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Top Contributor: Doctor WhoTOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 March 2014
Over the last year or so there have been several ebooks released which have been related to recent television episodes. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Eleventh Doctor’s last outing should receive the same treatment. The vast period of time that ‘The Time of the Doctor’ stretches over gives it a lot of potential to fit in extra stories. Hence this ebook being a collection of four stories and hence almost four times the size of the usual Doctor Who ebook releases. However, the disadvantage of this large gap of time to feature stories in is that the Doctor is basically in situ the whole time waiting for the enemies to come to him rather than wandering space and time encountering them. This takes away some of the essence of Doctor Who and drastically limits the variety, type and content of the tales.

All four books in this collection feature the more aged Doctor towards the latter end of his time on Trenzalore. They are all orientated around various aliens/monsters finding some way around the Papal Mainframe’s ‘force field’ that prevents ‘technology’ reaching the planet so that they can invade the town of Christmas. And each see the Doctor defeat these foes with the help of the townspeople, often with one of the children of Christmas fulfilling the role of sidekick/companion. Even though this inevitably makes these stories somewhat similar the authors do a reasonable job of diversifying them as much as possible through their choice of aliens.

The first short story focuses on the Ice Warriors. They have got to be the most obvious choice for the snowy landscape of Trenzalore and a village called Christmas. It is written by Justin Richards who runs the Doctor novels and wrote several of last year’s ebooks. His characterisation of the Ice Warriors is pretty strong, exhibiting influence from across their previous appearances. All three Ice Warriors to appear are individualised as characters rather than being generic lumbering monsters and they plan and orchestrate their assault. They also sem to be much more like the traditional Ice Warriors rather than being modelled on that more recently seen in ‘Cold War’. Thankfully there are no spindly creatures crawling out of them. However, there is finally the return of and Ice Lord. With their individual names and roles in the mission they are probably most similar to their first appearance. They are also practically relying on the same plan – using a sonic cannon. How exactly the parts for this are smuggled through the shield is a little dubious but for the pruposes of the story that doesn’t matter too much. The focus is on how the Doctor thwarts them with cunning and trickery. The Doctor’s ploy, although basic and predictable, is a good use for the Doctor in a collection which risks his usage being a bit similar.

Next to be featured are the Krynoids. Even though it is great to see these quite under used monsters being featured it is a little puzzling as to what they would be doing at Trenzlore. From what we have previously learnt about them they seem to travel through the depths of space in a state of suspended animation/hibernation until they arrive on a planet by chance, They then germinate and by what seems to be little more than a voracious, instinctive reaction consume all non-vegetable life on the planet. This raises questions about why and how they would have any interest in Trenzalore. Their presence aside, this is a well written and enjoyable story. The Krynoid does exactly what it does best and the Doctor and his child companion for this story work well together with a credible relationship. This is possibly the best story of the four.

The essence of the Auton story is perhaps the most predictable but the Autons lebnd themselves quite well to the Trenzalore set up. Their spheres getting through the Mainframe’s shield makes reasonable sense, even though it is a similar infiltration technique to that used by the Ice Warriors in this collection. The story tails off into a bit of a tedious run around but it has a reasonably tense and action based finale. Annoyingly it doesn’t really explain why the Autons appear as facsimiles of the Doctor as not much deception is used by them. More could probably have been made of this.

The Mara probably have the most imaginative way of reaching the surface of Trenzalore and it is somewhat in keeping with their previous appearances. Their actual presence at Trenzalore is a bit dubious though. Their involvement doesn’t really seem to fit in with what we know about them. The use of dreams and possession does make the story stand out a bit from the other three more straight forward invasions.

The four stories on offer do succeed in fitting in well to the ideas and plot of ‘The Time of the Doctor’. They enable the episode to be elaborated in a way the programme never had the airspace to do. They also establish the precedent for further collections of stories from the last days of the Eleventh Doctor.
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on 29 September 2014
(Review by my 15-Year-Old son)
This book was released earlier in the year, previously only an e-book exclusive. At the time, this saddened me because I'm not a fan of e-books and really wanted to see a paperback of hardcover release. A few months later, and thankfully, a paperback version was released. I bought it the day it was released and have just got around to reading it. Now that I've finished, I'm not sure what to think ...

Firstly, I did have high expectations of this book as I thought it was a nice finishing touch to Matt Smith's Doctor and a good idea in general. Technically, there are limitless plots that you could have for the 900 years that the Doctor spent on Trenzalore. However, these four short-stories prove that they might not all make a good read. The first two stories involve the Ice Warriors followed by the Krynoids. These first two stories were actually really great reads and quite enjoyable. If you think about it, the Ice Warriors would be right at home in the cold environment of Trenzalore. It would also be interesting to see how the Krynoids cope, considering they need a warm environment to survive.

However, things start going sour in the third and fourth stories. The third and fourth stories feature the Autons and Mara. While both of these are great villains, they don't make the best of villains for the advenutres on Trenzalore. Frankly, I felt a bit bored by both of these stories in comparison to the first two. I might have felt better about them if they were the first two stories instead. However, I think the problem is that the Doctor's universe should always be vast and wide, but being confined to one planet, stories can grate very quickly.

Overall, none of these four stories are particularly bad, but they can get a bit dull if read all in one go. As I said, this might be because the Doctor is stuck on one planet.
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on 2 January 2018
Four entertaining stories from the wintery world of Trenzalore featuring the aging Eleventh Doctor facing classic foes including two that haven't returned to the TV screen yet. The quality of the stories varies but that might be due to the different writers. I'm trying not to give spoilers but to briefly sum them up one tends to be a bit slow, one is really fast paced, one feels like a longer story then it is (in a bigger on the inside sense) and one I'm pretty sure has a big but brief Sherlock reference in it.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2014
A fun high quality collection of short stories set during the 11th Doctors time on Trenzalore. Where as the TV episode had a lot to do this collection allows us a look into the Doctors life on Trenzalore and a handful of tales on how he defended Christmas from the mass hordes of villains kept at bay by the technology barrier. The stories themselves are quite different from each other, have differing protagonists and supporting casts and more importantly the Doctor changes as we get to see him quite young and as the aged protector we saw during Time of the Doctor.
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on 1 January 2016
This is an "OK" book. All the writers do a decent job of capturing this incarnation of The Doctor, some better than others, but the stories are unremarkable. As you know the eventual fate of The Doctor the sense of peril is never there, which wouldn't be a problem if the way that the enemies was defeated was particularly clever or intriguing. Sadly what we get is a bunch of monsters getting defeated very quickly and easily.

The writing is OK, but there are some very clumsy pieces of description.
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on 13 August 2015
This is a selection of short stories set on Trenzalore in the years of the Eleventh Dr's exile before his regeneration. These are short and sweet - but gives one a better understanding of why the Dr cares so much about Christmas - and why he is willing to die to save it and it's inhabitants.
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on 3 March 2016
A lot of fun, and as an avid viewer of the old Dr Who series that featured all of these monsters, this brought back a lot of happy memories for me. Cannot recommend this enough.
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on 3 March 2014
Simple stories without a lot of development, probably aimed at a junior market. Still enjoyable enough and great price. Not keen on reading on a screen, would have preffered paper.
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on 10 March 2014
An interesting collection of short stories of the Doctors 900years defending Christmas,as a whole the Doctor is in character and the four stories hold your attention.
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on 9 May 2016
As good as any collection of DW books I've read. Very Very enjoyable.
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