September 6

Doctor Who (Time Trips) The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller – Joanne Harris

Struggling to get back to UNIT HQ, his body being destroyed by radiation, the Third Doctor arrives

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Time Traveller
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Time Traveller

in the most perfect English village, where everyone is happy. But is he really on Earth, or somewhere far more strange? As his body weakens, the Doctor and the Queen of the village begin to unravel the truth.


This is the latest book in the Time Trips series – a new range of novellas featuring The Doctor that are to be written by ‘high profile commercial and literary authors’. Joanne Harris more than meets these credentials with a series of successful novels on her CV (Blackberry Wine, Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes to name just a few).

Loneliness tells a story of The Doctor as he reaches the end of his third incarnation (as portrayed by Jon Pertwee). Fans may be keen to learn that the story fits into the last 5 minutes of Planet of The Spiders – just before The Doctor falls out of his TARDIS and regenerates.

Getting the essence of The Doctor can sometimes be elusive but Joanne Harris captured the ‘Dandy’ element of Pertwee’s Doctor perfectly and I had a great sense of nostalgia as I remembered how much I enjoyed the time when Pertwee was the dashing hero.

Travelling alone on his way back from Metabelis III the TARDIS is diverted to an idyllic English Village. He finds himself under the care of the Queen who is very keen that he ask no questions, tries to blend in and that he keeps his head down. Naturally The Doctor is not keen to take a passive role and trouble ensues.

I don’t want to share any more detail of this story as the impact of this book is in the reading. Joanne Harris seems to have written Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller with the intent of triggering a specific response – if my experience is replicated by others she has succeeded.

I was curious about the Time Trips stories as I have only read a couple of the books thus far. Jenny Colgan wrote Into The Nowhere which featured the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara – it is also very good! So how did Joanne Harris get Jon Pertwee? Through the wonder of Twitter I was able to pose that very question to Joanne Harris and she confirmed that she had a free choice of Doctor and she wanted the Third Doctor. Seeing how the story unfolded I now know why her selection was so perfect.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller was released on 4th September and should be purchased immediately!

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Posted September 6, 2014 by Gordon in category "Doctor Who", "From The Bookshelf