- File Size: 1600 KB
- Print Length: 40 pages
- Publisher: Puffin (May 23, 2013)
- Publication Date: May 23, 2013
- Sold by: PEN UK
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00B54TZBA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #908,558 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Doctor Who: Tip Of The Tongue: Fifth Doctor (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts) Kindle Edition
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Ness sets his tale in 1945 Maine, where Jonny and Nettie, although only children struggle with the stigma of being two of the town's most notable outcasts -- Jonny as the son of a Jewish mother with a German last name, and Nettie, the product of the town's only mixed-race -- and therefore scandalous -- marriage. Jonny wants nothing more than to fit in and get the girl of his dreams, the spoiled Marisa, to notice him. Desperate to do so, he uses a few of his precious dollars to purchase one of the popular Truth Tellers, a small device that slips under the tongue and over the chin, and when worn speaks the absolute truth -- whether or not the object of the wearer's attention wants to hear it.
As is the norm with a Doctor Who tale, the Truth Tellers are far from the simple "toys" the townspeople think, and the Doctor and his current companion -- Nyssa, an alien aristocrat from the planet Traken, arrive to uncover the truth. While the story doesn't really paint a particularly colorful picture of the Fifth Doctor -- unless matter-of-fact observations and investigations were the norm? -- thematically I think this is one of the best and most ambitious Who-related stories I've read to date.
Tip of the Tongue touches on issues of racial and religious bigotry, elitism, and the desire to belong, all within a briskly paced short story that clocks in at just under forty pages. The character development of Jonny and Nettie is well-handled given the length restrictions of the short story format, and Ness colors their world with an excellent feel for the time period's mores and social viewpoints. A thoroughly entertaining, fast-paced entry in Puffin's 50th Anniversary Who celebrations, Ness has delivered a winner -- original, unique, and thought-provoking, akin to the Doctor's best adventures.
Tip of the Tongue barely features the Doctor and Nyssa, but since Five isn't anywhere close to being my favourite Doctor, and Nyssa wasn't anywhere close to my top ten favourite companions (not that I disliked either of them; they were both just a bit bland to be memorable for me), that was not a bad thing - especially as it allowed for focusing more on the original characters and the story. Ness is a great writer (I loved his Chaos Walking trilogy) and he shows his strength as a writer here as well - in spite of the shortness, this instalment in the anniversary series felt more developed and better paced, with an actual start, middle and end and with even a bit of character development, than the previous offerings.
My overall opinion is basically "a terrific short story, but not necessarily the best *Doctor Who* short story". For fans of Five and/or Nyssa, this may well end up feeling disappointing - and understandably so - but other than that, I'd not hesitate to recommend it to almost anyone.
Naturally it causes a lot of harsh words, fighting, and more than a few injuries.
A new alien species.
This has lovable, instantly recognizable characters, a wonderful metaphoric story and a valuable lesson. I hope the Truth Tellers make an appearance in Dr. Who proper.
Unfortunately, while the kids dealt with racist and religious persecution fairly well they never really tangled with the aliens or figured out the problem or even came close to solving it. The Doctor came swooping in at the last minute and with a few brief lines of dialog cleaned everything up and left.
I got no sense of the Fifth Doctor's voice and the only way I knew it was him was the celery and white cricket outfit he wore. The aliens also didn't do anything once he showed up.
This just didn't feel like a proper Doctor Who story to me - it lacked any substance and was extremely short. Short can be fine but not in this case. I was left very disappointed.