I decided to cheat and instead give you a teaser from one of the stories I am working on this week for Voices, I hope you enjoy it….(subject to editing and change before publication)
She dragged her suitcases inside, and admitted defeat immediately, no way would she get them upstairs with their contents intact. Over the course of the next few hours she traipsed up and down carrying her belongings up to the bedroom before beginning a more in depth exploration of the downstairs. Keys in hand she headed into the kitchen and found the key to unlock to back door. Once the door was opened and letting in a little more light she discovered that the cottage had far more modern conveniences than she had anticipated. Carefully hidden behind doors were fridges, freezers,a washing machine and microwave, most impressive were the radiators carefully hidden behind wooden panels, everything gave the appearance of belonging in the previous century while requiring none of the hard work. She had had the foresight to pick up the basic essentials such as bread and milk by slipping the taxi driver a few extra pounds to pause at the local shop.
The shopkeeper had been naturally curious at a new face but there had been something that passed across their face when she had mentioned why she was here. She could not exact put a name to the emotion and anyone less inclined to pay attention to the details would have missed it but she had definitely seen the shadow that had briefly flitted across the face before it was replaced with a smile and what appeared to be a heartfelt welcome to the community.
It was early when she arose the next morning,a thin shaft of intense sunlight had crept between the edges f the this curtains and bathed her face in golden light. She was amazed at how well she had slept, she had expected the thought of sleeping in a dead woman’s bed to keep her awake but whether it was the fresh country air or fatigue brought on by the days travelling she had fallen into a deep slumber almost as soon as her head had hit the pillow and for the first time since discovering the infidelity she had slept soundly and without tortuous dream plaguing her.
Could you sleep in a dead woman’s bed?
This is one of the paperback 50th Anniversary series and features the First Doctor it was first published June 1st 2002 by Random House UK…
I decided to cheat a little an post an excerpt from the authors introduction, firstly it makes a few things easier to explain but also it will help you make sense of my review.
As you can see the Agatha Christie theme runs through this book not only in terms of a plot outline but also in the chapter titles each of which is an actual book title by Christie.
We start the book off from the point of view of the military unit, predominantly that of Shade initially with more characters becoming known to us as the book progresses. They are in the middle of a war an believe they are about to take part in a training mission on an asteroid. On their arrival they soon discover not all is as they expect it to be and they are not alone.
After a misdirected effort to reach their destination the Doctor, Polly and Ben also find themselves on the asteroid and a force field prevents the re-entering the TARDIS.
I am going to really leave the plot there as I don’t want to give away too much, those who know the Christie original will know people disappear one by one but in this case even that is not what it appears to be.
I have to confess that I am not thrilled by the companion choice for this book, of all the companions down the years these are two of the ones that I have least affection for and really cannot relate to.
My problem is they are very much of their time, the Doctor picks them up from Earth in the 1960’s and mentally they do not really change that much, for my personal taste Ben is far too patronising he references to Polly as ‘Duchess’ annoy me maybe because I used to have a dog by that name and can see similarities between the way he treats her and a pampered pooch. Polly herself is also everything that frustrates me in many female characters, constantly requiring saving, insipid and superficial I just never feel any real depth to her character and her doe eyes at Ben make me feel a little queasy.
Sadly the Doctor himself is rather a non entity in this book, for the majority of the story he remains helpless on the periphery and only in the very last chapters does he real contribute to the story at all.
I know it sounds like I didn’t like the book very much but that is not really true, I liked the idea of it, and I like the story surrounding the space marines and the war they are fighting, but it very much felt like that was the main story and the Doctor was just squeezed in, I think the book could have been written just as well if not better without his presence at all.
If this had been a later, more physically active Doctor and more interesting companions it could have been a different story but I actually think as a first Doctor story it does not really work.
I am going to give it 4 out of 5 which may seem generous but the actual writing is good and the story is good just the Who link that fails in my eyes.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of little Charlie gaining his angel wings and heading off to play amongst the stars, I decided to post today rather than tomorrow on this because it was at this time on the Friday last year I was sat writing at the computer and decided to have a break and mess about on Facebook for an hour before I had to get read for work.
A little after 2pm came a heartbreaking message from Ellie Charlie’s big sister that surrounded by his loving family Charlie had been released from the pain he had fought through for so long and was at peace. For his family their pain was only just beginning, I cannot imagine the pain of saying goodbye, of birthday candle left unlit, an empty chair at Christmas, for Fiona, Joey and Ellie it was the first day of the rest of their lives, but they will always be days with one special person missing. In his memory they have gone on to set up a charity Cords4Life in an attempt to ensure no other parents share their pain. They have done his memory proud and created a Legacy which will carry on for years to come.
And what did Charlie teach me? Never to give up, that no matter how hard things get that determination will carry you further than you ever thought possible. That life is too short to settle for anything, that if you are not happy then you should make changes to take control of your own destiny where you can. And that what is really important is making every day as special as it can be, you never know how many tomorrows there will be.
