During FMRs I have set a timer for five minutes and have only those five minutes in which to summarize my thoughts about a particular Doctor Who thing. It could be a book, comic, audio, episode, serial or more. However, it must be completed in five minutes or less. The five minutes does not include time for adding media, or corrections that might come at a later date. However no additions in thought can be added. So, let the timer begin!
Book: The Last Dodo
Written by, Jacqueline Rayner
Cover by, Henry Steadman
I cannot remember the last time a book made me so incredibly happy. Okay, that might be a lie. Every time I pick up a Dr. Men book I get the giggles. However, this is a proper chapter book that just left me feeling so emotionally high. It’s the story of Martha Jones wanting to see the extinct dodo, while it’s still alive. However, instead of being taken backward in time, they are taken slightly foward and to a planet that is not Earth! From there missing exinct animals begin the mysterious adventure.
The story has a proper “everything is going to be okay” Doctor Who ending. However, that isn’t a spoiler. Despite a few telegraphed results you can see a long time coming, there is still this sense of, “how will they fix this mess” constantly happening throughout the story. It leaves room for a lot of twists and turns that are unexpected. Just as you think the story is setting off to solve one mystery, it is quickly resolved and then another appears. You assume you’re are getting into the meat of the story and it happens again. It’s a fantastic whiplash that leaves you breathless in the best way possible.
For fans of Rayner’s other works, such as Earthworld, this story will feel somewhat familiar. She often uses an ever changing plot purpose in her story. Despite the similarities with her other book (exhibits, dinosaurs, constantly changing foes) this story still feels unique. Twists help this out along with the characterization and point of view of Martha Jones.
Rayner tells the story partly in first person perspective and partly in third person, with a clear division between the two. Each chapter has both. The first person perspective is told in the voice of Martha Jones, which Rayner nails perfectly. Constantly bring things back to Martha’s medical training, training as a woman of color in a male white dominated field, as well as giving clues as to how long she’s been with the Doctor (I would say this story takes place shortly after the episode Gridlock,) Rayner has Jone’s voice down. She also provides a disturbingly familiar and over privileged point of view from Frank. While Frank is not a human, he has the appearance of a white male who feels put down upon and sneers at Martha as if she could never feel what it must be like to be put upon by society so much. Written in 2007, the commentary is obviously very relevant to today. Martha acts in continuous heroic flair that saves billions… with a little wiggling of time from the Doctor. I cannot recommend this story enough.