The Doctor’s past catches up with her when she meets former companion Ace, in the brand new Doctor Who novel At Childhood’s End – out now!
This is a book I’ve been excited to read for quite a while. To be honest, I think that’s true of a lot of fans of late eighties Doctor Who. Because not only is the brand new novel At Childhood’s End focused on Ace, former companion to the Seventh Doctor. But it’s even written by Ace herself: Sophie Aldred.
While it’s her debut novel, it’s actually perfect that Aldred has written this. Because honestly, there’s no one who knows the character better. Not only did she portray Ace during the final three seasons of the Classic Series, but she continues to play her today thanks to Big Finish’s many audios.
In fact, just last month, she played a more mature version of the character in Seventh Doctor audio Dark Universe. While there have been plenty of Seven and Ace audios, this one was a little different, as it was the two seeing each other for the first time in twenty years.
At Childhood’s End is set even later than that, for both characters. Now head of her own charity A Charitable Earth, Dorothy McShane is once again reunited with the Doctor. But probably not the Doctor she was expecting…
Classic meets New
Past, present and future collide as the Thirteenth Doctor meets classic Doctor Who companion Ace – in the first epic novel from the woman who played her, Sophie Aldred.
Once, a girl called Ace travelled the universe with the Doctor – until, in the wake of a terrible tragedy they parted company. Decades later, she is known as Dorothy McShane, the reclusive millionaire philanthropist who heads global organisation A Charitable Earth.
And Dorothy is haunted by terrible nightmares, vivid dreams that begin just as scores of young runaways are vanishing from the dark alleyways of London. Could the disappearances be linked to sightings of sinister creatures lurking in the city shadows? Why has an alien satellite entered a secret orbit around the Moon?
Investigating the satellite with Ryan, Graham and Yaz, the Doctor is thrown together with Ace once more. Together they must unravel a malevolent plot that will cost thousands of lives. But can the Doctor atone for her past incarnation’s behaviour – and how much must Ace sacrifice to win victory not only for herself, but for the Earth?
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This sounds like a particularly exciting novel. (One that I’ve started reading already, so expect a review soon.) It’s almost a shame that this isn’t a story that’s explored on television, like when Sarah Jane Smith met the Tenth Doctor in Series 2 episode School Reunion. In that story, Ten had to make up for leaving his old friend behind back in his Fourth incarnation.
But with Ace, Thirteen’s got even more to make up for. There were many times when the Seventh Doctor treated his friend rather badly, as he tended to focus on the bigger picture rather than his companion’s well-being. Thirteen’s a much more moral Doctor, so that contrast is going to be even bigger.
Doctor Who: At Childhood’s End is available now in the UK in both hardback and as an e-book. While North America has a little while longer to wait for a physical edition of the book, the e-book is thankfully available right now.
Are you a fan of Ace? Are you keen to read a novel written by Sophie Aldred herself? Let us know in the comments below.