Oh Christmas, I love thee. Signed, the Doctor.
Synopsis of Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Stand by Justin Richards, Mark Morris, George Mann, Paul Finch: As it had been foretold, the armies of the Universe gathered at Trenzalore. Only one thing stood between the planet and destruction – the Doctor. For nine hundred years, he defended the planet, and the tiny town of Christmas, against the forces that would destroy it.
He never knew how long he could keep the peace. He never knew what creatures would emerge from the snowy night to threaten him next. He knew only that at the end he would die on Trenzalore.
Some of what happened during those terrible years is well documented. But most of it remains shrouded in mystery and darkness.
This is a glimpse of just some of the terrors the people faced, the monstrous threats the Doctor defeated. These are the tales of the monsters who found themselves afraid - and of the one man who was not.
Tales of Trenzalore collects four of the Doctor's adventures from different periods during the Siege of Trenzalore and the ensuing battle: Let it Snow by Justin Richard, An Apple a Day by George Mann
Strangers in the Outland by Paul Finch, The Dreaming by Mark Morris.
My two centsI have had this little paperback of short stories languishing on my TBR. I got it a year ago when I joined in the TLC Book Tour for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who and with Sci-Fi November here once again, I decided now was the time to read and review!
Now, just so you know, I have no inkling about the Battle of Trenzalore, so I feel like a dweeb. Good thing there is an introductory piece at the start of this collection. Straight off, I'd recommend these for the already indoctrinated Who-vians who require little to no background or context. But for those who have some familiarity with the series, this will work out fine too.
These are short and sweet, featuring mini-battles between the Eleventh Doctor and all manner of aliens, some scarier than others. But always, always, the Doctor on the lookout for the well-being of the people of Christmas (great timing for this post, eh?). His wicked sense of humour and love of the people of Christmas (despite his nonchalance) really shines through!
Christmas is a tiny town on the planet Trenzalore, which is under perennial snow, making it a profitable business for its inhabitants who export snow to other planets. The Doctor has made his home here and taken on a status of great import to the Christmas-ians (I made up that word), protecting its inhabitants from danger that seems to fall from the skies on a pretty regular basis.
The Tales of Trenzalore has four adventures:
Let it Snow by Justin Richard starts when Crantle, one of Christmas's snow runners, observes some mysterious lights blazing in the sky. He goes out to investigate and encounters the Ice Warriors. But the Doctor is way ahead of the Ice Warriors and foils their well laid plans to take over Christmas.
An Apple a Day by George Mann was my favourite story of the lot. It starts when an unusual seed pod crashes through the glass ceiling of an orchard. It was carrying the parasitic Krynoid and now it's out there, it's got the potential to infect everything in its path. Will the Doctor save the day? Of course! Not without lots of planning, running, and lots of humour.
Strangers in the Outland by Paul Finch starts with the daughter of a prospector is found in total shock, having seen her father killed at the hands of the unfeeling, invulnerable Autons (who apparently look like the Doctor!). The whole town rallies but the Doctor will have none of it; he keeps everyone out of danger as he shows a flicker (just a tad!) of desperation in his attempts to save Autons from taking over! (The most athletic I've seen the Doctor!)
The Dreaming by Mark Morris is pretty creepy and starts with some Christmas folk having nightmares ... nightmares that plant the insidious seed of doubt that the Doctor is not exactly on their side. This features the snake-like Mara who attempt to defeat the Doctor ... but not without a riproaring fight!
Verdict: Four short and sweet stories about the Eleventh Doctor and the battles he fought against all the alien baddies, to protect the people of Christmas, Trenzalore. A must-read for Who-vians!