Review: Doctor Who – A Big Hand For The Doctor / Author: Eoin Colfer / Publisher: Puffin / Release Date: Out Now
As part of their slice of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary action, Puffin are releasing a short story every month. Each is written by a well-known author and the series kicks off with Eoin Colfer’s A Big Hand For The Doctor. This is a so-called eshort, in other words an eBook only (available on Amazon for Kindle) short story. The collection will be available in print form around the time of the actual anniversary. Until then we get the chance to collect each story as the excitement builds.
The obvious sequence of First Doctor in January, Second in February and so on is being followed. Colfer has stated he is pleased to get the chance to re-visit the Hartnell years but expects scrutiny. Which means he's probably braced for what we're going to say.
The Doctor is in Victorian London chasing down the Soul Pirates who snatch children away at night for diabolical purposes. To this end he's become an action hero complete with temporary cybernetic hand and a daredevil attitude. As a story in its own right it is fine, and it makes for a fun tale. Trouble is, it doesn't exactly sit comfortably with the First Doctor – if anything, this feels more nu-Who than classic Who. The last third of the story has some touching moments of introspection, but the whole thing leaves you introspective too, wondering whether, even at only £1.99, it was really worth the bother.