HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Doctor Who: Scratchman by Tom Baker
Loading...

Doctor Who: Scratchman (edition 2019)

by Tom Baker (Author), James Goss (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
977215,773 (3.89)2
In his first-ever Doctor Who novel, Tom Baker'sincredible imagination is given free rein. A story so epic it was originallyintended for the big screen, Scratchman is a gripping, white-knuckle thrilleralmost forty years in the making. The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at aremote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance ofstrange creatures - hideous scarecrows, who are preying on the local population.The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But itdoesn't go to plan - the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchmanis coming for them. With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance,the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claimsto be the Devil. Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. Andthe Doctor's worst nightmares are coming out to play...… (more)
Member:stevepugh
Title:Doctor Who: Scratchman
Authors:Tom Baker (Author)
Other authors:James Goss (Author)
Info:BBC Books (2019), Edition: 01, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:!ebook

Work details

Scratchman by Tom Baker (Author)

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
We waited forty years for this?

This story began as a film treatment by Baker and then-co-star Ian Marter in the 1970s, but nothing ever came of it and it was forgotten by all but the most loyal Whovians. I suppose the popularity of original Doctor Who novels was the incentive for its resurrection (or regeneration?)

I don't know what the original story was like, but this iteration is a mess.

The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane arrive at a coastal Scottish village to find most of the inhabitants have been turned into scarecrows. Some kind of...scarecrow virus? Nanomachines? Something? Don't think about it. Especially don't think about the stupid, stupid supermoths.

After holing up with the few remaining survivors, Harry and Sarah Jane are spirited away to the realm of Scratchman, which seems a lot like Hell. Why do these things so closely resemble human mythology? Don't think about it.

Once the Doctor enters the dimension of Scratchman to rescue his friends, any remaining logic (there wasn't that much to begin with) flies out the door. Literally anything can happen, because the place is governed by people's thoughts. Doctor Who was never a hard science show exactly, but this is complete fantasy so why bother? When anything can happen at the whim of the authors, there is no suspense or investment on the part of the reader. It's like reading a long dream sequence, which I hate.

Cybermen appear for no reason other than to offer a deus ex machina rescue late in the story.

The story is told in the first person by the Doctor which is a bad choice because it crushes any of the mystique that is an essential part of his character. It also requires a contrived explanation about how he knows what happened when he wasn't around. (Something TARDIS telepathic time travel something... at the very least it means he's poking around in his companions' thoughts which is creepy.) The framing story, in which the Doctor is put on trial and has to justify his actions to the other Time Lords, is unnecessary and unconvincing.

Honestly, the whole thing comes off as a thinly-veiled religious screed, which is extremely odd as Baker is an atheist. I don't know who James Goss is; maybe it's his fault. The book is also written at a level for young children, like the old Target novelizations. I was hoping for something more mature along the lines of the BBC original novels that came out in the 90s.

The only good thing about this is that the characters from the show are faithfully depicted, so there are a few brief moments now and again that are nice. And there's a reference to Worzel Gummidge that made me chuckle.

For a much better adventure involving sinister scarecrows, read [b:Doctor Who: The Hollow Men|814513|Doctor Who The Hollow Men|Keith Topping|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1469477931l/814513._SY75_.jpg|800437].

For a much better recreation of the Fourth Doctor era, read [b:Doctor Who: Festival of Death|71405|Doctor Who Festival of Death|Jonathan Morris|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1530834145l/71405._SY75_.jpg|69149]. ( )
  chaosfox | May 1, 2020 |
Very fun read. The first person narration worked well here. Enjoyed the chance for the 4th doctor to meet representations of past (and future) selves. ( )
  SF_fan_mae | Feb 9, 2020 |
In Scratchman Tom Baker and James Goss adapt Baker and Ian Marter’s unrealized script for a Doctor Who feature film that they eventually abandoned by the late 1970s. The story begins with the Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, and Harry Sullivan arriving at a remote Scottish island, where they discover that living scarecrows are terrorizing the inhabitants. The Doctor works to save them, but soon finds out that another force controls the scarecrows: Scratchman. Scratchman comes from an alternate dimension and, through a tiny tear between the two, has influenced events in our dimension for thousands of years, becoming the Devil in Earth’s mythology as he feeds off of fears and emotional vulnerability. (In this, the character joins the pantheon of devils from Doctor Who, including the Dæmons [Third Doctor], Sutekh [Fourth Doctor], and the Beast [Tenth Doctor].) Scratchman takes Sarah and Harry, so the Doctor must travel to his dimension to rescue them and defeat Scratch.

Scratchman will delight fans of Baker’s Fourth Doctor, particularly as Baker writes the Doctor’s scenes in the first-person, thereby giving insight into how he perceived his character. Furthermore, Baker is the only actor to play the Doctor who has also written a Doctor Who novel, though Colin Baker did write a comic and several short stories featuring his Sixth Doctor. In drawing upon the well of Doctor Who history, the story features a Time Lord trial as a framing device, with the Doctor challenging the Time Lords’ lack of involvement in the larger affairs of the universe, possibly as a way to foreshadow the Time War. He also encounters his Thirteenth incarnation, with her “northern accent” and “rainbow stripes on her blouse” (pg. 182). In this, Baker uses the novel to create a meeting and conversation that couldn’t occur on-screen without a great deal of video editing and computer effects, just as he can depict the big finale he envisioned in the early 1970s without worry of the cost of special effects. A fun read for Baker’s fans. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jan 20, 2020 |
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3248168.html

At long last, a project discussed between Tom Baker and Ian Marter in the mid-1970s sees the light of day, with a lot of heavy lifting from James Goss (who as my regular reader knows is my favourite of the current Who writers). Unusually, it is told by the Fourth Doctor in the first person. Goss has done this successfully a couple of tines before - with the Tenth Doctor in Dead Air and Rhys from Torchwood in Ghost Train. It's been done less successfully for the Fourth Doctor by other writers, notably Keith Topping, the venerable Terrance Dicks, and to an extent Jim Mortimore. The collaboration between Baker and Goss has worked well here, with the authentic voice of Baker's Doctor coming through strongly.

The book itself has two very different halves. The first is a bleak and effective horror story with killer scarecrows on a Scottish island, some excellent taut writing and grim visuals. In the second half, the Tardis crew are brought to the realm of Scratchman (ie the Devil) for a succession of surreal adventures which don't really work quite as well, but are none the less entertaining to read. It's a fascinating exercise in reviving a 1970s dream, and although it is not perfect it works well enough, with some nice nods to more recent Who and to the Sarah Jane Adventures.
( )
  nwhyte | Sep 1, 2019 |
I read the book but also enjoyed listening to Tom Baker read the story. ( )
  marysneedle | Aug 4, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Baker, TomAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goss, JamesGhostwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The Time Lord was late.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

In his first-ever Doctor Who novel, Tom Baker'sincredible imagination is given free rein. A story so epic it was originallyintended for the big screen, Scratchman is a gripping, white-knuckle thrilleralmost forty years in the making. The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at aremote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance ofstrange creatures - hideous scarecrows, who are preying on the local population.The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But itdoesn't go to plan - the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchmanis coming for them. With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance,the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claimsto be the Devil. Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. Andthe Doctor's worst nightmares are coming out to play...

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Novelisation of an unproduced Doctor Who movie titled "Doctor Who Meets Scratchman". Tom Baker is the credited author, James Goss was the ghostwriter; Baker was a consultant on the novelisation, and co-wrote the original movie treatment with Ian Marter (see: Tardis: The Doctor Who Wiki).
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 2
3.5
4 9
4.5 3
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 157,328,780 books! | Top bar: Always visible