Doctor Who: The Drosten’s Curse
Adams to a tee
Release Date: OUT NOW!
368 pages | Hardback/ ebook Author: AL Kennedy Publisher: BBC Books
Douglas Adams only
served as Doctor Who’s script- editor for a single season, but he’s been a lasting influence on the series ever since. This new adventure by literary novelist AL Kennedy is so in thrawl to Adams’ familiar style that there’s even a character named after his “City Of Death” pseudonym.
Kennedy has form with Doctor Who. Her novella The Death Pit found Tom Baker’s Doctor loping around a carnivorous golf course. The Drosten’s Curse is an expansion of that, with the original story reworked into the book’s opening third. The Doctor becomes embroiled in the mystery surrounding the Fetch Brothers’ golf course, encountering some creepy twins and an ancient alien entity. He also picks up a new pair of companions along the way. Of these, receptionist Bryony is the book’s sole voice of sanity. She’s grounded and generally capable, while feckless monster hunter Putta is amusingly useless. They’re both well drawn, Kennedy investing them with an underlying melancholy which grounds the absurd plot.
At over 360 pages it’s longer than most Who books and that shows in a slightly aimless middle section. This is Doctor Who as magic realist shaggy dog story, but Kennedy’s prose is excellent throughout and she effortlessly captures the tone of both the Doctor and the era that inspired her. Will Salmon As well as being a writer, AL Kennedy is a comedian; she lists Josie Long and Bill Hicks as influences.