Colgan, Jenny T.

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

2.5 out of 5

(2 books)

Doctor Who: In The Blood

An original adventure featuring David Tennant's Tenth Doctor and his companion Donna Noble.  All around the globe people begin to drop dead after using the internet and becoming uncontrollably angry.  The Doctor soon realises that an alien infection is at work and, with Donna, has to try to discover the sinister power behind the virus before the infected, including Donna's grandfather Wilf, rage themselves to death.

This book started off so very well.  I was genuinely interested in the idea of the internet being a vector for an anger-driven infection and it gives Colgan the opportunity to shine a light on the all-too-real world of internet trolls.  She also provides us with the very best representation of the Doctor and Donna's relationship to be found in print.  For some reason the other Who authors I've read have totally failed to grasp not only the essence of Donna's friendship with the errant Time Lord, but also the character herself.  All too often she's portrayed as just an abrasive loudmouth, but Colgan manages to show Donna's compassion and wonder too.

Unfortunately, my early enjoyment of this book was soon derailed.  The plot rapidly spins apart into a weird and confusing mess in which we finally meet the villain of the piece, Gully, who is completely undeveloped and gets written out almost as quickly as he appears.  It turns out that he's a returning antagonist from a Big Finish audio story that Colgan wrote, but he's so unexplained here that I felt I was being penalised as a reader for not having listened to the audio story first.

Gully isn't the only underdeveloped element of the book either, with the new character Fief yo-yoing from villain to helper with no apparent reasoning and whose final fate felt totally hollow, despite the fact that Colgan was clearly aiming for pathos.

Basically, in the beginning I really enjoyed this book, but by halfway through that had worn off and, in the end, I found myself actively hating it.

2 out of 5

 

Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion

A novelisation of the first adventure of the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and his companion Rose Tyler.  Newly regenerated, the Doctor is incapacitated by the process, leaving Rose, Mickey and Jackie alone to face the arrival of the terrifying Sycorax.

This is a perfectly adequate novelisation of a perfectly adequate episode of the revived TV series.  'The Christmas Invasion' was never the greatest of episodes, but it does have a great slow-build to the revelation of the new Doctor's first step into action, with him being largely unconscious for most of the story.  However, when he does finally step into the fray, Lion King quotes and all, it reveals just how compelling this incarnation of the Doctor is going to be.  As villains the Sycorax aren't especially memorable, but I did very much enjoy the twist of their plan to conquer Earth.  The less said about the robot Santas controlling killer Christmas trees the better, however.

Colgan deviates very little from how things played out on screen, but it was interesting to get a bit more insight into Rose's inner thoughts on this stranger who lays claim to the Doctor's life.  I always find it fascinating to see the effects of regeneration not only on the Doctor but also on his companions and here we get a good exploration of that.  One of the places where sticking to the script doesn't work out for the author so well is in the humour, however.  The jokes and one-liners from this episode were one of this things I always liked about it, but on the page you realise how much of it was down to the timing and delivery of the actors, meaning that they fall a bit flat here.

3 out of 5

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