The Puffin series of short estories/ e-stories continued with Spear of Destiny by Marcus Sedgwick a Third Doctor story that also features Jo Grant. Following on from February’s The Nameless City which I enjoyed (and reviewed here) I was reasonably optimistic about this though I don’t know any of Marcus’s other work.
How was it? Did the spear strike the target? Find out…
The Doctor is searching for an artefact capable of altering space-time; he traces this to a spear held in a museum and decides that he must break in, swap the spear for a copy then return the actual spear to the Time Lords.
The TARDIS lands on the roof of the museum at night and the Doctor breaks in accompanied by Jo. The spear is almost in their grasp when unexplained armed guards appear and our heroes have to flee empty-handed. The Doctor then decides to go back to the time of the Vikings when the spear was last documented.
We then have a short romp with Vikings, Norse Gods and at the heart of the story The Master. All ends well (Jo even sabotages The Master’s TARDIS when it is in the form of a model wooden boat), spears get swapped and the day is saved.
These Puffin stories all seem to try to extend the mythos as far as possible and I get slightly vexed at this. I don’t need gods and half of human history explained in what is, after all, a minor contribution to the body of works. This story lost me a bit when it tried to link the spear to the one used to stab Christ on the cross. Not sure we need this (and not for religious reasons, just making it all too big) in what is otherwise a solid Third Doctor story.
Criticism aside this did help me pass 10 minutes on a train and was much less irritating than Big Hand. I’ve probably spent long enough talking about it.
What do you think? Harmless enough or a waste of time and money?
Let me know!