Book Review: The Doctor Has A Devil Of A Time Here


Scratchman is a Doctor Who novel written by the man himself, Tom Baker. He is of course best known as playing the Doctor’s fourth incarnation on the telly. So this has an interesting history. Baker and his co-star, Ian Marter, had proposed an idea for a Doctor Who film in which the Time Lord take on the Devil, or some being very much like him.

This little adventure starts off with the TARDIS bringing the Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, and Harry Sullivan to a SCottish village where they are soon besieged by walking scarecrows, Cybermen, and all kinds of horrors. Then the Doctor brought into another realm with a flying castle where he faces a bargain with Scratchman. The Doctor will have to face his fears and rescue his friends from a true master of evil.

Baker really unleashes his imagination here. Much of this is enjoyably absurd, although it is sometimes hard to picture in the mind’s eye. The examination of what motivates this particular Doctor ends up being pretty compelling. This Doctor still faces the daunting challenges with much of his usual glib, wry observations. however there is something deeper explored here. The novel ends up being a little better than I expected, and I am not just saying that because the author is my favorite Doctor.

Well, I am still breathing so that means I keep reading. Now, it’s time for Later by Stephen King.

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