17 January 2015

A good book featuring a good man (Book Review: 'Doctor Who: Ghosts of India')


And thus my series of Doctor Who reviews concludes with a novel featuring what is still my favourite Doctor.

Where we're at

Set during Season 30/Series 4, this features the Tenth Doctor and Donna.

The plot

The Doctor and Donna head for Calcutta in 1937... and end up arriving ten years later, at a turbulent time in India's history (i.e. just before independence). People are going missing and strange white 'half-made' men are appearing. Teaming up with Gandhi, the time travellers investigate.

What works
  • Gandhi is a bit of an unusual choice for a 'celebrity historical', but it works here. I get the impression of what was a very good man, whose untimely death arguably made things worse for South Asia in the longer term. His goodness actually plays a key role in the plot.
  • The two regulars are portrayed very well; the Tenth Doctor in particular.
  • Some good gadgets feature in this and the sonic screwdriver also gets some nice usage here, although some stuff about how it works is contradicted by later TV episodes.

What doesn't
  • The big twist is good... but looking at other reviews, I'm inclined to agree it's a bit humdrum and it would have been better with a double twist.
  • I'd have personally liked to come out of this book with a bit further knowledge of the real events that took place around Indian and Pakistani independence.


A good novel, but not one of my personal favourites.


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