Doctor Who: The Last Dodo Hardback
Part of the Doctor Who series
After a trip to the zoo, the Doctor and Martha go in search of a real life dodo, and are transported by the TARDIS to the mysterious Museum of the Last Ones.
There, in the Earth section, they discover every extinct creature up to the present day - billions of them, from the tiniest insect to the biggest dinosaur, all still alive and in suspended animation. Preservation is the Museum's only job - collecting the last of every endangered species from all over the universe. And for millennia the Museum has been trying to trace one elusive specimen: the last of the Time Lords... Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha as played by David Tennant and Freema Agyeman in the acclaimed Doctor Who series from BBC Television.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: Ebury Publishing
- Publication Date: 19/04/2007
- Category: Science fiction
- ISBN: 9781846072246
- Paperback from £7.09
- EPUB from £3.99
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by JonArnold
I really like that this book is angry (well, mildly annoyed) at the real life issues of conservation and extinction, even if some of thosee points are directly lifted from Ghost Light. It's refreshing for one of the NSAs to have something to say without being too didactic rather than just being an escapist runaround. Although yes, it's still an entertaining enough escapist runaround too. There's some nice subtle references to the old series for the long term fans and the Doctor going up against sabre toothed tigers, dinosaurs and bomb planting dodo clones is exactly the sort of thing these books should be giving us since they're beyond the scope of the telly. Loved the last chapter too, answered a question that was nagging at the back of my mind from the start.But...I'm not sure what the point of the first person Martha narration was - there didn't seem to be any particularly good reason for switching to first person and seemed just there to liven up what might otherwise have been a slightly dull first half although, on the plus side, Rayner nails the Doctor's character to the point her own characters are sketches in comparison. Oh, and the I Spyder and animal description just looked like pure padding to an otherwise skimpy narrative to me, yes they're largely educational but don't serve the story at all and seem a bit clunky. And I'm not sure the premise holds together if you look too closely. Not bad but not great - I still think Jac comes up with some great ideas but doesn't exploit them in the way other Who writers (such as Steve Lyons) do.
Review by louisedennis
I really want to like Jacqueline Rayner's work. Not simply because she is one of the few women writing Dr Who novels but because she has a distinctive voice and a bittersweet lightness of touch that should make a refreshing change from the more serious-minded and action-oriented output that typifies the range. But somehow her work never really gells for me and I'm left feeling that the comedic aspects have misfired letting down the whole. In the case of the Last Dodo the parts that really grated were those written in the first person from Martha's point of view in a kind of gushing I'm-talking-to-an-eight-year-old fashion. Not only did I simply not find these particular amusing and a little patronising there didn't seem to be any reason why half the story should be told in this fashion and half in the third person, sometimes switching between the two mid-scene. I mean why? why not write it all in the first person from Martha's point of view, or at least write every scene she was in from Martha's point-of-view, or if you must switch then at least provide the framing device of a diary, or writing a letter to a young cousin, or something.The rest of the book was OK, the characters were pretty one-dimensional (even when they weren't supposed to be), the plot was a fairly straightforward sequence of run-arounds but it was all competent. I can see that its brief descriptions of extinct and endangered species would appeal to much of the target audience. I like the fact that Rayner experiments with story-telling styles, in this case switching points of view. I like the fact she writes about topics she is passionate about. I like the fact that she appreciates that Who story-telling can be both light-hearted and serious at one and the same time. But in the end, as with so many of her books, the parts just never fell together into a satsifying whole for me and I finished with feelings largely of disinterest in the plot and characters and vague irritation at the execution.
Review by bluesalamanders
Martha asks the Doctor to take her to see the last dodo, which leads them into unexpected trouble (as usual).Freema Agyeman (who played Martha Jones on Doctor Who) is an excellent reader. The story was decent and there were some unexpected twists and turns along the way. There was an odd stylistic quirk where sometimes the story was in third person and sometimes the story was in first person with Martha speaking directly to the reader, but it was always clearly stated when it happened. Overall, I enjoyed it.
Review by TheoClarke
Reading three Doctor Who tie-ins on the spin highlights the strengths and the weakness of this genre niche. The television programme left its educational roots a long time ago but the books repeatedly adopt a didactic tone. Here we explore the morals of zookeeping and get a heavyhanded lesson on the values of wildlife conservation. This directness might be appropriate in a children's book but the use of the I-Spy books as a framing device is unlikely to have much resonance with anyone born after 1980. The curious inconsistency of voice whereby the narration flips without apparent cause between third person and a first person Martha is distracting but generally the tone of the characters is caught well. Despite the glaring faults, the novel's plot and the light wit of much of the dialogue held my interest.