Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man

April 24, 2014 Book Reviews 2 ★★★½

Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man three-half-stars
on 05/19/2005
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback

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In 1920s London the Doctor and Rose find themselves caught up in the hunt for a mysterious murderer. But not everything is what it seems. Secrets lie behind locked doors and inhuman killers roam the streets.

Who is the Painted Lady and why is she so interested in the Doctor? How can a cat return from the dead? Can anyone be trusted to tell - or even to know - the truth?

With the faceless killers closings in, the Doctor and Rose must solve the mystery of the Clockwise Man before London itself is destroyed...

Review by Travis Starnes

Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man is the first book in a new series that follows along, and intertwines, with the re-launch of Doctor Who that started in 2005.  This book features the 9th doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston on the show, with Rose as his companion and takes place during the first season of the show.  In the book the Doctor and Rose have landed in 1920s England and must deal with a killer roaming the street, a missing TARDIS and a house full of secrets.

I am a fan of the new run of Doctor Who, although not its earlier incarnations, and this is my first run at one of the Doctor Who books.  The first thing that really stands out to me is how close they held to the feeling of the show.  Both Rose and the Doctor read on the page just as they do in the book and completely hold up to a fans expectations of the characters.  There are also some nice references to things from the show, including a good Bad Wolf references.  Little Easter eggs like that is fun to see.

The plot itself is a little convoluted at first and hard to get ahold of, but once the story gets going it starts to work itself out.  Maybe it is the longer format of a book but the plot is more round about then you would get in an episode of the show and is overall just not as tight.  The pacing really picks up near the end of the book as things come to a climax.  Once you get a sense of whom the villain is and the motivation the climax comes off as a really fun read.

As with most franchise titles this book has much more focus on the existing characters then on the side characters.  The problem is that the existing characters can’t get much in the way of development because the characters have to end essentially where they started so the characters continue to fit with the show.  There is more opportunity with the new characters introduced for just the book, but because the main characters are the focus this is a missed opportunity.  Couple this with the fact that series books are generally written by different people so there is little expectations of these secondary characters being carried based this one book.  But this is what should be expected for a series based on a television show and it should not be held against the book.  It is just the nature of the beast.

This isn’t really a book for people who don’t watch the show and is definitely targeted at that audience.  If you are a fan however this will be a fun read that will give you new adventures with the Doctor and extend your time with the characters.  I for one enjoyed reading it and look forward to more Doctory goodness.

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 3.6

2 Responses to “Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man”

  1. Doctor Who Fan

    I have been wanting more Doctor Who while waiting for Season 9 to get going but have avoided the novels. I have not had much luck before with media-tie in novels.

    I might give this one a try.

    • Travis Starnes

      I am not going to lie to you, it isn’t perfect. The book has some issues with pacing and dialogue. But as a fan of doctor who it hit all the right points for me.

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