relentlessly ploughing the same furrow, Goss at least attempts to do something different each time, to play with what can be achieved with Doctor Who in print.

Here his trick is to present the book as a first person narrative, a retelling of what happens when the Doctor investigates a prison by becoming a prisoner
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got a copy courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

Third 12th Doctor novel I read, and this one was quite surprising, in a way I hadn't expected.

It's narrated from the point of view of a secondary character, and not in the usual third person POV I've seen used in the other DW novels I read (granted, they don't amount to a lot, as previously mentioned). It was a bit disconcerting, and for some time I questioned that choice; however, after a while, I decided it wasn't so bad.
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any Whovian.
I had suffered with a phobia of books for roughly 11 years, which was heartbreaking for me as I'd loved books beforehand. To get back into reading, I bought some Doctor Who books (because I love the show) between 2013 and 2014, and after three books, I was doubting I'd really get the fear under control and my passion back. Then I read the first page of this book and I had a massive smile on my face, almost in tears, because I felt that same excited feeling I did as a kid getting lost right away ...more
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Originally posted on: The Quirky Book Nerd

I have been a fan of this Doctor Who book series for a couple of years now, and the show itself even longer, and have found these books to be very entertaining. Even though they aren’t exactly the best literature ever, they are fun to read and feel a bit like extra episodes of the show. I have really been enjoying Peter Capaldi’s performance as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara, so I was very eager to begin the books starring this incarnation of the
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The first thing to capture my attention about The Blood Cell was the blurb on the front cover promising death if the Doctor wasn’t released. It was all I needed to want to dive headfirst into the story to see where the story would take me. From the blurb to the last line The Blood Cell had me hooked, so hooked that I read the entire book in one sitting.

This Doctor Who story is told from a different point of view than most of the Doctor Who books I’ve come across. It’s written in first person fro
Victoria W.
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
The fact that their prison was inescapable was a point of pride for the governor, now if only he could just get prisoner 428 to stay put.

The premise of The Blood Cell was fascinating. Take one impenetrable prison set on an asteroid. Add disappearing prisoners, a prison head that has a mysterious past, and a prison that is slowly turning against itself before adding a dash of the Doctor in all his new snarky, edgy glory with a healthy dose of pop culture references for good measure.

I think this c

Mixed feelings about this one, and not a lot to say.

Basically ... I liked the book well enough, but there was not one. single. thing. about it that screamed (or even whispered) Doctor Who to me. (Other than the cover and stuff.)

And more to the point, there wasn't one single thing about Prisoner 428 that said "Twelfth Doctor" to me. Not even a little bit. Sigh.

Actually, other than being called The Doctor, I didn't even get The Doctor from him. Like, not even a generic Doctor vibe. Just some
Brooklyn Tayla
Okay so this started really well. And I mean really well. From the first page I had no idea what would happen, and what happened to the Doctor and Clara. Why the cell? And what did the Commander have against the Doctor? I couldn't wait to read more!

The characters were written really well, Clara and 12 were portrayed completely on point and there were some great lines through the book, and I love the reference to books itself.

What let this down is the writing lagged in the middle, and towards t
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Started off super interesting then for some reason I lost interest and the ending wasn’t very memorable at all. Decided to read this because Capaldi is the best ‘New Who’ doctor imo! You disagree? Well, you’re wrong ;) What a guy.
Lauraelisabeth (fashion-by-the-book)
I received a copy of this book in exchanged for a honest review. In no way did the author or publishing company influence my review. For all my reviews, see my blog

There is a man in The Governor's Prison. He's a strange man, who pleads his innocence and tries to escape. Not to mention the strange things he came with, the way he talks, and the girl who tries (and fails) to visit him everyday. Who is this man? The Governor tries to pay no attention to him, or his w
Aug 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
This is a rare case of the a Doctor Who novel doing something that the show just couldn't do. Generally these books feel like an episode of the show, albeit one with an extremely high budget. Goss uses the format to his advantage here though and tells a story in the first person.

The Governor of a prison on an asteroid is intrigued by new inmate Prisoner 428- the Doctor. He's a prisoner who keeps escaping and his friend Clara is really quite friendly when she comes to visit. But something is goi
After reading and enjoying The Crawling Terror, I was cautiously optimistic to see what the next installment from the Peter Capaldi era of Doctor Who novels would offer. Unfortunately, I may have had my expectations set a bit too high because I came away from The Blood Cell feeling a bit disappointed by the whole experience.

