“The Good Doctor” is a Doctor Who novel by Juno Dawson and is one of the first set of volumes to feature the Thirteenth Doctor and her three companions currently seen on the television series.
The beginning of the novel has the Doctor negotiate a treaty between the native inhabitants of the planet Lobos and the human colonists. She and her companions leave thinking they have brokered a peaceful co-existence until Ryan realizes he left his cell phone behind. Of course, the TARDIS has a hiccup which causes a detour of several centuries into the future. The Loba have been enslaved by the humans, and the humans worship a deity known as the Good Doctor, who bears an uncanny resemblance to one Graham O’Brien. Yasmin is taken prisoner and later rescued by the standard rebel outfit.
This is another cautionary tale about religion being abused, and a race being enslaved over a misinterpretation of holy texts. The Doctor is appropriately outraged by her previous well-intentioned intervention being unraveled.
I was hoping that this version of the Doctor would come off better in print, and you know what? She does but not by much. Dawson does provide her with some amusing witticisms and reactions along the way. I did find it a nice touch for the Doctor to sometimes reflect on her past turbulent relationship with her people, the Time Lords. She even considered that her interventions could sometimes get out of hand. Although it would be boring if the Doctor stopped meddling and intervening, I think it does add some appropriate gravitas her to consider the consequences if things go south such as depicted in this story.
Dawson is a competent enough author but nothing particularly unique about her style of prose stood out to me. I guess not causing me further exasperation with the current direction of the series will have to be accomplishment enough for this one.
The next selection for my reading indulgence is a book I found in a used bookstore in Denver, Colorado a few months ago. Howard Lieberman is going to welcome this humble reader aboard “The Green Train”.