The Stone Rose by Jacqueline Raynor

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The TARDIS takes a trip to Ancient Rome after the time travellers find a mysterious statue of Rose in the British Museum.

A couple of years before the Doctor tried to take Donna to Rome, and ended up in Pompeii, he visits the ancient city with Rose Tyler. Like Amorality Tale, it is a clue from the companion’s present that leads the TARDIS crew to take a trip back in time to investigate. Mickey excitedly shows the Doctor, Rose and Jackie a marble statue of Miss Tyler in the British Museum. The other similarity with The Stone Rose‘s History Collection stablemate Amorality Tale, is in both novels showing gods as false idols who exploit the credulous.

Roman sculptor Ursus’ evil scheme is fairly clear from early in the story, putting the reader in the unusual position of being ahead of the Doctor in terms of knowing what is going on. This doesn’t last long though. We soon realise that the title refers to a symptom of the real threat the time travellers face. It turns out not to be an evil villain, but more like the ‘broken switch’ stories favoured in the modern series, which requires some clever thinking to resolve.

The Stone Rose is an adventure in the twenty-first century Who pseudo-historical tradition, a bit of a greatest hits of the time period romp, which includes the irresistible spectacle of the Doctor competing in gladiatorial games in the Coliseum.

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At first this story seems have the time-travellers’ goal be to escape the adventure unscathed, rather like the 1960s historicals. But a last act, almost throwaway, reveal has the entire Earth in danger. It’s a book very much of its era too, in that the Doctor and Rose’s very emotional, quasi-romantic relationship is at the fore here.

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Order The Stone Rose from Amazon:

Doctor Who: The Stone Rose: The History Collection

On Kindle:

Doctor Who: The Stone Rose

The David Tennant audio book:

Doctor Who: The Stone Rose

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