The Doctor Who tie-in novel Summer Falls was released today. It contains information that might be critical to the rest of the current series.
The concept of a Doctor Who tie-in product is not new. There are dozens of tangential Doctor Who tales in the form of novels and radio dramas that have been around for decades. Usually, they tell the story of the Doctor and companion someplace in the middle of their timeline together, and the authors work it out so canon is respected.
Starting in fall 2012, the BBC tried something new. In the episode, “The Angels Take Manhattan,” the Doctor is reading a book by Melody Malone that ends up affecting the current plot line. The book, as it turns out, was penned by Amy Pond, and the Melody Malone character was actually River Song. After the episode aired, the BBC released the novel. Unfortunately for readers, it was a bit of a letdown. It was more of a generic detective story, not so much the detective story-meets-the-Doctor version that drove the events of “The Angels Take Manhattan.”
In the current series of Doctor Who, Clara speaks about a book called Summer Falls to the young boy who lives in the house where she is staying. She states, “the eleventh will make you cry,” referring to the 11th chapter of the novel which is revealed to be written by Amelia Williams, A.K.A. Amy Pond. The BBC released the book, which is actually more of a novella, today. You can read the first chapter here.
So how does this book potentially affect the current series? Here are the top 10 most interesting things about the novella. There are some mild spoilers below.
The book was written in 1954 by Amelia Williams. This would be roughly 20 years after Amy and Rory were sent back in time. Amy would be about 50 years old at the time she wrote it.
The protagonist is a fearless and clever girl named Kate who has no father and an irresponsible mother. She’s just moved to town. She’s very independent because she’s often forced to fend for herself.
There is a museum caretaker Kate names Barnabas because he states he’s “between names at the moment,” who is remarkably like the Doctor. His “shed” is likely the TARDIS in disguise.
Kate befriends a boy named Armand who has no friends because everyone thinks his father, a pharmacist, has mixed up prescriptions that resulted in the death of several townspeople.
A seascape painting called The Lord of Winter seems to come to life. It is made of a canvas almost like tin foil and the ocean part seems damp.
After falling asleep Kate wakes up to all the adults gone and summer turned to winter.
There is a mysterious talking cat.
There are only three children in the town and the actual, sinister Lord of Winter communicates to them and through them not unlike The Great Intelligence.
A key, a ring, and a lighthouse are tools needed to fighting the Lord of Winter.
The 10th chapter is good; it’s the climax of the story. The 11th didn’t make me cry, but it was sad.
The Amelia Williams novel concept is clever. It’s a bit of a manual on presumably how to defeat The Great Intelligence. Amy obviously learned from the events of “The Angels Take Manhattan” and didn’t use anyone or anything’s real name so that events aren’t forced to come true.
Unlike the Melody Malone novella, I was thoroughly entranced by Summer Falls. It’s only 13 chapters long and a fairly quick read. I downloaded it on my Kindle at 12:30 a.m. and was done by 2:00 a.m. I suspect if I hadn’t been tired, I could have read it faster; however, it certainly kept me interested to stay up late reading. I know I’ll be referring back to it as the current series progresses.
Will you be purchasing this novella?