Doctor Who: The American Adventures

IMG_0955.PNGThe free advanced reading copy that the publisher, Diamond Book Distributors, sent me was incorrectly labeled as a graphic novel. It is, in fact, more of a novella.

It still baffles me that with all of time and space to explore, the Doctor’s adventures seem so frequently to occur on earth and within a relatively narrow span of time. Having said that, it’s refreshing that it wasn’t within 100 years, either way, from present-day London. Rather, it takes place in the United States in the mid 1800’s, during the Gold Rush–at least initially.

This adventure involves the Twelfth Doctor, as portrayed by Peter Capaldi. And for the most part, it captures his character well. I would say, though, that this proper Scottish Doctor would say “Yes,” not “Yeah.”

A key factor in the dynamics of any adventure of Doctor Who adventure is the identity of his companion. In this book, however, there is none. I do think the story lacks something from the great by-play between the Doctor and his companion of the moment–in the case of the Twelfth Doctor, usually Clara.

The feeling is a bit more matter-of-fact than we expect from the Doctor’s adventures, without the character interaction and development of the others involved. It feels like a disconnected set of vignettes, which is implied by the title of “Adventures” plural. If you stay with it, though, the author does bring them back together into a coherent story…or at least that was my hope until the last page.

I hope that when this book is released they make it clear that this is a collection of short stories. I found them a bit too straightforward for my tastes, but diehard Whovians might find it worth their time.