Book Review. Twice Upon a Time by Paul Cornell.

I had heard of Twice Upon a Time, and its more criticised aspects, so was in no hurry to read it but it’s a short read, was a Sunday afternoon, and I thought let’s give it a go.

I liked the first few pages, the Doctor meeting his former self, the first Doctor as originally played by William Hartnell, on the snowy landscape of the North Pole, both of them on the verge of regenerating, and in also stumbles Archie, a soldier from the first World War.

First of all, this is a poor way to end Peter Capaldi’s era. I have no idea what Bill was doing here, the Glass Woman, the absolute fluff basically. Stop where you were with The Doctor Falls. That’s how you go out with a bow. Not this.

Second of all, Archie is a Lethbridge-Stewart. It was a nice, initial, reveal. Unexpected. I don’t think I like the idea of the Brigadier, a character so embedded into this show, and his ancestors being wound around the central figure of the Doctor, as if it was meant to be, as if the Doctor meant for these connections to join. That goes against what he says about changing timelines.

Third of all, the biggest problem here is the disrespect towards the actor who played the first Doctor, William Hartnell. I love the 60’s era of Who. And Twice Upon a Time manages to shit all over it more than Chris Chibnall could ever do with his Timeless Child, which some fans seem to take huge umbrage at. Throwing lines that the first Doctor said into the story, out of context, isn’t funny or smart, it ruins the character. I don’t even know what I want scrubbing from my mind more, the smacked bottom line or the ‘he clearly misses you. That ship of his is in dire need of a good spring clean.’

I do have a problem in general with recasting William Hartnell, can’t be helped I understand, but you wouldn’t dream of recasting Patrick Troughton or Jon Pertwee, how could you possibly? and it is the same with William Hartnell.

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