Doc­tor Who: The Drosten’s Curse

Adams to a tee

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Books -

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.

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