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4.2 out of 5 stars17
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 29 September 2013
This little series of celebratory novellas hits the modern era, and Christopher Eccleston's manic and judgemental Ninth Doctor, under the watchful eye of Charlie Higson. The story starts of strong, as (during the thirty seconds of screen time in his opening episode Rose where he departs without the titular companion and then comes back for her) the Doctor picks up a new companion while tracking ancient Cosmic Horrors called Starmen to ancient Babylon. The nature of this new companion is smartly held back in a way that could never work on screen, and is perhaps the best thing about the book. The worst is the Doctor himself. For much of the book he is entirely himself, with Eccleston's rather different take on the character neatly expressed and a joy to watch. In the final quarter however, his easy dismissal of wholesale slaughter is jarringly wrong, and stained what had previously been an enjoyable romp. For me, a final stumble that kills the book.
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on 12 October 2013
Charlie Higson must be an obvious choice for one of these novellas orientated for younger readers. He manages the medium successfully, making the storyline seem longer than its length allows. Events are set on both an alien world and in ancient Bablyon, providing a nice contrast between environments. It helps make the story feel more varied and gives it more depth. The atmosphere of Babylon is easily created despite the small world count.

The strongest element of this book is undoubtedly that of the character of Ali. To all intents and purposes she comes across as a companion in the making for most of the story. It is almost as if the author is giving us a lesson in how the Doctor chooses his fellow travellers. The revelations that unfold about her during the course of the story are cunningly revealed at a steady and appropriate rate and explore the Doctor's attitudes towards how he chooses his companions. Ali is a very well constructed and fully dimensional character. She is also vaguely reminiscent of Zoe and Romana in the way that she considers herself to be the Doctor's intellectual equal.

The essence of the Ninth Doctor is captured quite well. The basic template of Eccleston's performance is there. Higson gives him a little depth in voicing his personal concerns about Rose and how he selects companions. As the story takes place within the last couple of minutes of the television episode 'Rose' this is an interesting insight that wasn't provided on screen. The Doctor's attitudes towards Ali, although for the most part enlightening, feel a little off in the closing stages of the story. It is a little difficult to accept that he is so accepting of some of her actions, seeming a little out of character for the Doctor.

Although not, perhaps, particularly a celebration of its respective Doctor's brief tenure as some of the previous instalments in this series have been, this story still provides a good insight into the Doctor. It is a still a well paced and enjoyable plot and a good addition to the series.
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on 4 December 2013
I like the way that this story plays with our preconceptions and prejudices about the Doctor's companion and also the clever way that it shows how strange time-travel would be (Slipping another adventure in between getting turned down by Rose and going back to offer her another chance) The beast itself was a bit disappointing and dispatched too easily, but the portrayal of Eccleston's Doctor is spot-on.
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on 18 June 2015
A great read. Set in the future and past and the one companion Ali is excellent and the revelation is stunning. Set after Rose, its one of the few adventures of the Ninth Doctor without Rose. Written by the same guy who bought us the Young Bond series. Higson writes the Ninth Doctor very well and 10 years since Eccleston was the Doctor, its a good reminder of this doctor. Fantastic!
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on 24 November 2013
Charlie Higson's tale of the Ninth Doctor takes part in the short time between Rose Tyler's refusal to go for a trip in the TARDIS and the Doctor returning with the immortal line "Did I mention it also travels in time". Higson has managed to capture the Ninth Doctor's character completely in this short story and answer a question or two while he's at it, fantastic.
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on 10 November 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed Charlie Higson's 9th Doctor. The story invoked a strong sense of Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor - one of my favourites. The story reads like an entertaining episode of Doctor Who - including a couple of surprising twists and a satisfying explanation of an unanswered question from the television series. Enjoy!
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on 17 May 2015
The reader learns who, and what, the BEAST OF BABYLON is, as well as learn who, and what, Ali is.

We learn how the Doctor convinced Rose to be his companion through Time and Space, and most importantly, we had fun doing it.

What more can a fan ask for?
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on 5 October 2013
another great short story featuring the doctor,well written very fast paced and squeezed into the last 20 seconds or so at the end of 'Rose'.
go and read these books
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on 23 September 2013
Absolutely loved this one, maybe because this was the Doctor that brought me back to Doctor who or maybe just that Charlie Higson got 9 just right, I am not sure which.
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on 22 December 2014
A brilliant read for any doctor who or charlie higson fan, best doctor who book I have read. The 9th doctors adventure before the episode Rose took place!
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