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Doctor Who: Scratchman by Tom Baker

Doctor Who: Scratchman (edition 2019)

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

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656289,139 (4.08)1
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)
Title:Doctor Who: Scratchman
Authors:Tom Baker (Author)
Other authors:James Goss (Author)
Info:BBC Books (2019), Edition: 01, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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Scratchman by Tom Baker (Author)



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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 |

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 |

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was totally Tom as the doctor, creepy, and bonkers and exciting all at the same time. An idea for a 70s movie reborn as a novel. As I read the novel it was almost as if I was watching a Doctor Who episode. It was very well written with the aid of James Goss who did the novelizations of the Douglas Adams Doctor Who stories. I found it fascinating, the jigsaw room in the Tardis was new to me. I do not remember this room being referred to in the past Doctor Who lore. I also don't think the Doctor reveals his deepest secret unless it is fear itself and letting it take over, something the Doctor cannot afford if he is to keep the universe safe. I also did not expect the nod to the thirteenth Doctor at the very end. Tom was my first Doctor and will always be one of my top favorite incarnations of the Doctor. I hope he has another story or two up his sleeve. ( )
  marysneedle | Jun 22, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Baker, TomAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goss, Jamessecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Time Lord was late.
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