Illustrated by David Wardle, this collection of fifteen fairy tales puts a “Doctor Who” twist on traditional fairy tales. As a fan of the show Doctor Who, I enjoyed the twist. The fifteen tales are divided over 261 pages, which include illustrations and an illustrated title page for each tale. As you can imagine, each tale is not very long, making it perfect to read in installments—such as when chasing a toddler around the house all day.
My absolute favorite tale was the first one, “The Garden of Statues,” which plays on the Doctor Who antagonists of the weeping angels, stone angel statues that exist in a quantum reality, so when no one is looking at them, they strike. When they are being watched, they remain stone.
I like fairy tales because they play on archetypes. In fact, I referenced this book in a class I recently taught on archetypes in literature. What I liked about this collection’s particular twist is how it replaced some of the weird, “magical” elements of fairy tales that tend not to make much sense with elements from the Doctor Who universe. (As Arthur Clarke pointed out, magic might just be technology we don’t understand).
In this collection, Jack and the Beanstalk became “Jak and the Wormhole.” Snow White had to content with seven keys that could cause the apocalypse. And any fan of Doctor Who would recognize the twist in “Little Rose Riding Hood.”
My only complaint about the book is also what makes it what it is. It’s a book of fairy tales, which forces it to rely on stereotypical plots, and even with Whovian twists, the tales still feel generic—but this is simply by nature. It’s also what makes the tales easy to read in little chunks, one at a time. I wouldn’t recommend the tales to someone new to Doctor Who because some of the references are subtle, and background information (thankfully) isn’t explained. But if you’ve seen even one season of the show, you will likely appreciate the references and the twists they play on tales you’re already familiar with.
Don’t miss the last day of Barking Rain Press’s Summer Daze sale. You can read The Scarred Letter and The Girl Who Flew Away for just $1.99 each. Prices are good anywhere ebooks are sold. But hurry–the sale ends on July 4th!