Monday, July 7, 2014

Doctor Who: A Big Hand For The Doctor - A Review

The place is London.  The time is the Victorian era.  And The Doctor is fresh off an encounter with the infamous Soul Pirates, who kidnap children for the power their spirits generate and the riches their bodies can provide.  An encounter he barely survived, having lost a hand in the process!  Once again The Doctor must face these evil men - this time armed with a slightly over-sized prosthetic-  before any more innocent young people disappear forever!

A Big Hand For The Doctor is not a good First Doctor story.  With some alterations, it might be a good story but not - I believe - a good Doctor Who story.  The whole affair is reminiscent of Eoin Colfer's And Another Thing...  where Colfer tried to alter his usual style to write like Douglas Adams.  Here, Colfer seems to be trying to ape Terrance Dicks and it might have worked if he were writing any Doctor but the first one.

The high-action, swashbuckling tone of this story is completely at odds with the persona of the William Hartnell's Doctor.  And if we wanted to be truly pedantic, we might note how unlikely it is that The Doctor of this era - for this story MUST take place sometime before the show started - would be going off on adventures fighting beings like The Soul Pirates in the first place given The First Doctor's unwillingness to get involved in the affairs of others at that time.  Worst of all is the "twist" at the end of the story, in which we find out just how badly Colfer was willing to twist the characters to fit his story and the point he was trying to make.

This story is not worth a download.  And if one has the 11 Doctor, 11 Stories collected edition, this chapter may be easily skipped.  Nothing of value will be missed.

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