World Book Day: The Doctor Who loves to read

The Doctor of BBC’s Doctor Who might be a world-saving, time-travelling 900-odd-year-old alien, but even he makes time for a good book or two in his hectic life.

What started over 50 years ago as a (somewhat) educational filler-programme is teaching kids today (in a very sneaky way) that literature isn’t dull. Literary references abound on the show, and the Doctor is showing a whole new generation that it’s perfectly acceptable to geek out a little when you meet your favourite author or cry over fictional characters. Sometimes, the literary nods are subtle, a throw-away line here or a sneaky glimpse of something there, but sometimes they are bold and in your face. For example, there are whole episodes dedicated to William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Some episodes were even written by famous authors. The list of authors includes such names like Ben Aaronovitch (known for Rivers of London), Douglas Adams (known for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Neil Gaiman (known for Neverwhere) and Mark Gatiss (known for the Lucifer Box trilogy).

As it is World Book Day today, I compiled a list of 40 references to literature or reading on Doctor Who, with a little help from my cousin.

Have we missed anything?

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Doctor Who: The Angel’s Kiss by Justin Richards & “Melody Malone” (Audiobook) #60Books

Read as part of my 60 Books Challenge: A sci-fi novel.

Doctor Who – The Angel’s Kiss was written by Justin Richards, but – to tie in with the show – Melody Malone is listed as the author.

Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT the same book as the one River Song reads from in the episode The Angels Take Manhattan.

The story follows Melody Malone, private detective. She gets a visit from a film star called Rock Railton, who believes he is to be killed. Melody gets on the case after he mentions “the kiss of an angel,” and puts herself in danger during her investigations.

Even though this is a Doctor Who tie-in story, the Doctor does not feature in this story. This is one of Melody’s cases, told from Melody’s point of view.

It’s a nice enough story, and the audiobook version read by Alex Kingston – who plays River Song aka Melody Malone on the show – is very intriguing. Alex Kingston uses her sultry River Song voice with a bit of an American twang – the story is set in the US after all – and it fits very well with that old-time Hollywood period and charm the story is based in. That being said, this is NOT a story featuring River Song – this story is all about Melody Malone, the female no-nonsense private detective with killer heels and drop-dead gorgeous red lipstick.

It’s a cool detective story as a standalone. It’s got girl power, 1930’s charm, and a supernatural mystery (the only thing that really ties it into the show). Unfortunately though, the supposedly bad-ass protagonist is limited by 1930’s gender roles and perceptions. It’s a good story, but could have been better.

My Rating: ♥♥♥

Title: Doctor Who: The Angel’s Kiss
Author: Justin Richards & “Melody Malone”
Publisher: BBC
Release Date: February 7, 2013
Pages: 80 (eBook version)
ISBN:  978-1471324055