Short Trips: Snapshots
by Joseph Lidster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The "Snapshots" title of this anthology suggests a series of brief glimpses into the Doctor's life, and I suppose that these stories mostly live up to that, though I'm not sure that they do so more notably than other collections of Doctor Who
short stories. Never mind, though - this is a good collection, regardless of how well it holds to its theme.
One unusual thing about this anthology is that it features a number of stories about Oliver Day, a companion who, as far as I know, was created for this anthology and appears only in it. In some ways, Day seems very much like a "new series" companion - he's in his late teens or early twenties, a contemporary Londoner, and despite travelling with the Doctor, retains close ties to loved ones back home, particularly his girlfriend Chloe. The twist is that he's male and travelling with the Fourth Doctor. It's an interesting experiment. I can't say that I'm pining terribly for more Oliver Day stories, but it did produce one of my favorite stories in the volume, John Davies's "The Plight of the Monkrah", in which the Doctor and Oliver meet an alien with an improbable tale of woe.
Other faves in this collection: "Indian Summer" by James Goss, in which the First Doctor and Susan return to the same hotel in India various times over the course of many years; Eddie Robson's "Remain in Light", which does a great job of capturing that strange feeling of going away to college for a year and returning home and finding that everything in different. The narrator of this story has no idea just how different until the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller appear on the scene. In Nigel Fairs's "She Knew", a man whose lover has just left him meets the Third Doctor just after the events of "The Green Death". The two discuss their losses in a way that manages to be very moving and yet completely in character for the emotionally reserved Third Doctor. "The Glarn Strategy" features the 4th Doctor and 1st Romana, and does an excellent job of capturing their relationship, something not always easy to do in print.
Finally, there is Paul Magrs's "Fan Boys", which is not a Doctor Who
story, but a story about Doctor Who
. It features 12-year old David and his younger brother Chris, and their obsession with what they refer to as "The Show". It's not a terribly plotty story, but any fan who's ever stayed up all night speculating about what the new Doctor is going to be like, or rushed straight to the bookstore with their Christmas money to get the latest Target novel, will recognize themselves in David and Chris. I think this story features the same characters who are in Magrs's Diary of a Doctor Who Addict
- based on this sample, I think that book would be well worth tracking down. View all my reviews >>