There is a tradition of Doctor Who short story anthologies having a linked theme, which was upheld by the tangentially connected Bernice Summerfield collections. This added an extra layer of work for the editors – it wasn’t enough for the book to have a fair number of good stories: the framework story had to be compelling too. Unfortunately, this was one of the areas where some reviewers found Collected Works lacking: Henry Potts thought the linked narrative just didn’t work (and didn’t like the prevalence of adventures tales in the book); Stuart Douglas felt that the collection never settled on a single key theme and so struggled to come together as a whole … an opinion shared, in hindsight, by its editor Nick Wallace.
However, Collected Works has a rating of 3 and a bit stars on GoodReads and 4 on LibraryThing, and Doctor Who Magazine called it “An interesting, varied, and sometimes uncomfortable, mix”. Robert McGinlay said “Collected Works is definitely a collection that works” and gave it 8 out of 10, picking Mother’s Ruin as one of his favourites.