Monday, November 13, 2017

Doctor Who: Myths & Legends ~ Richard Dinnick (earc) review [@richarddinnick @bbcdoctorwho]

Adrian Salmon, illustrator
Doctor Who: Myths and Legends
BBC Books/Penguin Group UK
September 12, 2017 (International)/June 29, 2017 (UK)
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

For thousands of years, epic stories have been passed down from Time Lord to student, generation to generation. The truth of these tales was lost millennia ago, but the myths and legends themselves are timeless.

These are the most enduring of those tales. From the princess Manussa and her giant snake Mara, to the Vardon Horse of Xeriphin, these stories shed light on the universe around us and the beings from other worlds that we meet. Myths hold up a mirror to our past, present and future, explaining our culture, our history, our hopes and fears.

A collection of epic adventures from the Time Lords’ mist-covered past, Myths and Legends is an unforgettable gallery of heroes and villains, gods and monsters.

Earlier this year when a hurricane knocked the power out for several days and I realized how many more stars you could see*. Looking at all of those stars, it was hard not to wonder what could be on or around them.  Doctor Who: Myths and Legends presents some possibility.

Some of the myths and legends re-imagined to involve Time Lords were ones I was familiar with:  including Medusa, King Midas; and those I was not: stories with the Argonauts, the Cumaean Sibyl. Interestingly, I think I more enjoyed those stories where they myth was already known to me. I liked seeing how the author changed things up, where Doctor Who characters and/or ideas were inserted into these well known tales.

The more you know of Doctor Who, the different Doctors and all of the different alien planets and species they've encountered, the more you will recognize in Myths and Legends. These are not all sttories where the Doctor comes in, obvious in who they are and saves the day. Some give us more insight into Gallifrey, its past and attempts to extend its reach.l while others show us how certain beings go to be where they were when viewers encountered them (like, say, a Soviet sub in 1983).

Some of the stories did fall a bit short for me, seeming to not really resolve themselves or have satisfactory endings. (Though it could have been that I was unfamiliar with what Doctor Who episode/character/story they were involved in .) Others though, were fun, imaginative and did a great job both re-imagining the myths and legends we already know and including Whovian characters, lore, facts and ideas.

This collection is likely more enjoyable for Doctor Who fans  (and more so the more of it you've retrained) but fans of re-imaginings and science fiction may also find it a fun read, as well.

*This needs to be a thing everywhere

review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

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