When children face death they do it with a dignity, resilience and spirit we adults can learn so much from, they never give up fighting to the last breath because they never learnt to quit. If you need to see real strength of character look into the eyes of a child who has fought for their lives, those old eyes in young faces show the truths we would all do well to learn.
Serenity slips away
As I remember you are gone.
The mask I wear
To hide the pain of your absence
Cracks and falls.
Crumpled corners frame your face
Frozen in a perfect moment in time.
Serenity slips away
When I see you in a crowd before
That pain in my heart
That crushes the illusion of you near.
Press play upon a screen
To help relive my dreams you are still here.
With eyes firmly closed
Face buried in your things I cling to sensations.
Your scent still lingers
On clothes that will never be worn again.
Only in my dreams
When you are close by me I feel
Your breath on my cheek,
Then for the shortest time
A while ago I started this poem in honour of my favourite show I decided today to dig it out, I was intending working on it before publishing it however it took me so long to locate it I decided instead to share it as it is then once I have reworked it I will share again so you can compare.
Through the never ending forest
The eternal river runs.
The flame-haired Goddess
Looks down from on high
As a tired old soldier sits and
Ponders the reason why
Young lovers must be sacrificed
To quench the angels thirst
While silence fall and surrounds
The fallen warrior standing sentinel
By the box of broken dreams.
The crying child sheds diamond tears
For the man who stands alone
The ice around his heart
Cannot quell the fire in his soul
As he watches those he loves
Fall and fade, destroyed
In all of time and space
He cannot find his peace
Such is the fate
For the timeless Lord.
I did debate whether to actually do these in order but decided against it after all very few Who fans will have ever watched every single episode in order initially so I shall use Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey and jump back and forth.
Today I am going to look at a newer episode The Eleventh Hour which sees us introduced to the 11th Doctor which seems fitting as in only a few weeks we know he will play the role for the final time.
Story Title; The Eleventh Hour
the Eleventh Doctor played by Matt Smith
Amy Pond played by Karen Gillan
First Aired in the UK:
“The Eleventh Hour” was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 3 April 2010. Overnight figures reported that 8 million watched the episode on BBC One and the simulcast on BBC HD. Final consolidated figures rose to 9.59 million on BBC One and 494,000 on BBC HD, making the final rating for the episode 10.08 million viewers, the most-watched première since “Rose” and the eighth highest rated episode since Doctor Who‘s 2005 return. The episode was second for the entire week on BBC One and number four for the week across all channels. The episode earned an Appreciation Index of 86, considered “excellent”.
The episode was also popular on BBC’s online iPlayer. Within one week of broadcast, “The Eleventh Hour” received 1.27 million hits on BBC’s online iPlayer service, the record for most requests in a week. It went on to become the most requested episode of 2010 with 2.241 million views; Doctor Who was named the most watched programme of the year on the service. Stats taken from Wikipedia
We ended the previous series with the Tenth Doctors obvious pain at his impending regeneration, many people have divided opinions about whether it was tear jerking or whiny but either way Matt Smith’s comic genius in this episode was the perfect antidote. There are times where some of the lines do sound a little like the were written for the previous Doctor but overall he imposes his personality onto the role within minutes of climbing out of the wrecked Tardis. His first human contact is with a little girl Amelia Pond who has something living in her house. He sets off to take a quick hop to the future but returns years later to find Amelia has grown into Amy, a feisty young lady determined not to take any nonsense. The monster living in her house can take the form of any person with whom it has formed a bond,
We also see Rory in this episode but there is no hint of his role in episodes to come. In fact at the end of this episode Amy does the same as Rose and runs off with the Doctor leaving her poor boyfriend behind, not a trait which endeared Rose to me.
I could spend ages discussing this episode in depth but I don’t want to it was a great romp and this clip shows Smith firmly gripping the Doctor mantle
But for this episode I want to talk about something very important to Doctor Who and that is family, the show was designed for family viewing (though some older who fans seem to have forgotten this now and believe it is made solely for their benefit) and in my house this episode marked not only a new Doctor but a new viewer. My daughter, all grown up was a definite Tennant fan girl, who was determined not to watch it (that didn’t last long and she fell for Smiths Doctor just as much) but my own little monster was at an age where he was beginning to really take notice of things and he fell in love with the show. For him Smith was his first Doctor and though he loves all the Doctors except number Six but you can’t really blame him for that, he does prefer the new series. There are so few programmes you can all sit down to and watch as a family where you can all take equal enjoyment from but more than that there is something so heart warming about the first time your child learns to love something you love rather than you just watching along with kids TV. The monster and I have hours of fun playing with Doctor Who toys, reading his magazines and books, watching episodes together, we even went to The National Media Museum for a Doctor Who day out. we have been to watch the 50th special at the cinema together and in doing so have shared a part of history.
Fandom is great but sharing your passion with those you love means even more, I know there will probably come a day where the monster decides it isn’t ‘cool’ to watch Who but I know that I have given him a gift that in years to come he will come back to and one day he will sit with his arm round his own little monsters as they watch Daleks exterminate.