Touched by an Angel by Jonathan Morris

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The Doctor, Amy and Rory meet Mark Whitaker, a man’s whose life becomes a plot by the Weeping Angels to feed off time anomalies and ultimately destroy the world.

Jonathan Morris has crafted a brilliant Weeping Angels story to rank alongside Blink and The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone. He recreates in book form what Steven Moffat deftly pulled off in Blink, by making the Angels incredibly creepy, and making Mark as compelling and interesting character as Sally Sparrow.

As soon as Mark is sent back seventeen years into his own past, his story becomes more interesting to the reader than the Doctor’s. Some of the best Doctor Who stories invite you to consider what you would do in the same situation: What would the Keller Machine show me? how would I repel a Haemavore? and, to a lesser extent, what would the Cell Mutator on Varos turn me into? It really fires the imagination, because at some point everyone has surely wanted to go back and guide their younger self with the benefit of hindsight. Most people would say, “If I knew then what I knew now…”

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Morris is a genius at stories which jump about in time, but which both make perfect sense and where what is happening is absolutely clear. He established this in his brilliant debut novel, Festival of Death. It’s a very clever structure, and there’s always something very satisfying about stories where the rules are laid out, then trying to puzzle out how characters will circumvent them.

The Nineties are evoked particularly well. Like Mark and Rebecca, I was at university in that decade, and the details about the TV programmes, music and fashion really remind me of those days. The TARDIS team are also captured perfectly, and the pace and tone of the story mean it would fit seamlessly into the Smith-era if it had been filmed. The ending though, packs the kind of real emotional punch that the television series often strives for, but doesn’t always deliver.

While some complain that the Weeping Angels are over-used in the programme,  it absolutely doesn’t matter if stories of this quality and ingenuity were regularly filmed, and the plots built around their unique modus operandi. I also firmly believe there’s still an epic story to be told with the Terracotta Army.

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Order Touched by an Angel from Amazon:

Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel: The Monster Collection Edition

On Kindle:

Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel

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