Doctor Who: The American Adventures Book Review
“Doctor Who: The American Adventures” is a collection of 6 dull 12th Doctor tales.
With “Doctor Who” on a long hiatus until Christmas Day, fans are understandably craving anything DW related right now. On the plus side, there is a brand new book titled “Doctor Who: The American Adventures” due out on October 25, 2016. On the downside, it’s a very formulaic collection of simplistic stories that waste the promising individual story settings.
In “Doctor Who: The American Adventures,” author Justin Richards tells six 12th Doctor stories set in America throughout different time periods. “All That Glitters” is set in California during the Gold Rush, “Off The Trail” takes place on the Oregon Trail in 1846, “Ghosts of New York” takes place in 1902 amidst the construction of a subway, “Taking The Plunge” is a 2017 tale set at a Florida theme park, “Spectator Sport” involves an interplanetary tour observing the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, and “Base of Operations” finds the Doctor arriving in the USA in 1944 amidst WWII. As you can probably guess, each story involves aliens. Unfortunately, they are all new generic aliens. There are no beloved alien foes or species to be found here.
Despite having intriguing set-ups for all 6 stories, Justin Richards completely drops the ball when it comes to to his storytelling. Each and every story feels like it is told in the same rushed style and fashion which makes reading them a rather unsatisfying experience to say the least. Why didn’t Richards try to take advantage of the time periods and settings he used? Why didn’t he use any familiar characters or aliens? We may never know the answer, but suffice to say, there is a whole lot of wasted potential here.
Another serious problem is the lack of characterization. Not only are all of the original characters completely one-dimensional, but the 12th Doctor was not captured well here. When you read a novel like “Deep Time” or “Silhouette,” you really get a sense of who this Doctor is. That is not the case here at all. The extent of this depiction is him embarking on investigations and helping humans out.
In terms of the stories, the only one that really stands out here is “Ghosts of New York.” It’s the only story that is slightly different than the rest in that it doesn’t have a villainous alien. Is it a memorable tale? Not really, but it’s the clear highlight of the bunch.
Overall Thoughts: Unless you’re a completist, “Doctor Who: The American Adventures” is not worth your time.
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