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Short Trips: The Centenarian by Ian…

Short Trips: The Centenarian

by Ian Farrington

Other authors: Benjamin Adams (Contributor), Samantha Baker (Contributor), John Davies (Contributor), Simon Guerrier (Contributor), Stephen Hatcher (Contributor)12 more, Lizzie Hopley (Contributor), Joseph Lidster (Contributor), Glen McCoy (Contributor), Ian Mond (Contributor), James Parsons (Contributor), Stel Pavlou (Contributor), Gary Russell (Contributor), Richard Salter (Contributor), Steven Savile (Contributor), L. J. Scott (Contributor), Andrew Stirling-Brown (Contributor), Brian Willis (Contributor)

Series: Doctor Who (Short Trips), Doctor Who: Short Trips (17)

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This was the first short trips book I read and I loved it. I have been collecting all of them. They are short stories written about the doctor however they are not regurgitating the episode stories. Some of them are written by the authors that are directly envovled with the Doctor who classic episodes.
The only thing I am not too thrilled with is the short trip anthologies are limited to the 1st eight doctors. I think there are legal reasons for this.
Any way the Centurion follows the doctors involvement with one man thru out his life.
It was really interesting to see how they had them cross paths at crucial points in Edward Grainger's life.
Like I said I enjoyed this one so much it made me hunt down all the ones I could find of the others. ( )
  marysneedle | Mar 29, 2013 |

This is one of the better volumes I have read in the series. Edward Grainger, born in 1906, find himself bumping into the Doctor repeatedly over the following century. Poor chap, he often seems to be on the spot when alien invasion threatens Earth, but he is not the only character in the Whoniverse of whom this is true, and at least he spends part of his career as a spy so there is some excuse. The standount story for me was 'The Church of Football', by Benjamin Adams, an account of the Fifth Doctor's visit to a Sheffield United v. Arsenal match in 1936 told in the first person by Peri Brown. I was a little disappointed that Grainger didn't pop up in the background of any of the Old Who stories with contemporary settings - the one reference to UNIT seemed anachronistic to me - but it's generally a good collection. ( )
  nwhyte | May 1, 2010 |
This is one of those pieces of tie-in fiction with a fantastic premise that only tie-in fiction can do: a man who has gone his whole life with the Doctor dropping in and out of it, a different Doctor every time-- but always the same man. Unfortunately, the execution doesn't quite live up to the premise: many of the stories aren't very interesting. There's rather too many possession stories, which is unfortunate; alien entities seem determined to take over everyone in Edward Grainger's circle of friend and acquaintances: "Echoes" by Gary Russell (with the most unconvincing sound monster ever), "Falling from Xi'an" by Steven Saville, "Log 384" by Richard Salter, "Ancient Whispers" by Brian Willis, "First Born" by Lizzie Hopley, "Dear John" by John Davies, and "Forgotten" by Joseph Lidster all use this idea, though some of them are decent stories regardless. Many others suffer underwhelming endings: in "The Church of Football" by Benjamin Adams, the Doctor simply has an off-screen conversation with the bad guy that sends him running. Ooh, exciting. "Log 384" by Salter, "Checkpoint" by Stel Pavlou, and "The Lost" by L. J. Scott are all guilty of this as well.

Nothing even happens in James Parsons & Andrew Stirling-Brown's "Old Boys", though it is amusing. And then there's "Dream Devils" by Glen McCoy. Why Ian Farrington ever though getting the writer of Timelash in was a good idea, I'll never know, but it's every bit as awful as you'd expect. Unfortunately, the character of Grainger doesn't exactly provide a strong link to overcome the individual stories' problems: he's thinly characterized, especially at first, probably because the authors contort to keep him from encountering the Doctor too much, as they go for a slow realization on his part that all these strange men he keeps on meeting are the one and the same. As a result, he's often on the periphery of the stories, and occasionally completely unimportant to them-- or not in them at all. Which is a bit weird considering the alleged premise.

There were a few individual stories I liked: "Childhood Living" by Samantha Baker was my favorite, a touching tale of two grandfathers meeting some aliens from The Tomorrow People of all places. Simon Guerrier's "Incongruous Details" was pretty decent, too, and despite the book's various problems, Lidster's "Forgotten" still gave the whole thing an emotional send-off.
  Stevil2001 | Feb 7, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Farringtonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, BenjaminContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, SamanthaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davies, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guerrier, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hatcher, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hopley, LizzieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lidster, JosephContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCoy, GlenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mond, IanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parsons, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pavlou, StelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, GaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salter, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Savile, StevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scott, L. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stirling-Brown, AndrewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willis, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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