I read tie-in novels for many reasons, but one of the biggest is the desire to spend more time with some of my favorite characters. James Goss attempts to distinguish his Cap
Apr 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Up until the final 50 or so pages this was shaping up to be a 5 star Doctor Who novel. I have to qualify it with “Doctor Who” because these books are kind of like candy. They are churned out quickly and I devour them in the same fashion. I don’t expect quality writing, I just expect great characterization and a believably “Whovian” story. I was getting that here.

The dynamic between Clara and the Doctor was perfect when they finally got together. Although Capaldi is nowhere near my favorite Docto

Read all my reviews on

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Other Doctor Who novels I've read and reviewed:

* 12th Doctor:

Silhouette (Killer Origami) and The Crawling Terror (Giant Insects).

* 11th Doctor:

Touched by an Angel (Weeping Angels)

* War Doctor:
The Engines of War ("Ex-ter-mi-nate!")

The Blood Cell was the last of a bunch of Doctor Who novels featuring the new Doct
Daniel Chapman
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, sf
Every now and again you get a DW adventure, whether within the TV series or in a book, where you get to see the Doctor from an outsider's viewpoint. This one is somewhat bizarre, from the Doctor's general attitude to Clara's protest, and the mystery of the Doctor's imprisonment will keep you guessing, but seeing him through the eyes of a very normal, occasionally scared or worried person, gives a strength to the characters often overlooked.

(view spoiler)
Sep 27, 2014 rated it liked it
James Goss is no stranger to Doctor Who novelizations. So I was excited to give The Blood Cell a read.

The third in recent Twelfth Doctor novels, this one is more like the Doctor Who lite stories of the First Doctor. The focus here is on The Governor of The Prison, a story told from his perspective.

And Prisoner 428 -- the Doctor -- gives him enough to worry about. He's impatient, intimidating, prone to arguing, and heroic. In short, he's everything we're getting accustomed to seeing in Peter Ca
B.M.B. Johnson
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this for our family book club. This was a great story, one I wish had been an actual episode this season (which, thanks to Moffat, was mostly dreadful).

The POV voice of not the doctor was refreshing as well. Although, the governor's crush on Clara -- and his suddenly bursts of jealousies seemed weird and unfounded and should have either been expanded upon or left out.
Lori S.
This story is told from the point of view of the Governor of a prison on an asteroid in first person narration. He's a sniveling coward, for all the justifications he gives himself. I really did not like this book, though at least it's not in present tense form! ...more
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I shared my thoughts over on my blog, click the link to find out more! ...more
Burcu Asena
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brian Manville
Way out on the fringes of the galaxy - and with a galaxy this big, there are lots of fringes - lies a Prison Planet. No, not the alt-right twitter account, but an honest to goodness, Hotel California/Roach Motel you can check out but you can never leave prison planet. For some reason, the Doctor has ended up incarcerated here. Now, the Governor of the Prison Planet would have you believe that the Doctor is some vile, heinous character. Is he? Has he been set up? Or, is he undercover?

Well, we can
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-in-2015
I wanted this book to be four star book so badly.. And it's closer to a four star than a three and a half so hey I'm just going to go for it.

This is probably the best Doctor Who novel I've ever read and also one of the best books that I've read this year. The majority of it is flawless and it's only towards the end that it begins to stray and lose it's way a little. But the journey that we take to get to that point is more than worth the little blip of a conclusion making this an excellent read
Jim C
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is based on the television series. This has the Doctor played by Peter Capaldi and Clara as his companion. In this one, the Doctor is in a prison that is located on a distant asteroid. Everyone in this prison is in imminent danger.

This story is told thru the character of the Governor of the prison. This concept intrigued me as we get to see what people's impressions are of this obtrusive, know it all curmudgeon of a character. I was excited to see a bird's eye view of how he ingratiate
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James Goss has written two Torchwood novels and a radio play, as well as a Being Human book. His Doctor Who audiobook Dead Air won Best Audiobook 2010. James also spent seven years working on the BBC's official Doctor Who website and co-wrote the website for Torchwood Series One. In 2007, he won the Best Adaptation category in the annual LA Weekly Theatre Awards for his version of Douglas Adams' n ...more

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