TARDIS Stowaway

Also has a journal at http://tardis-stowaway.livejournal.com/.

Path of Needles (Doctor Who)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 21st May 2009 (29)
Tags: Novella, AU, Mythic
Characters: Rose Tyler

Summary: Once upon a time, she had abided in the world where lives did not begin with `once upon a time.' No more. Rose walks through the woods. Meanwhile, the Doctor deals with an abundance of Bad Wolf references.

One review I read of this disliked the whole idea of Rose risking the Void to get back to the Doctor; they felt that someone who would risk destroying the universe just to get back to her True Love was utterly reckless and selfish; in other words, they disliked the premise, so couldn't really like the story. I was willing to give it a go anyway, because I really liked the Illyria series by the same author, and didn't think she would let me down.

So, I read it, and I think the other reviewer kind of missed the point. It isn't about selfishly risking destroying the universe, it's about the Princess winning back to her Prince. This story is a fairy tale, a folk-tale, something deliberately brimming with mythopoeic resonance. I love that kind of thing. It doesn't make scientific logical sense, but it makes dream-sense.

There are parts of this story that I adored, that rang true; Little Red Riding Hood in the forest, carrying a basket of goodies; stay on the path, don't be tempted by shortcuts. What didn't work so well for me was Rose-as-goddess, especially her stated influence on the universe. That, I couldn't buy. She's not that perfect. The author lost me at that point, then got me back again with another fairy-tale reference, and then lost me again. I wanted to love this story, but in the end, I couldn't.

I still liked it, though.


(1) What Country, Friends, Is This? (Doctor Who)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th December 2007 (19)
Tags: Novelette, AU, Parallel Universe
Characters: Rose Tyler, Alt Ninth Doctor

Summary: Post-Doomsday, Rose still runs for her life. One night she runs into someone she never expected to see again. Problem 1: It's hard to have a blissful reunion with someone who has never met you. Problem 2: A Nine from the universe where Rose Tyler was never born is bound to have some unresolved issues.

I knew this was promising when the story-notes explained that the series was called "Illyria" after the country in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night". And I was not disappointed.

I like the characterisation of this Rose; she's herself, but she's more mature. A little older, a little sadder, a little wiser. The Doctor here is a good extrapolation of how he might be in a universe without Rose; bitter, determined to be alone, the same yet not the same.

(2) Danger Shall Seem Sport (Doctor Who)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th December 2007 (20)
Tags: Novella, AU, Parallel Universe, Adventure
Characters: Rose Tyler, Alt Ninth Doctor

Summary: Rose and her alternate universe's Doctor should really leave the adventure archeology to Indiana Jones. Exploring a ruined temple, they find unfinished business from the Time War that puts them in mortal peril in a basement (of course).

Lovely! This Rose cares, but also shows wisdom. She realizes that he isn't "her" Doctor, but he's still worth the monsters (or the basements, in this case). She's plucky and not dumb, but not perfect either. And I really like seeing how, yes, she's in love with the Doctor, but she's grown up enough that... she cares about him, she isn't in love with the idea of being in love, which is more how I felt she was like when she was with Ten.

This isn't just character introspection, though. There's Plot, and danger, and hints of things to come.

(3) Vent Thy Folly Somewhere Else (Doctor Who)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 16th February 2008 (9)
Tags: Novelette, AU, Parallel Universe
Characters: Rose Tyler, Alt Ninth Doctor, Mickey Smith, Jackie Tyler, Pete Tyler

Summary: Rose takes the parallel Doctor home to meet the family. Mistaken identity complicates everything as Mickey gets angry, Pete gets something off his chest, and Jackie talks about tree-sitting. Third in the Illyria series.

I liked how the author, though she had intended something light and fluffy, let the characters take the story where they wanted it to go, which was a mixture of fluffy and serious; humour and a touch of angst. It was fun how we had these three misunderstandings in a row -- amusing and also revealing. And not just revealing about those who were speaking, either.

(4) Such Disguise (Doctor Who)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 16th February 2008 (10)
Tags: Short Story, AU, Parallel Universe, Cross-dressing, Humour
Characters: Rose Tyler, Alt Ninth Doctor

Summary: A visit to a misogynistic planet requires Rose to make a little extra preparation in the wardrobe room, including a fake mustache.

Worth a grin. And one good thing about the written word: one doesn't need a huge budget to have aliens.