Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel
Random House UK - North America
Pub Date: Mar 11 2014
I am a big fan of Doctor Who. The shows, the books, toys, etc… But I have to admit that there is a problem I’m noticing with the Doctor Who books that seems to be pretty consistent. No one seems to write a descent Amy Pond or Rory. Not even a very good Matt Smith if I’m being completely honest. Matt Smith, as Doctor Who, kind of plays him as a bit of a nut. A little too easily distracted etc… But usually this comes out as the Doctor has just forgotten something or perhaps is just playing for time. He is good at that last one. In the books, however, where there could be an inner dialogue explaining what he is really doing during these periods. There not only isn’t, but normally they try to just make him a scatter brained goof ball. Amy and Rory aren’t much more than people to ask the Doctor stupid questions. Which is pretty bad because while the Doctor’s companions have traditionally been there for that reason; or simply as someone the Doctor needs to save. Most of the time with the new Doctors and especially with Matt Smith; his companions tend to be at least somewhat able to take care of themselves. And will often even save the Doctor. But in the books, this rarely if ever happens.
The reason for my little tirade here, is that the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are barely a part of this book. They are like very aggressive plot devices that need to move the story along. They have NO character at all, they are just there to make sure the main plot which is about this guy Mark Whittaker; moves on. This book could have been with ANY Doctor and ANY companions; it would have made no difference what so ever. Just change the names and there you go. The other horrible thing is that the Weeping Angels in this book, one of the greatest monsters in the whole world of Doctor Who; perhaps the history of the series. Are also done VERY POORLY. They aren’t described in enough detail or with enough ominous intent. They are little more than an annoyance. In the series they are far more than that. While I’m sure there is a book somewhere with some guidelines about writing a Doctor Who novel and in it someone said that it isn’t a good idea to make the book completely and totally about the Doctor and his companions. But it IS a good idea to make them necessary to the story, at least more than stand ins for a literary device.
The main plot is somewhat interesting if not a pretty tired tropey time travel story. Which is partly why the book needed to have far more characterization done with the Doctor, Amy, and Rory. Also, having more to do with the Weeping Angels and putting our heroes in more danger from them would have helped as well. I would not recommend this book to even the most devoted fan. Mostly because, like I said it REALLY isn’t a Doctor Who story as much as it’s just a traditional Science Fiction story done poorly.