Doctor Who: The Day She Saved the Doctor: Four Stories from the TARDIS Hardcover – 8 Mar 2018
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THE MARY SUE -- Regardless of the fact that my favorite companion hasn't been featured (coughDonnacough) I'm still really excited that there is going to be this middle-grade/young-adult collection for young female fans of Doctor Who (boys can love it too, of course). Even though there are so many women in the Doctor Who fanbase, sometimes it can be overwhelming or hard to get into "geek" spaces because so much of it is coded male. Most of the DW novels have 9, 10 or 11 right on the front of the cover with their female companion in the background.This book has the companions front and center. It is also a good mix of women: Rose, who was a great working-class, everywoman heroine. Clara...she's nice (I'm sorry, I'm sorry Clara fans). Bill who is an awesome lesbian woman of color, and a great way to expose young women to differences early. And Sarah Jane Smith...the legend. The Queen. A heroine who is a grown woman still living an exciting life. I'm super excited that young fans of the show will get to read stories about women kicking butt.
From the Inside Flap
A companion: explores time and space with the Doctor, gets into trouble with the Doctor, fights enemies with the Doctor . . . And - more often than not - has to save his life.
Here are four fantastic new adventures with the Doctor, starring Rose, Sarah-Jane, Clara and Bill. Publishing on International Women's Day in March 2018, it will also be the perfect way to prepare for Jodie Whittaker's first ever female Doctor.
Written by Jenny Colgan, Jacqueline Rayner, Dorothy Koomson and Susan Calman, these stories are a celebration of the Doctor's fantastic female friends, for fans of all ages.
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Each tale is from the perspective of the companion and generally features a situation where the Doctor might have overreached himself. However, like several of these ‘themed’ Doctor Who story collections of recent years it isn’t thematically stringent. Despite the title the emphasis isn’t really on a companion ‘saving’ the Doctor; which, let’s face it, they do quite often. In the third story, for example, Clara and the Doctor get caught in a type of trap and it just happens to be Clara who works out the solution to escape. Arguably she has saved the Doctor much more convincingly multiple times in her role as ‘the impossible girl’. It is only Sarah-Jane who out-and-out directly saves the Doctor in this collection. The argument for Bill doing so here would be tenuous indeed. Even so, Bill's story is the more inventive and original of the four.
Instead the collection is more about celebrating four strong women who have joined the Doctor on his adventures. There is also a variety of convincing female villains for them to face.
The drawback is, perhaps, that the book has really opted only to feature four of the companions and those that are probably most known and/or popular. It’s a fairly short book so it could definitely have incorporated more tales featuring some of the other companions.
I have mixed feelings about this book; the first two stories felt like developed tales, but the last two definitely just felt like short stories without much development. Hm.
Sarah Jane & The Temple of Eyes by Jacqueline Rayner: ⭐⭐⭐
Rose & The Snow Window by Jenny T. Colgan: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Clara & The Maze of Cui Palta by Susan Calman: ⭐⭐⭐.5
Bill & The Three Jackets by Dorothy Koomson: ⭐⭐⭐