Forever Autumn by Mark Morris
Featuring: Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones
Release Date: September 2007
‘Rick was feeling good – great, in fact. It was Friday afternoon; school was out, and tomorrow was Halloween.’
It is the eve of the Halloween carnival in Blackwood Falls and Rick, and his friends – Scott and Thad, have unearthed an old book from a tree in Rick’s garden.
‘It’s the tree. There’s something weird about it.’
‘Hey.’ A voice called behind them. ‘Do you mind telling me what you’re doing on my property?’ ‘We’re trespassing.’ said the Doctor cheerfully.
Other characters in this story include Etta Helligan, known as the Witch Lady, and Earl Clayton – once town doctor. ‘he’d retired 4 years ago and 2 months later his wife had died unexpectedly. He’d hit the bottle hard, and he now spent most of his time propping up the local bar.’
Both Etta and Earl are great characters. We get a good introduction into Earl’s psyche, but unfortunately, he comes a cropper in a graveyard and spends the rest of the story in hospital. Etta, however, has some terrific moments with the Doctor. Her house is smack bang on top of alien energy sources.
Martha’s family get a mention in Forever Autumn. Both occasions that they are make you wonder.
‘My mum’s fault, that is. Never stop asking questions, Martha, she always said to me. Always have an enquiring mind. Remember, Martha, she’d say, every day’s a school day.’
‘She never said that.’ he said.
‘She did so.’
‘Your mother? Can’t imagine her saying that.’
‘Yeah, well, that’s cos you don’t really know her. You should get to know her better.’
I can’t imagine this either. Martha’s mum was not written to get to know her. She seemed bitter and not able to be proud of her children.
‘Or what if, when she rang Trish, her future (or past) self was actually there with her sister in the room? All at once Martha realised how tricky and complicated and dangerous the consequences of time travel could be.’
I HAD NEVER CONSIDERED THIS.
I thought the interactions between the Doctor and Martha were spot on, with a constant firing of quips between each other. Being based on Halloween, this story has clowns, rubber bats and plastic skeletons coming to life and ‘children were actually turning into the creatures they had dressed up as.’ So suitably spooky. The aliens Hervoken reminded me off the Morax. The concept of them was interesting.
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For those who are curious