Doctor Who: Dreams of Empire

I had received this book for Christmas and only got around to finishing it recently, so I wanted to share some thoughts on it while it was still fresh in my mind.

In summary, the plot involves the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria landing on an asteroid where the remnants of the Haddron Empire are located. Certain factions are pitted against each other, and one has robots employed to do a lot of destruction in order to retrieve a certain figure who is being held there. There is a lot of political intrigue that the Doctor and his companions end up being embroiled in and it’s interesting to see how they figure into it. If I had to guess, it seems the story is set after The Ice Warriors; the Doctor makes some comment about them having been “froze out”, which I took to be a reference to that serial. If that’s not the case then it is definitely set after The Tomb of the Cybermen, as mention is made of Victoria’s new shorter dress, and Toberman from that serial is brought up by Jamie.

In the foreword the author describes his inspiration for the novel (something about having watched a documentary or miniseries – can’t remember which – on the Roman Empire), as well as his affection for the Second Doctor. He mentions how it might be hard to get his persona through the written word because he’s so expressive with his facial expressions and gestures. Despite that, I thought he did a very good portrayal of the Doctor. Jamie and Victoria were also very well-written.

The Doctor and his companions don’t show up right away; first there is some background on the Empire/Republic and its major players to set the stage for what our heroes are about to face. The characters are all quite interesting and although the politics is lightly touched upon, it makes for some interesting background information as well.

Not long after the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria show up, they come across the body of a dead man and, natch, are accused of having killed him. They eventually earn the trust of Trayx, the man who for all intents and purposes is in charge here.

There is also a chess metaphor set up in the story, which features heavily. Two men, Kesar (whose face is hidden behind a bronze mask after having been badly injured/burned beyond recognition in a battle) and Kruger, are seen at various times engaged in a chess game.

After a while they figure out all is not what it seems in more ways than one and have to unravel this mystery. There is a lot of action with battles taking place between robots and humans. There is also a pretty neat twist regarding Kesar not being the man he was thought to be all along.

As I mentioned earlier, the Doctor and his friends were very well written; although they don’t feature very heavily, the author seems to have gotten their personalities down quite well. There’s a funny moment where the Doctor is explaining to Jamie something related to the chess match, and bringing up some trivia regarding Leo Tolstoy and chess games. Jamie’s response is something to the effect of: “Doctor, I don’t care.” LOL.

It was a very engaging story that kept me wanting more with every turn of the page. I wasn’t sure how interested I’d be in it given all the political intrigue, but it really held my interest.

Fanfiction Master Post

I know I’d mentioned before that I write fanfiction, but I thought I’d include a master list of it in case anyone was interested in reading it.


Something I Said : Zoe unintentionally offends Jamie and tries to make amends. (2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe)

Up to Snow Good : The TARDIS lands in a snowy wonderland. A snowball fight ensues and Jamie learns another thing or two about dressing for the weather. (2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe)

Home for Christmas : It’s Zoe’s first Christmas on the TARDIS and she’s not all that happy about it. The Doctor and Jamie try to make her feel more “at home.” (2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe)

Starting Over : Not long after she’s first come aboard the TARDIS, Zoe has become frustrated by Jamie’s treatment of her. After a confrontation that turns a bit more emotional than either of them expected, they manage to find common ground. Takes place between The Wheel in Space and The Dominators. (2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe)

Father’s Day : On Father’s Day, the Doctor thinks about the meaning of the holiday, remembering times spent with his former companions and cherishing those with his current ones. Takes place sometime before The War Games. (2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe)

Easier With Time : Shortly after her father’s death, Victoria prepares for another bad, sleepless night on the TARDIS. Things end up not as badly as she was expecting. Takes place between The Evil of the Daleks and The Tomb of the Cybermen. (2nd Doctor, Jamie and Victoria)


You Can’t Go Home Again (Or Can You?) : After losing Clara, the Doctor is crushed and the TARDIS wants to help. He is reunited with some old friends, but as the saying goes, “You can’t go home again.” … Right? Prequel to the Time With A Twist of Tartan series. (12th Doctor, Jamie and Zoe)


