We have had Doctor Who colouring books, cookbooks, even Mr Men books... But, of all the various Doctor Who tie-in tomes that have been published over the years, we have never had a poetry collection before. At last, James Goss has put that right with his affectionate spoof book of verse, Now We Are Six Hundred.
As the title gives away, the collection is a Doctor Who take on A.A. Milne’s classic children’s poetry book Now We Are Six. As such, most of the poems within are spins on Milne’s own poems. A lovely touch is to have the collection bookended by a tale about the TARDIS landing in One Hundred Acre Wood, in honour of Milne’s most famous creation – bet you never thought you’d see a Doctor Who/Winnie the Pooh crossover.
Goss casts his net wide for Who topics to translate into verse. Make no mistake, the bigger a fan of the show you are, the more you will enjoy this book. For instance, one poem is a humour ode to the Daleks’ evil alien allies from 1966’s The Daleks Master Plan. While the majority of the pieces will have you chuckling, there are a few sprinkled throughout that are quite poignant, too. E.g. “To Her Coy Doctor”, about River’s love for her time-travelling husband.
One of the big draws of this collection for fans will be Russell T. Davies’ long-awaited return to the world of Doctor Who. No, Davies doesn’t provide any of the words, but is on illustrating duties instead. It turns out Davies is a master caricaturist and his joyful, quirky sketches of Doctors, monsters and companions are a delight. Often, Davies will go off on a imaginative tangent and deliver an illustration totally unconnected to Goss’ verse. A highlight is his rewriting of canon by presenting Harriet Jones (you know who she is) surviving her fateful encounter with the Daleks!
A brief book of only slightly more than 100 pages, Now We Are Six Hundred can be read from cover to cover in under an hour, but you will find yourself frequently dipping back into it to peruse Davies’ illustrations or reread the most memorable poems. For this eccentric, loveable release, fans need to dig some money out of their wallet or purse and purchase this book of Doctor Who verse (don’t worry, the poems in the book itself are much better).
NOW WE ARE SIX HUNDRED – A COLLECTION OF TIME LORD VERSE / AUTHOR: JAMES GOSS / ILLUSTRATOR: RUSSELL T. DAVIES / PUBLISHER: BBC BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: 14TH SEPTEMBER