Three more tie-in novels to the tenth-Doctor-and-Martha TV series, and three more reminders that the days of the New Adventures are long gone. Fans of the seventh Doctor’s further adventures in Virgin Books, and the BBC’s subsequent eighth Doctor re-appropriation of the reins may feel shortchanged that this has ceased to be the series that grew up with its audience, but if these books are, y’know, for kids, they’re at least following a fine Target Books tradition.
Unlike the Target series of course, these are original novels, but key to their appeal is that they feel like TV episodes (and take about as long to read). Each has a pre-credits prologue, each (Smith’s especially) has a fairly headlong momentum and does a good job of evoking the lead performances, and each, in the long tradition of Doctor Who, is better in its first two-thirds than it is at the end.
And relative newcomer Dale Smith, lumbered with the second worst title of the month, contributes a pseudo-historical featuring Benjamin Franklin, which convincingly conjures up eighteenth-century Edinburgh, but is plotted like a videogame, culminating in a boss battle with a super-zombie.
Low-level prose, but high on ideas and full of energy, these aren’t the heady days of adult Who fiction, but they’ll do.