Time With A Twist of Tartan : Jamie had been inadvertently dropped off in late twentieth-century London by the 12th Doctor. This series follows his adventures with some familiar faces as well as some new ones. Directly follows “You Can’t Go Home Again (Or Can You?)” (Jamie, Ben, Polly, Victoria, Zoe, 3rd Doctor, UNIT, 4th Doctor, Sarah Jane, Harry, 5th Doctor, Adric, Tegan, Nyssa, Original Female Characters, Original Male Characters)

  1. Waylaid In London : With the 12th Doctor’s help, Jamie inadvertently ended up in 1970s London instead of reuniting with his family in 1700s Paris. While there, he stumbles upon some familiar faces as well as meets some new ones … And manages to find trouble while he’s at it.
  2. Of Castles and Hairy Beasties : Much to UNIT’s relief, things have been relatively quiet lately. That is, until the Doctor reads about strange goings-on at a castle in Scotland. While touring this castle, Jamie comes face-to-face with an old foe and things get very personal as someone close to him becomes threatened.
  3. Just Like Old Times : A disaster perpetrated by a renegade Time Lord finds the Doctor being forced to work with his past selves to resolve it. This Time Lord has not only placed his very existence in jeopardy, but also Time itself. The Doctors may be a bit in over their heads with this one, but the help of a certain companion surely can’t hurt. Takes place during (and is a slight reworking of) The Three Doctors.
  4. The Lair of Grom : Not only has Jamie had to adjust to the Doctor’s new face, but his honeymoon has been interrupted and he’s left with a discontented bride … who, along with Sarah Jane, has now gone missing. Set not long after The Ark in Space story arc.
  5. Reunion : In the years since the Grom situation, Jamie has settled down with a family of his own and has been working with UNIT on a barely occasional basis. However, he soon finds himself thrown back into the world of the Doctor, thanks to a surprise visit from an old friend who brings a dire warning. Takes place soon after Castrovalva.


Caption This!


Yet another case of the Doctor being excited about something disgusting according to the Victoria (she will later smack Jamie for also looking vaguely excited because how dare he that is not proper)

LOL, I can just hear them. Jamie: “Och, hey! Wha’ was that fer?!” Victoria: “The fact that I need to explain it to you makes you deserve that smack!” Doctor: “Now, Victoria, don’t you think you’re being just a bit unreasonable? It was only…” (trails off as her eyes narrow dangerously)


Still on my slow Doctor Who rewatch, and Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor might be my favorite version of the character. I prefer his lower power level. He’s a omnidisciplinary genius and scholar, but that’s it. That’s all you need for a classic sci-fi hero. He’s a small, unimposing guy who seems to be genuinely afraid of most of his monstrous villains, which I love. I like a hero who is afraid of the dangers of his world. Makes the hero loveable and relatable and the villains frightening. My biggest problem with Doctor Who is how downright smug it can get. The Doctor Whedon-quips through the crisis, everyone is afraid of him or in adoration, he can win swordfights against alien warriors and shrug lightning strikes and hundred foot falls…it gets superheroic and dumb. He was also more physically capable than the elderly First Doctor, which you could see putting a strain on the production of the first three seasons. So yeah, I think this version got the power level right.

The Second Doctor also had my favorite companion set, Jaime and Victoria or Zoe. I can’t tell which of the two female companions I prefer, they’re both great, but I think Zoe brings a better dynamic: a logical mathmatician from the late 21st century alongside an uneducated but brave 18th century highlander is a more interesting dynamic than 18th century Scot and Victorian Englishwoman, especially since they never adressed the obvious divide between a warrior opposing the Highland Clearances and an upperclass Londoner from the height of the Empire.

And wow this era has the best Time Lords. They are introduced as esentially a supernatural force, an electronic wind noise and a slow-time field. The two main heavies of their first serial are shown to be subserviant to a calm, ruthless mastermind called the War Lord, whose actor does an excellent job with very little. The Warlord is then completely shut down by the Time Lords, reduced to screaming in agony with a look. His final plot is casually foiled and he and his people are erased from time as part of a court procedure.

Lords. Of. Time. They get the point across.

Later depictions made them rather stuffy and more like Oxbridge professors with laser guns. They lost their majesty and terror. The recent series had them living in barns that look straight out of the Grapes of Wrath. I’m not sure why the creators want to make the Time Lords outright pathetic, but the final Second Doctor story gave them a perfect start. The Second Doctor felt like a hobo from this far grander civilization rather than their president and later savior.

Honestly? Agree. With all of it. You summed up why I love Two’s era (along with his companions) so much.