Book Review: Revisiting Twelve’s Last Bow

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time (Doctor Who: Target Collection)

“Twice Upon A Time” is a Doctor Who episode in which the Twelfth Doctor, as played by Peter Capaldi, regenerated after an encounter with his first encounter.  Since William Hartnell has been deceased for some time, David Bradley was the actor who performed the role well enough.  BBC Books had published a few novelizations of episodes from the era of Doctor Who which was a revival that began in 2005.  “Twice Upon a Time” aired on Christmas Day 2017.  Paul Cornell was the author who adapted the original script conceived by Steven Moffat.

As mentioned before, I think Peter Capaldi was a fine casting choice for the Doctor, however many of his actual stories had some real problems in the writing.  Moffat ended up not being all that great as a show runner, in my opinion. Also, this regeneration story is one of the weakest in the series as a whole.  I thought it was pretty cool to revisit the First Doctor era though, even if it was with a different actor.  Bradley had played the role of William Hartnell in a dramatization of the early days in Doctor Who known as “An Adventure In Space and Time”.  He also has been doing a series for Big Finish Productions in new audio plays featuring his version of the First Doctor.

Cornell’s novelization doesn’t work any miracles as far as me appreciating Moffat’s script more, but he does add some nice touches and expansions that helped me enjoy his contribution more.  It’s a very short novel, but Cornell make the most of what he could with it.  Of course, the idea of how traumatic a regeneration could be for the Doctor is a fascinating aspect to explore.  There were moments in the television story that were kind of moving at times, but the overall plot was rather nonsensical, and Cornell just could not help me forgive that.  Cornell is a pretty good record with a long history of contributing his talents to the survival of the franchise in its various media.  He has written original novels for Virgin Publishing and BBC Books for years.  This particular book is well written, but it’s based on an episode which I found to be a bit below average.

So it’s back to the less frivolous of literary journeys with a new author to me.  Next up,,,”A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman.


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