Published by BBC Books
Author George Mann has been given a plum job here, to write the first ever novel about a brand new Doctor, one who we have only seen in one story on TV. So basically, it’s a blank canvas as we didn’t get much information about this incarnation of The Doctor (played on TV by John Hurt) in the story in which he appeared.
After leading a flotilla of battle TARDISs in a battle against the Daleks during the Great Time War, The Doctor (and he is denying that he should be called that – but what else can we call him) crashes on the planet Moldox – a planet that has been overtaken by the Daleks.
He teams up, at first reluctantly, with a young Dalek hunter called Cinder and they investigate why the Daleks are keeping the captured population prisoner instead of just exterminating them. Angry, weary, but with the light of adventure in his eye, The Doctor and Cinder discover the truth, which they then have to take to Gallifrey and then into The Eye of Tantalus, a vast area of temporal energy. On the way, they face dangers not just from his old enemy, but also from his own people.
Mann has done a great job in fleshing out this ‘new’ Doctor and in doing so has given future writers a template to work on. Although we have known him as ‘Captain Grumpy’ on TV, there is humour there and flashes of other incarnations of The Doctor – notably fourth, fifth, ninth and tenth.
Obviously, the door is open for a series of adventures for The War Doctor, but in this first story we see him as we saw him on TV – perhaps some stories could feature him as a younger, newly-regenerated Time Lord.