When I heard about The Day She Saved The Doctor I was super excited! The book features some of the Doctor’s best female companions (Sarah Jane, Rose, Clara & Bill) & all four of the short stories have been written by women; plus the book was released on International Women’s Day (March 08th 2018) so the whole thing just sounded fantastic.
Sarah Jane & The Temple of Eyes by Jacqueline Rayner 🌟🌟🌟
The first story in the book featured the wonderful Miss Sarah Jane Smith, a companion from classic-Who that came forward into modern-Who, within the main series & in her own series, whom I absolutely adore. In this story Sarah Jane & the Fourth Doctor end up in Ancient Rome, investigating the disappearances of women who later turn up without their sight in-tact.
As I’ve not watched much of classic-Who I cannot comment on the accuracy of Tom Baker’s Doctor in the book, but what I can say is that I can 100% see Sarah Jane behaving how she did in this book, in her youth. The same clever Sarah that I know from the modern era of Doctor Who was definitely present in her younger self & it was great to see what she was like when she first started learning about aliens & what-not.
As for the plot of Sarah Jane’s story, it was definitely a Doctor Who story; it was comical when it needed to be & had just enough mystery to keep me interested. My only problem with this story though, was that it was a tad ableist… Doctor Who fans, keep your hats on, I’m allowed to criticise things & still love it. When I say the story was ableist, I mean that the whole going blind thing was the centring point of the story & it was painted as a bad thing – which could definitely upset some people. The writing was good though (I wouldn’t expect anything less from Jacqueline) & the characters were presented well.
Rose & The Snow Window by Jenny T. Colgan 🌟🌟🌟🌟
You can give me anything with the glorious Rose Tyler & I’ll eat it up in a heartbeat – but if you give me Rose AND Nine, then it’ll be gone even before my heart thinks about taking another beat. Seriously, when I saw Christopher Ecclestone on the back of this book I did a little whoop – plus, the story was written by Jenny (top fav Who writer, with Jacqueline sharing the pedestal) so it was obviously going to be good!
Did I say it was going to be “good”, well I was wrong – it was fantastic! see what I did there? This was one of those Doctor Who written stories that I wish could be an episode; in this story Rose & Nine come across a time puncture, in which Rose can see into 1812 Russia through a window in 2005 Canada… of course, Rose & Nine need to find out why the puncture has happened & fix it as quickly as possible; this mission results in the pair travelling to 1800s Russia, Rose having a bit of a flirt with a gorgeous-sounding count & the Doctor getting himself into a few sticky situations.
The Snow Window was full of hilarious dialogue & amusing predicaments, with a heart-retching finale that made me wonder how different things could have been for Rose. The episode also really reminded me why Nine was such an incredible Doctor & I will spend my life wishing for more novels that feature him (we’re yet to see a Nine/River meeting, which is something I seriously need)! I loved the whole time-window concept & would love to see it explored in a full-length novel or in an episode.
Clara & The Maze of Cui Palta by Susan Calman 🌟🌟🌟.5
There couldn’t be a book featuring some of the best-loved female companions without Clara being involved; & of course if you’ve got Clara, you need Doctor number Eleven! It took a few pages for me to feel like the story really was about Clara & Eleven, but once the characters had fallen into themselves, they really couldn’t have been anyone else. The relationship between the two bounced off of the page & it was nice to see Clara bossing the Doctor around once again.
In this story Clara & Eleven end up stuck in a maze; a maze that is clearly trying to keep them stuck. This story was definitely a bit spooky & it was one of those adventures that made you question whether they would get out of it alive, even though you know they have to because otherwise what would happen to the show???
The only issue I really had with this story, & the reason it didn’t get a slightly higher star rating, is the fact that this short story definitely felt like a short story! Jacqueline & Jenny managed to make their short stories feel like slightly-longer-maybe-medium-length-stories but unfortunately, Susan didn’t quite manage to do this – it’s one of those short stories that you can just feel is a short story, without checking how many pages are left. Which sucked, because I really enjoyed the story Susan came up with! I guess she just didn’t manage to fit quite as much in as the previous two writers 🤷♀️
Bill & The Three Jackets by Dorothy Koomson 🌟🌟🌟
First off, can I get a hell yeah! for a woman of colour being on the writing team for this book?! And for the fact that she wrote Bill’s story – none of that white-women-talking-over-WOC nonsense here! 👏👏👏
Anyway – the story. The story was good; it was strange in a way that a lot of Bill & Twelve’s adventures are & fitted in well with their episodes – the characters were truly themselves & the writing was fab as well. So, why my average star rating? As with Clara’s story, Bill’s felt like a short story; which was a shame because the plot sent out a really important message & definitely left me thinking…
In Bill’s adventure she has her appearance stolen by an alien that’s desperate to get close to the Doctor; Bill is of course determined to get her own body back, but in order to do so she needs to convince the Doctor which one of them is the real Bill! The plot of this story meant we really got to see how great Bill is on her own; but the story also highlighted how we should love ourselves no matter what & made me think about how I would feel if my body, the one I’m not always that fond of, was taken away from me. Dorothy used her opportunity to feature in this book really well, & for that I applaud her.
If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of The Day She Saved The Doctor (& I totally think you should) you can use the links below: if you use the Amazon or Book Depository links to make a purchase I will receive a small fee at no cost to you so please consider doing so.
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