Neil Gaiman's Doctor Who: Nothing O'Clock Set Between Victory Of The Daleks And Time Of Angels

WP_20131106_17_04_20_ProSo this arrived in the post this morning.

The collection of the short story Doctor Who ebooks that have been running through the year, one a month, until the 50th anniversary date. And I seem to have got the physical collection early, even before the final ebook is issued

There are many names to recognise, Eoin Colfer, Charlie Higson, Marjorie Blackman, but of course, because I'm me, my eye was most attracted by that of Neil Gaiman. So I flipped to that story first.

It's a story that dates itself well for me, a father working with his Amstrad computer do to his accounts. Neil must have had an Amstrad PCW back then, he referred to it obliquely in Sandman, here it's more prominent, as are its whirring engines when you saved a file. I'm straight back to those mid eighties years with a bang.

It also dates rather well in Doctor Who chronology, we have The Doctor and Amy, but no Rory. But also, she remembers Rory. So that makes it before Cold Blood… and actually before Time Of Angels. And since the Doctor and Amy have spent some time together, and Victory Of The Daleks happened right after The Beast Below, I'm going to tag it between Victory and Angels. Ta da!

I've been asked if it relates to any of Neil's other Doctor Who work and it really doesn't – instead it relates far more to We Can Get Them For You Wholesale, a famous short story of his in which the world is assassinated via phonecall, and all the killers have to do is be asked.

Here, the offer is for you to sell your home for far more than the asking price and all you have to do as ask the mysterious masked buyers what the time is. Of course when everyone has had the same offer, and accepts, where do they go? Where does anyone go?

There is time travel, there is the infinite reoccurring villain and there is the collapse of all known time and space in a universe without the Time Lords. There is the Doctor and Amy. There is no Rory. Literally it appears, once again the very existence of Rory is wiped from the universe along the way. And yes, those animal masks. Gaiman does like a mask.

Oh and of course, there is a child. A young, clever girl, placed in extreme danger and coping remarkably well – with a little help from The Doctor. She's called Polly, but she could have been called Coraline too.

Yeah, I think you're going to enjoy this one. I did…

Doctor Who: Nothing O'Clock by Neil Gaiman is published as an eBook in the UK and the US on November 21st for my birthday, and published as a collection with the other ten stories on the same day, two days ahead of the anniversary date.



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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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