Doctor Who: In the Blood by Jenny T. Colgan Reviewed.

In May, on a Sunday evening, we got an announcement. The Doctor, played by David Tennant, and Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate, are going to be back for the 60th Doctor Who anniversary in 2023. I had been off line for a few hours, so had no idea what madness I was going to be logging back into. I could not believe it. I still cannot believe it. The Doctor and Donna mean so much to me and I think through books and audios and the television episodes, I have exhausted my supply of new Doctor and Donna, so to be getting new scenes is very exciting. Since RTD announced his return to Doctor Who, last September, I have been very excited for 2023.

‘Do you sleep?’ she shouted up eventually.

‘Through all this shouting? Wouldn’t have thought so.’ returned the voice. ‘Want some Toblerone?’

‘I’ve brushed my teeth already! Haven’t you?’

There was no answer. But there was a quiet tinny rustle of Toblerone being unwrapped.

Donna sighed. ‘Chuck us a bit, then.’

In the Blood by Jenny T. Colgan.

Onto my review of In the Blood.

More adventures with the Doctor and Donna is an exciting prospect and In the Blood by Jenny T. Colgan brings their relationship to life very well. I think where In the Blood didn’t work for me was ‘the internet is a bad place and full of nasty trolls’ message, which got abandoned at various points, so thankfully we don’t get too much into the cliché of trolls are fat men who sit at a computer all day and still live with their mum. As well as the villain being a returning character that will not be recognizable to those that don’t listen to audios, the idea of Wilf being angry is terrifying – feels wrong to even go there and the TARDIS is a no go because a coffee stall have acquired it for their own use and the Doctor and Donna seemingly cannot get past them, to get back into the TARDIS and so it is decided that they take an aeroplane instead, to fly around various parts of the world. Cue a bit of grumbling from the Doctor about it not being the same as the TARDIS.

‘It’s just like throwing fruit at people in the stocks, innit?’ said Donna equably. ‘Not much changes.’

‘But it’s on such a vile scale now … attacking anything. Gender, clothing, weight …’

‘It’s just people who’ve done nothing with their lives trying to make themselves feel better by making other people feel worse.’

In the Blood by Jenny T. Colgan

And also not sure what to think of the Doctor being baffled by how mean people are capable of being on the internet, and how it can spread. It is social commentary coming from the mouths of the Doctor and Donna and at times it does not sound at all natural to their characters. It feels like lines lifted from newspapers and articles, without much of anything to challenge them, to give another perspective. I think this is an interesting topic, and personally, I think it goes beyond, you know, people are so unhappy with their own lives, they have no life and so they troll people on the internet. Which can be true, but it’s more than that. Obviously more than a Doctor Who story can cover. But I think it is more than people sneering at the trolls and saying ‘oh, they’re unhappy, miserable people, and have no life.’ Because I think there are so many more nuances to it than that.

His body was completely translucent, and the Doctor watched, fascinated, as the receiver slid down into his stomach, with much gulping and regurgitating noises.

‘The line’s gone funny!’ shouted Donna. ‘It sounds all bubbly.’

In the Blood by Jenny T. Colgan.

There were parts of In the Blood I liked, and I could get into the story, and then it just stalls at other parts. It was frustrating, because an adventure with the Doctor and Donna is a rare treat. At least, so far, Jenny T. Colgan’s books and stories have given me something to think about (and gripe about)

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