Please feel free to comment on my review.
In New Port City with the Thirteenth Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz
‘The Target Storybook’ is a bigger book than ‘The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who’!
After the Target novelizations/audiobooks of ‘Rose’, ‘The Christmas Invasion’, ‘The Day of the Doctor’ and ‘Twice Upon a Time’ in 2018, I was looking forward to the next set of Target novelizations/audiobooks on new series stories. I wasn’t expecting ‘The Target Storybook’ in 2019. 😐
I purchased ‘The Target Storybook’ of ‘Doctor Who’ at Waterstones in Bath, November 2019. I was intrigued about this set of short stories by writers and actors of the hit BBC TV series especially since they would be connected to certain TV stories that many audiences would have seen over the years.
I was disappointed about not having the next set of Target novelizations/audiobooks on new series stories instead, but hopefully we’ll get those soon in 2021. Otherwise, I was looking forward to reading the stores featured in ‘The Target Storybook’, including one that featured Adric and Nyssa. 🙂
There are 15 stories featured in ‘The Target Storybook’ collection and they’re as follows. There’s ‘Gatecrashers’, ‘Journey Out of Terror’, ‘Save Yourself’, ‘The Clean Air Act’, ‘Punting’, ‘The Dark River’, ‘Interstitial Insecurity’, ‘The Slyther of Shoreditch’, ‘We Can’t Stop What’s Coming’, ‘Decoy’, ‘Grounded’, ‘The Turning of the Tide’, ‘Citation Needed’, ‘Pain Management’ and ‘Letters From The Front’. There’s also a section focusing on the authors of ‘The Target Storybook’ collection at the end.
The book is dedicated to Tommy Donbavand, who wrote ‘Shroud of Sorrow’ for the Eleventh Doctor and Clara and sadly died in 2019. The book was meant to feature a story by Gareth Roberts, but sadly it isn’t included here due to the transphobic remarks made by the author on Twitter during 2017.
Whilst I’m sad Gareth Roberts’ story isn’t included in ‘The Target Storybook’, I wish he didn’t make transphobic remarks that jeopardised his ‘Doctor Who’ career, much like James Dreyfuss who played the Master in the Big Finish audios. With that said, let’s look at the stories each in turn in the book. 🙂
The first story of ‘The Target Storybook’ is ‘Gatecrashers’ by Joy Wilkinson. It features the Thirteenth Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz. Joy has written for this TARDIS team before, having written ‘The Witchfinders’ for Series 11. Her Target novelization/audiobook of that TV story will come out soon. 🙂
I enjoyed ‘Gatecrashers’ very much when I read it. It has a murder mystery element vibe to it and it was fun to hear the interactions between the Doctor and Graham as well as Ryan and Yaz when they solved the mystery. The atmosphere for this short story did put me in mind of my own ‘Hank Prank’.
The story takes place immediately after ‘The Witchfinders’. It has the Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz solve the mystery of a dead grey-skinned girl called Iz who worked in a pizza parlour. As they uncover what goes on in New Port City on the alien planet, can they free the people’s imaginations?
I liked it when Graham remarked that New Port City sounds like the one in Wales. Thank you very much, Graham. 😀 It was also fun when Graham got to ride a moped with the Doctor behind him as she used spray cheese to clear the way, clearly indicated in the story’s illustration which is excellent.
The villain of this story happens to be Ronan Sumners who is the current mayor of New Port City. Although featured at the end of the story, I like how the Doctor registers him when seeing him on a TV screen early on in the adventure. It reminds me what I did with Hank Prank as a villain in his story.
‘Gatecrashers’ rating – 8/10
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