THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
NOVEL "STING OF THE
ZYGONS" AND THE TV
OFFICIAL BBC HARDBACK
RELEASED IN APRIL
THE DOCTOR AND
MARTHA GO IN SEARCH
OF A REAL LIVE DODO,
AND ARE TRANSPORTED
BY THE TARDIS TO THE
OF THE LAST ONES.
There they discover
every extinct creat-
ure up to the present
day — billions of
them, from the tiniest
insect to the biggest
dinosaur, all still
alive, in suspended
PRESERVATION IS THE
MUSEUM'S ONLY JOB -
COLLECTING THE LAST
OF EVERY ENDANGERED
SPECIES FROM ALL OVER
THE UNIVERSE. BUT
EXHIBITS ARE GOING
And for millennia
the Museum has been
trying to trace one
the last of the Time
CAN THE DOCTOR SOLVE
THE MYSTERY BEFORE
THE CURATOR ADDS THE
LAST OF THE TIME LORDS
TO HER COLLECTION?
I’ll level with you - I thought that this novel was going to be awful. Perhaps it was the dreary title – after all, how do you top a title like The Stone Rose? - or perhaps it was because I’ve got used to Russell T Davies’ Saturday night sensationalism: Dickens! Daleks! Devil! “Dodo” just didn’t get me quite as excited. I should have had a little more
faith in Jacqueline Rayner. Whilst The Last Dodo is not the best novel in the range, it is
still a reasonably enjoyable one.
Here Rayner does what Doctor Who authors seldom dare to do by writing many passages from the companion’s perspective, past tense. Not only is this refreshing to read in terms
of style, but it’s also fascinating to experience Martha’s thoughts concerning the accidental “genocide” that she perpetrates (which the Doctor undoes. Phew!) first hand, as well her larger feelings about the Doctor and their travels together.
Unfortunately though, these passages feel a little constrained. Clearly written with a
younger audience in mind, they certainly
are not as true to life as Benny’s Diary
was in the New Adventures range, for
instance. Furthermore, Martha’s story
arc on television seems to be about her
unrequited feelings for the Doctor and The Last Dodo makes only the most fleeting of ref-erences to this – surely something so invasive would permeate her thoughts more often?
However, the book’s premise is fascinating. MOTLO (Museum of the Last Ones) is sort of
a cross between The Space Museum and Noah’s Ark; it literally houses the last of every species. Dodos, Velociraptors, Dong tao chicken, Mervin the missing link, the last of the Time Lords…
There is action aplenty as dinosaurs are set loose on Earth and Dodo’s lay bombs instead of eggs (no wonder they died out). There is also the wonderful device of the I-Spyder Book of Earth Creatures guide which underscores the whole novel in a wry, Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy sort of way. And of course, there is the rarest specimen of them all – dominus temporis – who, as always, is captured perfectly on the page by Rayner.
The Time Lord is a rare bipedal, bicardial mammal. It frequently mingles with herds of Homo sapiens, but can be distinguished from
them by its unique physiology and distinctive fearless behaviour.
It is between approximately 1.5 and 2 metres in height,
and can have white, black, brown or blond hair.
It is most commonly found in Europe, especially the United Kingdom.
It has been suggested that the Time Lord is of non-terrestrial origin. However, sightings spanning several millennia indicate that,
even if it did not originate on Earth,
It should now be classified as an immigrant species.
I-Spyder points value:
On the whole The Last Dodo is another decent effort; one that I’m sure will be a hit with the younger readers. Nonetheless, reading this last batch of novels - armed the knowledge that a dramatisation of Human Nature will be hitting our screens at the end of month - has been a rather sobering experience. These post-2005 novels are not breaking new ground; they don’t need to. The television series is taking care of that. I just find it a little deflating to think that it could be a very long time until I pick up a new Doctor Who novel that has the kind of impact that many of the pre-2005 books - particularly Human Nature - had. Still, it’s a small price to pay…
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2007
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