‘A BIG HAND FOR THE DOCTOR’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Soul Pirates with the First Doctor and Susan
The Puffin e-shorts are a fascinating collection of ‘Doctor Who’ stories.
These short stories were originally produced by Puffin to celebrate 50 years of ‘Doctor Who’. The first eleven short stories featuring the first eleven Doctors were first released in 2013. As of 2020, there are extra tales featuring the Twelfth and Thirteenth Doctors to add to this ‘Doctor Who’ series!
I originally had these Puffin e-shorts as the ’12 Doctors, 12 Stories’ slipcase edition back in 2015! This included the first twelve adventures featuring the first twelve Doctors which came with twelve exclusive postcards. Now I have the Puffin stories as the ‘Thirteen Doctors, 13 Stories’ set via Kindle.
This includes all thirteen stories featuring the thirteen Doctors that have been on TV so far, except the War Doctor. My interest in the Puffin e-shorts is due to there being a Fifth Doctor/Nyssa tale in the collection! I was looking forward to checking out this collection of exciting ‘Doctor Who’ stories!
The 13 stories are as follows. There’s ‘A Big Hand For The Doctor’, ‘The Nameless City’, ‘The Spear of Destiny’, ‘The Roots of Evil’, ‘Tip of the Tongue’, ‘Something Borrowed’, ‘The Ripple Effect’, ‘Spore’, ‘The Beast of Babylon’, ‘The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage’, ‘Nothing O’Clock’, ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Time Lapse’. All the stories are by famous authors who have penned a lot of original publications. 🙂
On YouTube, there are interviews with the first twelve authors of these short stories which can be viewed online. There are also audiobook versions of these short stories that can be listened to via Audible when you read them as paperbacks or e-books. These stories are read by various readers. 🙂
Let’s take a look at the stories each in turn. The first story of the ‘Doctor Who’ Puffin e-shorts series is ‘A Big Hand For The Doctor’ by Eoin Colfer. Here’s a YouTube interview with Eoin Colfer.
Eoin Colfer is of course the writer of the ‘Artemis Fowl’ book series. He also wrote ‘And Another Thing…’, the sixth novel in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. I’ve not read the ‘Artemis Fowl’ books yet. I’ve seen the film adaptation on Disney+, though it wasn’t a satisfying viewing experience.
‘A Big Hand For The Doctor’ features the First Doctor and Susan. The story is divided into five chapters and has an epilogue at the end. It’s set sometime before ‘An Unearthly Child’. The audiobook version of this story is read by Nicholas Briggs, who voices the Daleks on TV and on audio.
In this story, the Doctor and Susan visit Victorian London. The Doctor acquires a new hand to replace a lost one. Yeah, somehow the Doctor had his hand cut off when he fought a group of organ harvesters called the Soul Pirates. I wish we had that scene given to us before the story took place. 😐
The story also has the Doctor trying to rescue Susan who gets captured by the villainous Soul Pirates. I can’t say I was won over by this story. It’s meant to be a comedic tale set in Victorian London, but I found it disappointing and underwhelming. It didn’t feel like a proper First Doctor adventure for me.
The mystery of the First Doctor is missing, especially when Time Lords and Gallifrey get mentioned. I found the Doctor out of character sometimes and his getting a new ‘bigger’ hand felt rather ludicrous. Mind you, reading it again, I appreciate his fondness for Susan as his granddaughter here.
‘A Big Hand For The Doctor’ rating – 4/10
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