Doctor Who: The Anti-Hero – Stella Duffy
The latest in the Doctor Who Time Trips series sees Stella Duffy taking the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe to the Museum of Alexandria.
Many moons ago I read an article where one of the Doctor Who authors explained that he found the Second Doctor the hardest to write for. This stuck with me and is always at the back of my mind when I read a Second Doctor story – particularly as the comedy double act of the Second Doctor Jamie are probably one of the highlights from the show’s rich history. I don’t know if Stella Duffy found it hard to write this Second Doctor story but I can confirm the finished article is top quality.
Despite my love of the comedy dynamic duo, The Doctor and Jamie never travelled alone* and (during a Twitter chat) Stella Duffy emphatically drew my attention to the fact Zoe also features in The Anti-Hero. Now that I have finished the story I find that not only did Zoe feature but she plays a key role. No spoilers though!
What I immediately enjoyed about The Anti-Hero is that we spend time with the TARDIS crew before the adventure kicks off in full. Classic Who, with its weekly 4 or 6 part stories, had time to linger in the TARDIS setting up a story before the action began – this is somewhat lost in today’s tightly scripted single-part productions. What a delight to have The Anti-Hero open in traditional style and give the reader the chance to see The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie passing time while the TARDIS is in flight.
Some wonderful writing from Stella Duffy reveals Zoe’s observations of The Doctor. Zoe nailing the core of his character as she watches him bustle around the Console Room. A nod to a subsequent regeneration also provided me with a laugh out loud moment.
The Anti-Hero brings all the fun I would want from a Second Doctor story and the secrets within the Museum of Alexandria provided enjoyable and unexpected plot twists. Stella Duffy has delivered a very accessible addition to the Time Trips range, perfect for younger fans that may not have much experience of Troughton’s Doctor.
This range goes from strength to strength and The Anti-Hero is definitely one of the better books in the series.
*It is not CERTAIN that Jamie and the Doctor did not travel alone. Give some thought to the 6th Doctor Story The Two Doctors where Jamie and the Doctor appear and pair up with Peri and the 6th Doctor. Next run ‘Doctor Who Season 6B’ through your favourite search engine!