Doctor Who: Scratchman by Tom Baker and James Goss.

Wow, Scratchman was good! It starts as if it is an ordinary Who story, with the Doctor’s picnic being trampled and the discovery: villagers have been turned into scarecrows and were they scary. The remining survivors are rounded up into a church, where the Doctor is trying to use moths to defeat the scarecrows. Moths! He sends Harry on a mission to the shop to find sugar, where Harry is constantly missing the scarecrows bearing down on him and Sarah Jane has been sent back to the TARDIS. Evil creeps in after her and she ends up in a room that had been locked, because here in this room you are able to see your future. That’s only the first part of the story. Sarah Jane and Harry are captured and the Doctor stumbles into a fever dream, created by the devil, or Scratchman himself. He even encounters his first three selves as scarecrows, which was a novel way of fitting them into the story. 13 makes an appearance!

I liked how affectionate Scratchman is towards the characters Sarah Jane and Harry, played by the actors Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter, who are sadly no longer with us. Scratchman made for a very good tribute to them. Harry was a little bit too stupid. The devil even creates a pinball playground from a tiny little thought he had in the back of his mind. The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry struggle to survive here, let alone escape from it. As I said, it seems respectful and in good spirits. Despite how nightmarish Scratchman is, it feels fun and original.

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