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Doctor Who: Scratchman (英語) ペーパーバック – 2020/3/26
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Tom Baker (Author)
Tom Baker is an actor best known for his role as the Fourth Doctor in the BBC hit series Doctor Who from 1974-1981. After leaving the show, Tom continued to act and provide voiceover work for many popular British TV programmes including Black Adder, Agatha Christie’s Marple, Little Britain, and many more. He is the author of an autobiography, Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? and the darkly comic novel, The Boy Who Kicked Pigs.
James Goss (Author)
James Goss has adapted three Doctor Who stories by Douglas Adams for BBC Books (City of Death, The Pirate Planet, and The Krikkitmen). He's also written several original Doctor Who and Torchwood books. His novel #Haterz is in development as a motion picture. He's also written for the stage and the radio.
I had intended to read it over the course of a few days, but I found it captured my attention and I stayed up long into the night to finish it in a single sitting. Tom Baker shows real talent as a writer. There were parts where I found myself laughing out loud, other times I couldn't look away, eager to see what happened next. He writes with a zeal that can't help but bring you along for the ride. For those that were around during Tom Baker's reign as the Doctor, this will be a special treat. It feels like an event that could have come right out of his early years on the show, if they had an infinite budget. If this had been a movie, I can't even imagine how they would have pulled this off in the seventies.
The story itself is told cleverly, with two parts of a bigger tale and a third story being told to weave them all together. This book stars Tom Baker's Doctor, told in the first person, as well as his two earliest companions, Sarah Jane and Harry Sullivan. All their voices are captured authentically, they bring a warmth to an adventure that is very much a horror tale in the vein of their early stories. They are all given plenty of moments to shine.
My recommendation is to buy it, of course. I've read many Doctor Who novels, heard their audios, watched the episodes. I consider this certainly among the best of the novels, and maybe among the best of Doctor Who stories, period. For fans of Tom Baker and his era, for Doctor Who as a whole no matter your level of interest, or even if you haven't quite gotten into it, I find this to be an easy recommendation. The writer's imagination will pull you along into a story that oozes creativity and epic scope.
It would be amazing to get more novels like this from Tom Baker, but if it takes forty years to get this kind of quality, the wait was worth it.
Tom Baker was "my doctor," as they say these days, back before it was cool, back when only a handful of us on this side of the pond would watch his adventures late at night on PBS.
I first read about Scratchman back in the 80s, in Doctor Who Magazine. I have to admit that I rolled my eyes at the concept, which was described as something like, "The Doctor fights the Devil himself - inside of a giant pinball machine." But somehow, within this novel, it all makes brilliant sense.
Baker seems to have the perfect grasp on the magic and wonder that made his character special, with just the right amount of humility to balance the Doctor's cheerful egotism. He also treats his late costars' (Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter - who also wrote the original script) characters with obvious fondness and respect.
I would have loved to have seen this on the big screen in all of its seventies glory, or even as an episode. At any rate, thank you, Mister Baker, for bringing everything I loved about your era back to life for one more captivating adventure.
The story is definitely a ride from start to finish, working perfectly with the overarching theme of fear and how the characters respond to everything. I couldn't put it down once I started it.
It’s overall fun, emotional, and very well-written, which is everything I hoped it would be from Tom Baker himself. Parts of it felt very personal to and for him. The fact that this story had started in the early 80′s a movie idea from Tom and Ian Marter and evolved into this makes it even better. Seriously, read it.
I don’t know if Tom has any more writing plans, but if he writes another novel involving the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, I'm there.
Tom Baker was My Doctor; the one who first swept me into the world the world of the Doctor. There have been marvelous Doctors since, of course, but his was the portrayal that started it all or me. What a delight to find, all these years later, this marvelous tale which captures so vividly the voices of that Doctor and of Sarah and Harry.
The writing is good! Pellucid prose, vivid worldbuilding, dialogue that rings true. I know this is a tale that Baker has been wanting to develop for decades, but I hope, nevertheless, that he'll consider writing more. He has an effective voice and a clear vision of the Doctor.