Doctor Who: Magic of the Angels
Written by: Jacqueline Rayner
Quickreads are a hit and miss affair but a brilliant concept to help encourage kids to read more. There is a whole slew of them out there and really are a big deal. They compose short adventures which can be read in less than a day.
SO far the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Judoon and Krillitanes have all featured and now it’s the turn of the Weeping Angels which have earned their place as classic monsters.
And here author Jacqueline Rayner has chosen to focus on a single angel and a cracking concept it is too.
When the Doctor, Amy and Rory end up being thrown out of every tourist attraction in London due to the Doctor’s constant correction of fact, they end up at a magic show where a Weeping Angel is part of the set. Having noticed the amount of missing girl posters everywhere the Doctor soon realizes what is going on. The Vanishing Lady act has just taken on a whole new direction.
Sammy Star, a bitter magician who was humiliated on national television has gained new fame and fortune through his act in which he feeds homeless girls to the Angel who shoots them back in time. He is now about to broadcast the show to the country and as we know, whatever takes the image of an Angel becomes an angel.
Rory, his nursing skills coming to the fore and used intelligently, teams up with a couple of old ladies from a nursing home who seem to know more about the show than they should while Amy goes undercover as the magician’s assistant and the Doctor dons a former incarnation’s costume to take part in the show.
What I like about this is how the Angels are taken to a new level. Some critics have questioned why the Angel hasn’t sent Sammy back in time but it makes them more dimensional as even an angel won’t bite the hand that feeds it. Besides it needs Sammy to transmit its image to every home and create a new army.
What Jacqueline also does well is the simple idea. An Angel living as part of a magic show is brilliant and in no way feels forced into the story. It flows naturally and the excitement builds with genuine terror as Amy is almost taken by the Angel.
Another lovely concept is how the old ladies are revealed to be victims of the show who have grown up waiting for this day. But as was established in the series, anyone sent back in time cannot be rescued and must live their lives in the past. The Doctor, realizing this, attempts to stop the ladies falling victim to the creature, his only hope of saving them and it makes the story even more tragic when we know there will be nothing he can do. But even in this tragic moment, the Doctor manages to give them some peace and happiness.
This is a great little read that would fit well on screen. The setting is simple and effective, the characterisation is spot on and it is a genuinely inventive way of reintroducing an old enemy.
And as we now know, the Ponds are about to face the Angels one last time in the new series, a meeting that will see them leave the Doctor forever.
At £1.99 this is a bargain and if you can get your kids to have a read then the books have done exactly what they said on the tin.