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Tales of Trenzalore by Justin Richards

Tales of Trenzalore

by Justin Richards

Other authors: Paul Finch (Contributor), George Mann (Contributor), Mark Morris (Contributor)

Series: Doctor Who

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If you're a Doctor Who fan, then you probably know that in the 2013 Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor," the Doctor spent a long, long time on the planet Trenzalore. We only saw a tiny bit of his time there during the episode, which means that there's a lot of scope for filling in the blanks. This book provides four short stories, set at different points during the Doctor's extended stay, which attempt to do some of that. And... Well, to be honest, I wonder why they bothered.

OK, I did rather like the final story, Mark Morris's "The Dreaming," which at least featured an unusual choice of villain and some wonderfully Doctorish dialog. But even that felt underdeveloped, and the other stories were even slighter and less memorable. They're not bad, really. But they do seem kind of pointless. None of them does anything particularly new or interesting with its familiar bad guys -- indeed, the one with the Autons doesn't really do anything with them at all -- and while the characterization of the Doctor is mostly decent and fits well enough with what we saw on screen, there's absolutely nothing added to it, either. Which just seems like such a lost opportunity, as there is so much room for some insightful character exploration in this setup.

Rating: 2.5/5. I considered bumping it up a half star just for "The Dreaming," but, honestly, even that story doesn't make this collection anything but skippable. ( )
1 vote bragan | Jan 20, 2016 |
Four stories from the Doctor 's life when he was the defender of Trenzalore. While they're entertaining, the only thing I could think of reading this book was how unnecessary these short stories are. We will know nothing new or surprising about nor the Doctor neither the whole background situation. Just for fans. ( )
  TheCrow2 | Aug 13, 2015 |
Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand by Justin Richards, Mark Morris, George Mann, Paul Finch

This tale of the Eleventh incarnation of the Time Lord known as the Doctor. The planet Trenzalore is where the Doctor ultimately meets his death defending the town of Christmas. These four stories occur before he dies and recount how he met and defeated aliens sent to assassinate him. Each story stands on its own and frankly after a while seemed be repetitive. If you are a Whovian I will whole heartedly recommend this collection of short stories. If you are not a Dr Who fan I would steer you away from this collection. There are undoubtedly better books which will introduce you to the Doctor. ( )
  Cataloger623 | Nov 8, 2014 |
A book of short stories filling in the gaps that is a great read but some of the stories are 5 star and some not quite there. The 'Time of the Doctor' episode left a lot of room to show how his time as he aged was filled with alien encounters and the 4 stories fit in well. The first story by Justin Richards 'Let in Snow' with the Ice Warriors immediately impressed, the Krynoid in the second story 'An Apple a Day' by George Mann has a great deal of humour, then we have the Autons in 'Strangers in the Outland' by Paul Finch and finally 'The Dreaming' by Mark Morris with the Mara.
The first story was definitely my favourite and seemed to fit best with the wintry town of 'Christmas' scene but they all had a good sense of the Doctor and I would recommend this to any Who fans. ( )
  arkgirl1 | Aug 27, 2014 |
To be honest, the 11th Doctor was one of the Doctor I didn't quite attune with mostly because his whole story revolve around him rather than the simplistic 9th and 10th theme of travelling around the universe, exploring and finding new people and get into trouble. It did began like that but by the end of the 5th, 6th and 7th series, its really just about the Doctor saving the world with his wit and smarts and a wish of the sonic screwdriver and his lovely companions. However, the original series does feel disjointed through the years which was enough that made this Trenzalore novelization book seemingly okay to be read by non-Whovians. Because really, the short stories doesn't revolve around the Doctor but rather what happen to the Trenzalorean's lives with the Doctor in it and the invaders that didn't seem to have anything more than a mission to try to end the Doctor's life, again. Basically a series refresher 101 all over again.

The Trenzalore story arc was compressed in 2013's Christmas story, basically during the Trenzalore seige and Doctor's spending several decades defending Trenzalore's town, Christmas. One of my main issue with the story was introduction of many monster characters that made the superhero plot predictable. Basically, you introduce a monster and the Doctor talk some weird thing and with a clever deus ex machina, everyone was saved. Which is the common thread shared by the short stories; Let it Snow by Justin Richards, An Apple a Day by George Mann, Strangers in the Outland by Paul Finch and The Dreaming by Mark Morris.

Despite being standalone stories, it wasn't much a necessary read as I thought it would be. I do like Mark Morris' writing more although I can't say the same with the rest of the shorts. I always felt I am detached from the Doctor as a character by Matt Smith but I felt it even more with this mini-stories. I'm sure the whole multiple alien invasion is fascinating to some but what I was expecting was an enhanced experience of Doctor's life in Trenzalore, I'm not really interested with "Monster came and Doctor saved the day" which was overused so so so many time with 11th. I know its supposed to be a fantasy and not full science fiction but still, the Doctor is just a time lord and Moffat apparently think having too many time lords made the Doctor extra non-special. What?

Then again, with Tales of Trenzalore, I would be more interested if the story was an actual prolonged interpretation of "The Time of the Doctor". I mean, Doctor's relationship with Handles or more story with Tasha Lem, the mysteries of Trenzalore (its a PLANET!), his actual relationships with the actual characters like Clara, Barnables, the residents other than the guy who hated the Doctor for existing in a period where invasion happen all over and over. I mean, seriously, nobody think of a short of a first POV Clara stuck with Tardis or even put some similarities with the John Barrowman? Or River Song cameo? Oh, and those Weeping Angels! No? Heck, why not put some time agents or something. Or somebody to write the novelizations as an attempt to address the ginormous plot holes the story skip around these few years. I was really anticipating that more. The Doctor isn't a one dimensional character, he had a dozen personalities and you can have a free run with them. Why couldn't the official novelizations explore more sides of the Doctor other than procedural comic book superhero trope? Oh, I forgot, this is internet and we have more fanfics.

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  aoibhealfae | Jun 2, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Justin Richardsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Finch, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mann, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morris, MarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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As it had been foretold, the armies of the universe gathered at Trenzalore.
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As it had been foretold, the armies of the Universe gathered at Trenzalore. Only one thing stood between the planet and destruction- the Doctor. For nine hundred years, he defended the planet, and the tiny town of Christmas, against the forces that would destroy it. Some of what happened during those terrible years is well documented. But most of it has remained shrouded in mystery and darkness. Until now. This is a glimpse of just some of the terrors the people faced, the monstrous threats the Doctor defeated. These are the tales of the monsters who found themselves afraid - and of the one man who was not. -- Publisher.… (more)

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