Travel through time and space with the Twelfth Doctor in these six brand new adventures, set in a host of locations across the US and eras from throughout US history. An invisible spacecraft turns up at the Battle of New Orleans, an alien presence is detected at the 1944 D-Day landings, and ghosts take over New York’s subway tunnels as they’re being dug in the early 1900s… Filled with mystery, excitement and the Doctor’s trademark wit, these timey-wimey stories will delight any Doctor Who fan.
Doctor Who: The American Adventures
By Justin Richards
Publisher: Penguin Group UK
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: $14.99 print/$9.99 digital
I picked up Doctor Who: the American Adventures thinking it was another original comic or graphic novel. I was quite surprised then I opened the digital edition on my tablet and found it to be all prose stories. But being a long time fan of the series, I dove in any way, happy to have some new adventures during this year-long hiatus of the TV series.
I was first curious about was who would be the companion in these stories. Clara has been the main companion during the 12th Doctor’s run, a companion I’m not fond of. But these stories don’t feature the Doctor with a companion. Like many of the Christmas specials recently, the Doctor picks up a person in each story to act as his companion for the duration. Whether it’s a Colonel on an army base, a little girl from a wagon train, or a young man hired to dig the subway tunnels in New York, the Doctor always finds one person who is able to adapt to the strange situation they find themselves in and trust the Doctor to get them out.
This is important in Doctor Who stories, since we never really get to see things from the Doctor’s perspective. Most of the stories are told from the companion’s, as they watch the Doctor run around and stop whatever alien threats the earth this time. In these stories we hear what the characters think about the Doctor and see their mental debate about believing him or what they are even seeing. Two stories don’t follow this trend; “Taking the Plunge” and “Spectator Sport.” The Doctor doesn’t have a companion following him through these stories, so we see everything through the Doctor’s eyes, but we still don’t get what he’s thinking. The Doctor is a mystery and should remain so.
The portrayal of the 12th Doctor was perfect. I could see the current actor, Peter Capaldi, saying and doing the things portrayed on the page. Justin Richards captured the Doctor’s tone and mannerisms perfectly, down to his frowning eyebrows. The other characters were well established considering the limited space for each story. It was still easy to become invested in the characters, even ones that only had a few lines, such as the family in “Take the Plunge.”
With six stories condensed in 192 pages, the stories were short, but moved at a brisk pace. They never felt ploddy or slow. My only problem with these stories was that the time periods chosen seems a little cliché. Most were in the past with an old west feel or in some war, with only one happening in the present. But this is purely a personal preference and does not reflect on the quality of the stories. They were well written and entertaining. Tween-to-teen readers will have no problem reading these stories, and they are in no way limited to this age group. Fans of Doctor Who of any age will enjoy this book.
Review copy provided by publisher.