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Doctor Who - The Ninth Doctor Sourcebook $34.99 $19.99
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Doctor Who - The Ninth Doctor Sourcebook
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Doctor Who - The Ninth Doctor Sourcebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/18/2016 10:55:35

The Ninth Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston) was particularly exciting to old hands and new, as this was the beginning of the 'reboot' of the show in 2005. This new regeneration was a ruthless, edgy fellow, forged by his experiences in the Great Time War and believing himself to be the last Time Lord in existence. Emotionally-scarred, he mellowed over time due mostly to his interactions with his companion Rose, a London shop assistant. Eventually he realised that, whatever he might have had to do, he was a good guy, a force for good in the universe once more.

Chapter 1: The Ninth Doctor and Companions looks at both the Doctor and those who travelled with him, starting of course with a very psychological analysis of the Doctor himself, complete with character sheet. He started alone, but soon met up with Rose Tyler, and her effect on him is charted here. There's also Adam Mitchell, who last but for one adventure, and Captain Jack Harkness - not a companion, more of a kindred spirit. Rose's boyfriend, Mikey Smith, and her mother Jackie also feature here. Each gets a description, backstory and character sheet. Finally there are some notes on the current TARDIS, markedly different in appearance - at least inside - than previous ones, even if it is still a battered police call box on the outside.

Next, Chapter 2: Playing in the Ninth Doctor's Era provides a lot of information to support running adventures in this time, if not with these characters as well. Earth has gone the better part of 15 years without seeing much of the Doctor - things were quite different for him and Earth was unaccustomed to him as well! The universe as a whole, meanwhile, is still reeling from the Great Time War whose ripples affect memory and what actually happened, which make various discrepancies arise. Have fun with those! A lot of the discussion assumes that you will be using the adventures discussed later in your own game, but even if you are not, there's plenty of use here.

The remainder of the book presents the adventures the Ninth Doctor had, thirteen of them (including a couple of double episodes). This set of adventures is the first of the Doctor's adventures to have a distinct series arc, called Bad Wolf, over and above recurring individuals, situations or even villains. In each case, there's an adventure synopsis, notes on running the adventure as is, details of notable enemies and allies (and tech), and ideas for adventures spawned by whatever was going on. Plenty to get your teeth into here, however you intend to use this material. Wider concepts are discussed as well, so it is well worth reading through the lot at least once, whatever your intended use. Definitely worth adding to your bookshelf!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - The Ninth Doctor Sourcebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Alexander O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2015 07:12:46

This review appears in full at http://armchairgamer.blogspot.com/

I approached the review of this sourcebook with some trepidation. After all, the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (DWAITAS) series of sourcebooks had been solid entries every time – with the Doctor series churning out astoundingly consistent source material in the tone and spirit of each of the eras, despite the volume (or paucity thereof) of actual episodes during that Doctor’s era.

However, this one was the incarnation of the Doctor that revived the franchise on TV -- and one that had eight sourcebooks preceding it. Was it going to live up to expectations? Or might it lapse into a boring re-tread of what had gone before?

A SOLID FRAMEWORK

Dedicated collectors and followers of this particular series of sourcebooks would, I’m sure, agree that some aspects of repetition are actually the strength of this series.

I’m very fond of the presence of the initial chapter of each of these books that give an overview of the peculiarities and strengths of this particular Doctor’s personality, and the character of the adventures during this era.

The roll call of protagonists and antagonists (statted out, with descriptions and explorations of their role during this era, of course) is also a given. But it’s unarguably essential to a sourcebook like this. It’s also very well done: character sheets for each with a great selection of iconic imagery for each. As always, I love that the TARDIS always has its own writeup.

UNIQUE CHALLENGES

This era only saw one Season / Series, meaning a quite a bit less source material in terms of episodes (we’ll come back to the Eight Doctor’s sourcebook as soon as I pick it up), but these episodes – in conjunction with the section tackling handling adventures in this era in greater detail – really give players a lot of options in running Doctor-y or Doctorless campaigns with the mix of personal drama, neo-pulpish adventure, and witty banter.

I really have to say that these synopses are well-written – and have been over this series of because. Concise, but filled with easy-to-follow details (useful for the GM who hasn’t quite reviewed every single episode in the given era, and may not have the time to do so). They also always raise concerns regarding continuity (that some sharp-minded GMs and Players will likely tackle in or out of play.

There’s also great notes on running your players through the episode as an adventure – fantastic I’m sure for the fans who’ve always wanted a chance to be a real companion of The Doctor.

Furthermore, the smaller pool of adventures does give the writing team an opportunity to really go in-depth and all-out in mining and milking these episodes for (a) adventures; (b) spin-off adventures; (c) motifs and leitmotifs of the Doctor’s adventures to reinforce the feel; (d) ideas on using location and enemies in different or expanded ways.

FOR THE FANS

There is some added benefit here for me as a fan – some of my favorite episodes can be found here (“The End of the World, Dalek, Father’s Day, and The Parting of Ways), along with the first appearances of some enigmatic continuing characters. Much of the analysis and extrapolation here helps feed that fan prediliction for speculation, and is a rich source for both theories, and possible adventuring in the continuum of Time & Space that the Doctor inhabits.

Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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