‘Tell me about Rose Tyler.’ Ali watched as the Doctor peered at some kind of monitor and, satisfied, stepped back from the controls. He turned and beamed at her.
‘Rose? She was funny and tough and clever and resourceful. She saved me, and she saved her boyfriend Mickey, and she saved the whole damned planet.’
At the end of Rose, when she refuses at first to travel with the Doctor, how long is he gone for, before he rematerialises and tells her that it also travels in time? On screen, of course, it is just a few seconds. But here Charlie Higson has the Ninth Doctor – in the first published Ninth Doctor story since 2005 – going off for a whole new adventure with Ali the alien crustacean, taking in both her planet and ancient Babylon. It is short (I felt if anything a bit shorter than the other short books in this series) but effective, and Higson captures Ecclestone’s much missed characterisation very well.