Whether you’re camping on Argolis, trucking across Midnight or rainbathing in the upward tropics of Kinstarno, a good holiday deserves a good book. And, of course, Doctor Who has plenty of suitcase-friendly tomes for your trip. Here’s five ideas for great holiday reads…
1. Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen by Douglas Adams & James Goss
Released in January 2018, this Fourth Doctor adventure recently came out in paperback. Though a little chunkier than others on this list at 416 pages, this book is ideal for a long flight. Adapted by James Goss from a rejected story idea pitched by Douglas Adams in the late-Seventies, Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen takes the Doctor and Romana to a cricket match at the end of the Universe – sort of. An ancient alien grudge has finally caught up with the rest of the galaxy and it falls to the Doctor to smooth things out.
Even if you’re familiar with the way Adams repurposed his story for the third Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book, seeing how he envisioned the Doctor taking part in events is a fascinating new perspective. Even so, Goss went to great lengths to research all the unused ideas Adams had for this story and blend them into a cohesive new adventure.
2. The Target Collection
You may recall that, last year, Penguin Books (in partnership with BBC Studios) released four novelisations of modern series Doctor Who stories along with an abridged reprint of James Goss’ City of Death. These releases aped the style of the now-defunct Target Books imprint which almost all the classic serials were novelised under.
Not only are these books remarkably svelte, averaging 200 pages each, but October will see The Target Storybook hit the shelves. While major details are yet to be revealed, the book features stories from a wealth of Doctor Who talent past and present; including Terrance Dicks, Colin Baker, Steve Cole and Jacqueline Rayner. Slipping a title or two from the Target Collection into your carry-on will be a great primer for the Autumn.
3. The Secret in Vault 13 by David Solomons
Glasgow-born author and screenwriter David Solomons penned one of the first Doctor Who stories to feature the Thirteenth Doctor written specifically for a younger audience. The Secret in Vault 13 is a galaxy-hopping adventure that takes us from London to Tellus IV to Calufrax Major and back again. The Doctor, Yaz, Ryan and Graham must break into the deadly Vault 13 if they are to save the Universe from an even deadlier threat.
If you’re travelling with kids, or just fancy a strong story tailored to the discerning and honest tastes of a child, you could do no better. Every book on this list is available on Kindle or audiobook form, but The Secret in Vault 13 is particularly fun because it’s read by Sophie Aldred. Any fans of Big Finish will know that the 56 year old actor, who plays teen Ace, has an age-defying voice and so makes her the perfect narrator for this story.
4. Resurrection of the Daleks by Eric Saward
The latest Doctor Who book to hit the shelves comes from former script editor Eric Saward. The long-awaited adaptation of his first Dalek story, Resurrection of the Daleks, was met warmly by fans. Though definitely one of the darker Doctor Who stories to come out in print in recent times, the story remains faithful to the source material while still sneaking in a few asides for seasoned viewers to enjoy. I reviewed this book when it came out and spoke to author Eric Saward about his work. Saward also spoke to Matthew Sweet and answered questions about the book.
While physical copies are still only available in hardback, the book measures only slightly larger than a paperback. At a slender 200 pages it’s easy to stow away in a coat pocket while you’re on the road.
5. In The Blood by Jenny T Colgan
Leaving aside the fact I’m a massive fan of the Tenth Doctor, Jenny T Colgan’s 2016 novel was a rare example of the books looking back at a modern series Doctor after their time on the show had ended. Now available in paperback, hardback and Kindle (though not audiobook unfortunately) this is a great way to relive the highs of series four.
The Doctor and Donna return to an Earth overrun with fury. Everyone is so angry all the time, losing friends over petty slights on social media, fighting on the buses…and people dying unexpectedly. For Donna and Wilf, that’s just London on a Tuesday, but the Doctor knows something more deadly is at play. Colgan writes an excellent Tenth Doctor and, for those Big Finish listeners who follow his audio adventures closely, there’s a great easter egg.
Do you have any Doctor Who summer reads in mind? Let me know in the comments.