As January ticks down towards February we get the first of the Puffin 50th Anniversary books – A Big Hand for the Doctor a First Doctor story written by Eoin Colfer. Set in Victorian London (very familiar territory) this short eBook / eStory (or even eshort) leads the way for this collection. More importantly what is it about and is it any good? Spoilers follow…
The story commences with The Doctor visiting an alien surgeon to have his missing left hand replaced with a cybernetic option (a new organic hand would need some days to grow). This gives the theme of the title and we learn that it was the Soul Pirates that were responsible for the amputation (in a sword fight); these Soul Pirates are now orbiting London awaiting the chance to steal children for spare parts or bio-energy! All very grim.
Susan ends up captured with some children and The Doctor has to fight a pirate to the death to make his way to the anti-grav beam, take over the Pirate ship , rescue everyone and get the children home for breakfast! on the way we get some insight into the depth of the affection between the two Time Lords.
This doesn’t feel authentic. The style is all very nu-Who with lots of technology, fighting, chases, the Doctor has a galactic network of informers and has become a crusader. All very exciting but doesn’t in my mind square up with the renegade Time Lord on the run. Given it is written for younger readers odd patches don’t work such as the Doctor deriding Blake’s 7. Overall this doesn’t feel like good value for £1.99. Oh – and I didn’t mention the Peter Pan reference which was signposted mid-way through (T-shirts with ‘We Never Land’ on gave it away).
That’s what I thought, what about you? An indulgence too far or an essential purchase Let me know!
4 Comments Add yours
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I haven’t picked this up yet, though I had been planning to this weekend. After reading your review I think it has slid a little on my queue and I will be happier waiting a while now.
Glad to be of help. There’s plenty more to choose from at the moment!
I agree that this didn’t feel like a first doctor story.
Agreed – it felt much to modern for my tastes. Thanks for the comment