The first three Eleventh Doctor novels were published last week, and I entirely randomly decided to start with the one written by my cousin. Actually I think Brian is the first script editor of Doctor Who to have a spinoff novel published while his episodes were being shown (though David Whitaker, of course, set the ball rolling with the very first Doctor Who novelisation back in 1964).
It is a good yarn. The Doctor and Amy land in contemporary New York, where a newly discovered mammoth in the Natural History Museum comes to life and starts causing chaos – but turns out to be harbouring a much more dangerous secret; and an army of Vykoids brings chaos to Manhattan even if they are only seven centimentres tall. It’s aimed at a younger readership – more so than the Ninth and Tenth Doctor novels I have read – but that just means you get it for your 8-13 year old friends or relatives and then borrow it back. Or read it first yourself. Or just forget to give it to them.
As you would hope from the show’s script editor, the novel catches the Doctor and Amy perfectly, particularly when the Doctor is put out of action for a couple of chapters and Amy has to take over the narrative. Trinity Wells, famous American newsreader, gets gratifyingly namechecked, and there are references also to mysterious cracks (qv) and to Nile Penguins (which baffled me but looked Significant). Mutual relatives will note with appreciation that the three main supporting characters are called Sam, Oscar and Polly; actually this will be a lasting source of pleasure to three of our younger relatives, though at least one of them is too small to notice as yet. (And apparently the great centres of learning include Yale, Harvard and Aberystwyth.)
I have the other two novels on the shelf, and will report back on them in due course, but this was a good start to the Eleventh Doctor’s career in dead tree format.