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The Story of Martha (Doctor Who) by Dan…
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The Story of Martha (Doctor Who) (edition 2008)

by Dan Abnett (Author)

Series: Doctor Who: New Series Adventures (28), Doctor Who (Short Stories)

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2261192,131 (3.37)6
The full story of Martha Jones' 'lost year' helping defeat the Master - from the bestselling BBC Books Doctor Who fiction range
Member:Sutekh_USyd
Title:The Story of Martha (Doctor Who)
Authors:Dan Abnett (Author)
Info:BBC Books (2008), Edition: First Printing, 256 pages
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The Story of Martha by Dan Abnett

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‘Doctor Who’ is a hugely successful, long running British science fiction television programme. It is about man, a Time Lord, called the ‘Doctor’, who travels in space and time and has adventures. The Doctor can regenerate, meaning that when he is mortally wounded or just old, his body takes on another form and personality. This allows the series to be repeatedly refreshed and for newspapers to speculate about there ever being a woman Doctor one day whenever a regeneration is announced.
The Doctor travels with a companion, usually a human from the twentieth century, usually an attractive woman, but not in a Yewtree way. The companion’s role is very important; the companion is a proxy for the viewer, asking questions about strange times and places, and is ‘something for the dads’.
Doctor Who is a children’s television programme. At least it was. It has now been going for more than fifty years and lots of people who watched it, famously from behind the sofa during some of the scarier, more tentacle-prone moments, are now adults. As the programme has formed a constant backdrop to the childhood of many adults, it is beloved, and each different adult age group will identify with ‘their’ Doctor, that is, the incarnation of the Doctor who was saving the world every Saturday tea-time when they were growing up.
Being beloved didn’t prevent those Bastards at the BBC from cancelling the programme in the 1980s however. One suspects that the budget was required for Gritty Soaps (known in the trade as ‘exfoliants’), Gritty Drama, programmes about Policemen with Quirks, hugely expensive (‘lavish’) costume dramas (‘bonnets, britches and bitches’) or possibly just to pay the claret bill of the BBC management.
One thing about science fiction fans, they love to read. When the programme was off the air, the spiritual void was filled with a succession of books and ‘audio adventures’ about the Doctor.
These new adventures did two things, they fed the fans desire, and they provided excellent opportunities for heated debate about what was, and was not, cannon, when the programme was re-commissioned.
The Doctor back on the screen did not stop the Doctor on the page. The BBC cashed in with a new series of new adventures in print featuring the new Doctor and new companion.
‘The Story of Martha’ is somewhat unusual in that it is a direct tie-in with a television episode. A renegade Time Lord called the Master has enslaved humanity, occupied Earth with an alien force and imprisoned the Doctor. Things look grim. It’s up to the Doctor’s companion, Martha Jones, to walk the Earth, dodging psychotic alien spheres and human collaborators, spreading the word of the Doctor and rallying the resistance. It’s essentially the story of what happens to Martha between two episodes of the programme and so ironically can be called a companion to the companion.
It’s also rather good. Martha’s mission is to inspire humanity, which she does through stories of the Doctor, so we have Martha having adventures on occupied Earth and then a short story showing how brilliant and inspiring the Doctor is.
The short stories, all from different authors, are pleasing short, and one can imagine them gracing the pages of any ‘Doctor Who Annual’, sandwiched between the puzzles and alien guides. The connecting narrative is actually rather good. Abnett draws on the French resistance during World War II as the basis for what it is like to be an agent behind enemy lines, a parallel acknowledged by setting the early part of the book in France and making frequent reference to the Resistance. Then things get more exotic, and rather grimmer, as Martha travels East. This is occupation on a global scale and humanity really is up against it, except for the collaborators, who are ruthlessly hunting down Martha in a global manhunt (womanhunt?).
There’s time for thrills, twists and unexpected nobility.
Any reader who has seen the episodes that bookend this book will enjoy it, even though they know the ending. Anyone unfamiliar with ‘Doctor Who’ will probably enjoy a decent ‘Earth in peril’ yarn with a compelling overarching narrative and some interesting, short, short stories about ‘the Doctor’. ( )
  macnabbs | Nov 1, 2019 |
I've been a Doctor Who fans for a couple of years now, and I have also enjoyed the books for a handful of years, but I had only focued on the two (and later three) companions that were my absolute favourites (Rose, Amy, and Clara, in case you wanted to know) and didn't really add any Martha or Donna books to my tbr list. Until I found out that this particular book told the story of her one year around the world between The Sound of Drums and The Last of the Time Lords. Now that was something I was interested in!

Like I said, The Story of Martha tells how Martha traveled the world, looking for a way to defeat the Master and save the earth. And she does it, by telling stories. We all knew this already, but we didn't know which stories she told, where she went and who helped her around the world. In this book, we find out most of it!

It starts off two weeks after she used Jack's vortex manipulator to escape from the HMS Valiant, and she's in London trying her best not to get caught. She goes to France, to Turkey, Russia and eventually Japan. In each of these places she meets people and she tells them stories. Stories of her adventures with the Doctor.

There are four short stories in this book, written by different authors, and to be honest I quite liked them, but the last one was a bit 'meh'. It kind of felt a bit like a repeat of The Doctor's Daughter with two sides fighting about something and then finding out something was not quite the way they believed it was. Other than that, the stories were short but nice to read.

As for the story of Martha traveling around the world, I enjoyed that very much. Martha has never really been my favourite companion (mostly because the others were just my favourite more), but I thought the last three episodes of her season were very good. So this extra bit of story for those episodes was very nice in my opinion. I especially wanted to know about the burning of Japan, which Martha barely escaped from, according to The Last of the Timelords.

I honestly had wished to read more about her adventures, because I believe there was still half a year or so to go after she'd escaped Japan, but I was very happy with what we got. Dan Abnett's writing is very nice, I'd read The Silent Stars Go By written by him and enjoyed it very much. I've just found out he's written stuff for Marvel as well, so I think I am definitely checking that out soon!

In the end, The Story of Martha was a nice addition to the episodes, and I honestly enjoyed it very much! If you like Martha and you want to know how she survived that terrible year of the Master's rule over earth? Definitely pick up this book!

My opinion on this book in one gif:

( )
  october.tune | Nov 15, 2017 |
This is the story of Martha's lost year -- the awful year in Season 3 of the rebooted Doctor Who where the Master, Harold Saxon, ruled the world and age-ified the Doctor into something resembling a house elf. Martha escaped Saxon's clutches and walked the world to spread the word of the Doctor during this dark period. We see her becoming more resourceful and learning to think like a spy, and we hear the stories she tells to inspire her fellow members of the resistance. This book met my expectations and no more, so it is a 3-star read. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Apr 27, 2017 |
Not quite an anthology, this book is made up of linked stories describing how Martha traveled the world and helped lead the resistance against the Master during the "year that never was". Stories within the stories are adventures with the Doctor that she used to illustrate points to the people she meets in her travels. ( )
  SF_fan_mae | Jan 15, 2016 |
A neat way to present a bunch of short stories featuring the Doctor and Martha - told as she travels the world in the year before rescuing the Doctor in the show. ( )
  jean-duteau | May 14, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dan Abnettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jowett, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lockley, SteveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roden, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shearman, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Space Lane Traffic is advised to stay away from Sol: 3, also known as Earth. Pilots are warned Sol: 3 is now entering Terminal Extinction. Planet Earth is closed. Planet Earth is closed. Planet Earth is closed...
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It felt as if the whole world was made out of night.
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