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4.1 out of 5 stars28
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2013
Not very good at all. After a superb offering with the second Doctor this is a real step backward. The characterization of the Doctor, Jo and the Brigadier are off. Jo was so annoying, failing to grasp the simplest of plot elements. The story of the spear is very basic and childish and not at all gripping or exciting.

Skip this one to save your money.
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on 23 March 2013
In some ways this short story is a microcosm of the signature ingredients of the Third Doctor's era. This is exactly what could be expected from a celebration of that period of the program. Although the Brigadier and UNIT's role is minimal it ticks the correct boxes and it is wonderful to see a little bit of Bessie.

Essentially though the main element of the narrative is based around the relationship between the Doctor and Jo, easily one of the most memorable Doctor/companion relationships. The author has captured the dynamic of this duo perfectly. The strongest element of the story is the portrayal of Jo. You can virtually hear Katy Manning's voice.

However, the concentration around these two protagonists does mean that the collection of Aesir and Vanir lack any distinctive characters and feel a little like two dimensional stock Vikings. But there is very little space to expand upon their characterisation within such a small word count.

It comes as no surprise that this story features another mad scheme by the Master. Although his role is a little predictable and unoriginal there is no better way to celebrate the Third Doctor's era than to feature the larger than life plotting of his arch nemisis.

This is a fun novella that could fit comfortably into Jon Pertwee's second and third years of the Doctor. Fans of that era will find a lot to enjoy in this story.
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on 24 March 2013
What this tiny celebration of the third era of Doctor Who does well lies in its tick box referencing of the tropes that defined the Pertwee years. The characters are simply drawn but instantly recognisable, particularly Pertwee's Doctor. The Brigadier and UNIT flash by in the background, Bessie makes an appearance, the Master strokes his beard and cackles - if you know the show, you'll feel that all is present and correct. Where the story falters in its brevity. There are a lot of potentially interesting things thrown into the mix, and to a fault they're all dropped as soon as the Doctor races on to the next place he needs to be. A paramilitary force in a museum? Dropped. The Time Lords scooping up powerful artifacts? Dropped. The origins of Norse myth? Dropped. The actual reason why a spear has become a powerful artifact in the first place (is it something to do with the birth of Christianity, or is that just thrown in)? Dropped. None of that does this fast paced adventure any harm, but it feels like a bit of a waste, as though all the best bits of a brilliant novel have been sliced away to focus on the running around. Still, it's all good fun, very nicely revitalising the Doctor's third life for younger readers and hitting some nostalgic notes for fans who have been around for a bit longer.
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on 8 April 2013
These short stories are never really going to please everyone are they? Okay, the first one was more flaws than plot and the second one was a baffling odd meeting of genres, but this one feels a little more right. Gone are the knowing injokes of what lies ahead and, instead, you find yourself wishing for more of the dandy third Doctor with his frilly cuffs, unique fighting styles and his surprisingly gung ho attitude. And whilst the meeting of Doctor and Norse figures is unexpected there is a great sense of pace and fun here, even if the end does feel like it rushes so fast it drops a couple of things in the process. So, that's three down now and a long scarf beckons for the future. The experiment continues...
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on 10 May 2015
I love this short. Reading it as part of the complete 12 story set featuring all twelve doctors, i confess to starting with this one as i have just finished Alastair Reynolds' HARVEST OF TIME featuring this very same doctor. But this short is almost as good, in its own way! A relic from the past, THE SPEAR OF DESTINY is the target of the doctor and his friends at UNIT and this 50 page literary bundle of fun is a laugh a minute, a thrill a minute ride back to the past in one of the most ingenious inventions in the "history" of science fiction.

This is a hugely recommended way for you to spend five dollars. C'mon, you know you want to!!!!!

BFN Greggorio!
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on 23 March 2013
The third doctor's companion and his famous yellow car are introduced in the first page, and we're off on a short but fast moving jaunt through time in search of a magical artefact.
Elements of the back story of the Doctor and his time to the now of the story was dropped in (in case you didn't know) but without spoiling the story flow.
The story itself would have stood up well as a TV one I think. The only thing missing, if anything, was the Brigadier and UNIT, who really are mentioned only in passing. But, it's only a short story, so you can't have everything.
Great fun, and a thoroughly good way to start the day! Thanks Puffin, and Happy Birthday Doctor.
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on 24 March 2013
I've just finished this e-short, and am pleased to report that it continues the excellent progress made last month, and is the strongest of the three tales so far. It was a pacey story, well told, with nice characterisation, some good use of certain ongoing series things, and a well-crafted nod to Norse mythology. Indeed having recently finished Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" I particularly appreciated what this book did in that regard. Thoroughly recommended to both fans of Pertwee's Doctor, as well as more recent fans of Doctor Who for a glimpse of the series' past.
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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2013
So far the Puffin eshort stories have been a mixed bag; the first A Big Hand was poor, the second Nameless City was a marked improvement though did try to include some really big ideas (the Cthulhu)that weren't absolutely necessary.

This Third Doctor and Jo story does have some over the top elements (a spear that may have been used to pierce the body of Christ) and Viking gods but ignoring that does tick all the boxes to give a story that feels like a plot that might have been of the period.
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on 4 December 2013
Started a bit slow, but I really like this one. I felt it captured a good flavour of Pertwee's Doctor and also had an interesting tie-in with Norse Mythology. Like a lot of the other stories in the 50th Anniversary collection, it suffers from being strictly limited in length. This could easily have been expanded to a novel. The ending is a little bit `iffy'. It was lucky for the Doctor that the TARDIS' Temporal Grace Field seemed to be working that week.
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on 29 September 2013
Whist a good story you have no sooner got into it and the action begun that nits over just a little too simplistic for my tastes. I know they are supposed to be for younger readers but I read A LOT of young adult books as I prefer them and these just don't feel like you've read something. You feel a little cheated at the end. Good idea for a story though would have been good to be a full length story
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