Doctor Who Star Tales Chasing the Dawn by Jenny T. Colgan, That’s All Right Mama by Paul Magrs and Einstein and the Doctor by Jo Cotterill.

Chasing the Dawn by Jenny T. Colgan

‘I need…’ Yaz frowned. She’d thought several times about what would be a good way to approach this, and hadn’t come up with anything so far. ‘It’s…well. It’s my time of the month, and …’

Chasing the Dawn Jenny T. Colgan

Chasing the Dawn starts with Yaz and her period and the Doctor decides to tell her a story about when she was younger, her eleventh incarnation, and met Amelia Jane Earhart. At first, the Doctor wants to race her and doesn’t seem to grasp the situation is a serious one. With some kind of parasite having eaten Earhart’s navigator, Noonan. This day is taking place on the eve of Earhart’s death. And the story writes like it was her stubbornness that killed her. That the Doctor thinks she didn’t trust them ‘I could have…I could have saved her. But she didn’t trust me.

‘She put her hands on her hair. ‘Oh I don’t know. She’d fought with her father: with every other flyer. I can’t help but wonder if I’d looked a bit more like this…well. Who knows. She flew all through the night.’’

Chasing the Dawn Jenny T. Colgan

Which, in this quote, raises the question about who a person is more likely to trust and, regardless of gender, the way the Doctor was carrying on, I wouldn’t have trusted them. The two didn’t seem to connect. In fact, it turns out one of the parasites had stung Earhart and, after witnessing what they had done to her navigator, doesn’t want that to happen to her. Earhart makes her own choice, to sacrifice herself.

If you were not aware of Earhart, or her death, you might be confused reading this story. She is a figure of historical significance and in Doctor Who stories they don’t usually go about killing off important people. Presumably then, she does die at some point, flying over the sea and that had to do with aliens and the Doctor. It seemed inappropriate to me. I don’t know why. The Doctor has met Dickens before he died and Agatha Christie went missing because of a giant wasp, apparently. It was an odd, disquieting, end to a story and in this quote.

‘Feeling better?’ asked the Doctor as they headed back to the control room. ‘Yeah.’ Said Yaz. ‘Yeah I am, thanks.’

Chasing the Dawn Jenny T. Colgan

Why would this story make Yaz feel better? Why would you tell this story?

That’s All Right Mama by Paul Magrs

When the Doctor mentioned leaving Elvis Presley with a mobile phone in TV episode Rosa, I wasn’t having it. In That’s All Right Mama Elvis meets Doctor 10,11,12, and 13. At the start of the story, which introduced Elvis’ Mama, and his visit to Sun Records studios, to record something for his Mama, I felt the writer was rattling off the stories about Elvis that are well documented and were not fleshing them out into anything interesting. Then the consequences to the Doctor turning a blind eye to allowing Elvis and his mama to have a mobile phone each in their possession catch up with them, as it is the year 2018 and Elvis is still alive. The story improves.

Einstein and the Doctor by Jo Cotterill

The time rotor wheezed to a stop. ‘Here we are!’ announced the Doctor. ‘Bern, Switzerland.’

Einstein and the Doctor Jo Cotterill

This was one of the better stories in the collection, with the Doctor and Yaz investigating strange goings on and subsequently saving the day.

‘Sorry!’ the Doctor said breathlessly. ‘Got to save Einstein!’ ‘Tell him he’s behind on his rent!’ the woman shouted back.

Einstein and the Doctor Jo Cotterill

Unfortunately, the writer tries to make Graham and Ryan useful, with them in the cathedral where parents have gathered with their sick children, and them trying to help the best they can, but they have clearly drawn the short straw. Einstein’s wife, Mileva, is probably one of the best characters in the whole book, as she feels like a real person and well written.

Mileva smiled at her. ‘Forks can be replaced. Hearts and minds cannot.’

Einstein and the Doctor Jo Cotterill

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