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The Spear of Destiny by Marcus Sedgwick
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It seems a little weird for the Doctor and the Master to be battling over the spear that killed Christ and that Adolf Hitler sought for its power, and it seems even more weird to imagine the Doctor prattling off these facts like they're no big deal. But that's what this series of Doctor Who shorts can be good at: quick adventures from unique voices, not ground into tedious conformity by a lifetime of writing Doctor Who tie-in fiction for Big Finish. I don't know Marcus Sedgwick from Adam, but this is a fun adventure that captures the voices of the third Doctor and Jo Grant well, and features Vikings to boot. What else could one want?
  Stevil2001 | May 23, 2016 |
This Doctor Who Anniversary E-Short (now mercifully published in print form) focuses on the Third Doctor and Jo. One day in 1973 they are sent by the High Council of the Time Lords (in conjunction with UNIT) to retrieve a spear said to belong to Odin himself. But Odin was a god, not a real person… right? The Doctor and Jo are soon going to find out which is true.

I was bound to enjoy this, as I do with many tales involving Norse mythology. It's a very satisfying Doctor Who story, with adventure, a historical/mythological background (as opposed to a futuristic sci-fi background), and Jo being somewhat useful. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 29, 2015 |
I was cutting this one some slack for it's weak story at the beginning, because I having an easy time imagining Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning reading the dialogue, the whole thing went off the rails for me when story of the titular spear was made explicit though. I won't spoil it for anyone who might to give it a read, but as a secular humanist, I found it deeply troubling that one mythology was given a preferred status in this story, treated as if historically true instead of as mythology. Very disappointing for a Doctor Who story.

I've been reading the Fourth Doctor adventure in this series with my son and have been enjoying that one, so took a flyer on this. I won't be reading this to my kids, I wouldn't waste their time with it. ( )
  cdogzilla | May 27, 2013 |
Marcus Sedgwick tackles The Third Doctor in this latest Eshort celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. The Doctor and Jo are trying to recover (or steal, depending on how you want to look at it), a mysterious spear in a museum before it falls into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, somebody already has their eye on the spear, and the Doctor decides to try his hand at some time-traveling subterfuge to make sure that he secures the spear before anyone else.

Of course, nothing goes right, and Jo and the Doctor are captured, and then escape, and are captured again, and run here and there, trying to escape again. Good lord, there is a lot of running about in such a short story. I know the Third Doctor did a lot of running about in the show, but I guess it just comes across differently when you're watching it on a screen as opposed to reading it on a page. Speaking of the nods to the show, this short is chockablock with them: U.N.I.T., the Brigadier, Bessie, the Doctor's 70s fantastic wardrobe. Sedgwick certainly made sure he ticked everything off the Third Doctor checklist. I'm not complaining! He did a great job with the story, it just seemed like all the things from the Third Doctor were in this short. Good job him for pulling it off!

Possible Spoilers!
Something else that I've noticed, and I don't know if this was something that the authors were expected to do with these shorts, but so far each author has tied his story into either a previous historical event, a literary event, or some kind of mix of the two. Eoin Colfer let the First Doctor and his adventure be an inspiration for a certain literary character from J.M. Barrie; Michael Scott clearly borrowed many elements from H.P. Lovecraft for his adventure with the Second Doctor; and now with his adventure for the Third Doctor, Marcus Sedgwick tries to tie together the fabled Spear of Destiny with Norse mythology. I wonder if this is a continuing theme we'll see as the series of Eshorts will continue, or if these were simply one-off coincidences.
End of Possible Spoilers!

The Third Doctor was portrayed by Jon Pertwee from 1970-74. Pertwee's Doctor had been exlied to Earth by the Time Lords, so for the first time we see the Doctor dealing with the same cast of characters and the same locale (Earth) episode to episode. He was a much more adventurous Doctor that had been portrayed, and liked to play with all sorts of vehicular gadgets. I guess since he was locked to one location, they had to come up with something to make the Doctor fun, so throwing a bunch of super-spy tropes the like of which were popular with James Bond made sense. ( )
  tapestry100 | Apr 2, 2013 |

The Doctor and Jo, somewhere in Season 10, are asked to investigate mysterious happenings around a spear held in a private museum, and go back to Sweden in the year 141 to find out what's going on and to discover exactly which bearded villain is behind it all. It's a bit reminiscent of The Time Monster, but a bit lighter (apart from the iconography of the Spear of Destiny, which is actually rather heavy stuff). Sedgwick doesn't quite capture the TV Third Doctor, but then neither does Terrance Dicks if we're honest, and if this wee book is a gateway to a new generation discovering that era of the show, it's fine with me. ( )
  nwhyte | Mar 23, 2013 |
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'You're being very mysterious, Doctor.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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