(ISBN 1-8460-7226-0)







 The Castor, a vast

 starship, seemingly

 deserted, spinning

 slowly in the void

 of deep space.


 Martha and the

 Doctor explore the

 drifting tomb, and

 discover that they

 may not be alone

 after all...


 Who survived the

 disaster that over-

 came the rest of the

 crew? What continues

 to power the vessel?

 And why has wooded

 countryside appeared

 in the middle of the



 As the Doctor and

 Martha TRAVERSE the

 forest, they find a

 mysterious, fogbound

 village, traumatised

 by missing children

 and tales of its own



 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT



APRIL 2007






After a poor showing last autumn, I’m pleased to say that Wooden Heart marks a return to form for BBC Books.


No offence to Justin Richards, Stephen Cole, or Jacqueline Rayner, but a small pool of writers, no matter how talented, cannot sustain a range like this one on their own. Just take

a look at the Virgin novels and the classic series BBC Books. Yes, several prolific authors returned time and again to contribute but – and it is an important but – their works were much farther apart, if not in terms of time than at least in terms of releases. It is now getting

to the point where I look at the name on the spine and sigh; same old, same old. Thankfully Mike Tucker was allowed to have a good go recently, and an inspired decision even saw

the legendary Terrance Dicks pen a Quick Read. And, whilst we have yet again got Cole and Rayner to contend with, this spring’s first author is none other than Martin Day, one of recent years’ more popular Doctor Who novelists.


Wooden Heart reads very much like a book aimed at a mature audience. Whilst I wouldn’t say that any of these new series adventures have been ‘dumbed down’ as such, at times it

is brutally evident that they are designed solely to tie-in with (or even cash-in on, if you’re feeling cynical) the new series and as such lack much of the backbone that the pre-2005 novels had. Thankfully though, the first thing that struck me about this novel is the quality of the writing; Day is not only a great storyteller but also a true wordsmith. His prose ebbs and flows with a beauty that can rarely be found in the children’s section of a bookshop.


And as for his story, Wooden Heart is

sort of The Girl in the Fireplace meets

Castrovalva meets The Matrix, if you

can imagine such an eclectic hybrid. I

don’t propose to go into the mechanics

of the plot in any great detail because

at heart, this novel is a mystery. In the

world of Doctor Who where things can get pretty formulaic, Wooden Heart is a rare example

of a novel that keeps you guessing all the way to the end.


With these tie-innovels, I normally read them in a few sittings over a few days. Wooden Heart, however, has the honour of being one of just a handful of Doctor Who novels that I have ever devoured in just one sitting. Just as I was approaching the halfway mark and my attention was flagging, Day hit me with this:


“…when we sleep, if we’re not dreaming…

It’s as if the universe blinks out of existence.”


Two-thirds of my degree was comprised of Philosophy modules, and so I’m a real sucker

for a bit of Descartes. I certainly didn’t pick up Wooden Heart expecting to find a story that explores Cartesian philosophy, but here the series’ all-embracing format once again proves its inherent malleability.


“Hey, Jude! Been wanting to say that for ages.”


On the downside, I wasn’t all that impressed with Day’s characters. He has both the Doctor and Martha pegged wonderfully, but with the odd exception – most notably the sharp-witted teenager, Jude – the supporting cast of characters failed to leave a mark on me.


On the whole though, I can’t fault a novel that has revitalised my interest in the current range. The days of continuity-heavy tomes chock-full of sex and violence may now be long behind us, sadly, but at least there’s hope for some slightly heavier tales…


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2007


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are copyrighted to the BBC and are used solely for promotional purposes.

Doctor Who is copyright © by the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.