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Doctor Who: The Blood Cell Book Review

Doctor Who- The Blood Cell

While not perfect, “The Blood Cell” is a worthwhile “Doctor Who” book.

In “Doctor Who: The Blood Cell,” author James Goss mixes up the standard DW book formula a bit by having the story told via a first person narrative. No, the story is not told through The Doctor’s perspective, but rather from The Governor (no relation to the character from ‘The Walking Dead”). Who exactly is The Governor, you may ask? This particular Governor happens to be in charge of an asteroid prison which houses the worst criminals including… The Doctor (AKA Prisoner 428)? As you can imagine, The Doctor doesn’t like being cooped up one bit and tries to escape and ask for release several times. Even Clara Oswald gets in on the action and tries to get The Doctor released! Of course, they both know that bad things are about to happen in the prison and that people will begin to die, but as one might expect, no one believes them until all hell breaks loose. Soon The Governor, his cold and efficient Guard (AKA Guardian) Bentley, and the robotic Custodians find their hands full of problems when system, power, defense, and Custodian failures begin to occur. On top of that, there appears to a murderous creature roaming around the prison as well! Feeling powerless, The Governor finds himself reluctantly placing his trust in The Doctor to figure out the various mysteries AND save lives.

For the first two-third’s of “The Blood Cell,” James Goss manages to not only create a fascinating narrative, but also an engrossing story. While having the story told through a person who encounters the enigmatic Doctor may not be entirely new (it has been done to some degree in “Blink” and “Love and Monsters”), it works wonders in this tale. By getting inside the head of The Governor, we really get to see how a person processes their meeting with the Timelord. At first The Doctor comes off as intimidating, curious, slightly irritating, and potentially untrustworthy before becoming heroic and making people see the error of their ways. Not only is this set-up a clever way to see The Doctor from a storytelling perspective, but it was also a clever way to show The Doctor’s impact on a person. Not to get into spoiler territory here, but it should come as no surprise that The Governor becomes a changed man after meeting The Doctor.

In terms of the story, it’s filled with plenty of page turning mysteries. What is the creature? Who are these prisoners? What’s The Governor’s background? What did The Doctor do to wind up in prison? How does the HomeWorld tie into the story? Is the prison being sabotaged? What exactly IS “The Blood Cell”? These are but of the few of the questions that will arise when you’re reading the story. Unfortunately, not all of the question’s answers will be satisfactory as the story stumbles a bit in the final 40 or so pages. Don’t worry, there’s nothing that hampers the overall story. It’s just a bit of a letdown when in comparison with what came before it.

While hardly integral to the plot, the most rewarding part of “The Blood Cell” has to be the inclusion of a spoon. Anyone who saw last week’s fun-filled “Robot of Sherwood” episode will know that seeing The Doctor and his trusty spoon was pure bliss. Now, I have no idea if the spoon will become a trademark 12th Doctor thing, but I sure hope so. If not, I’m just glad we got to see it in ‘Robot’ and read it in this novel.

Overall Thoughts: If you’re like me and can’t get enough of the 12th Doctor, check out “The Blood Cell.”

September 10, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Nice review, well written.
    check out:

    Comment by Elan Mudrow | September 10, 2014 | Reply

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