Doctor Who: Scratchman by Tom Baker with James Goss (BBC Books, 2019) A novelisation of the film script that Tom Baker and Ian Marter wrote back in the 1970s. The content is dark verging on horror, yet the tone is very much Baker’s latter-day staple of bemused, gently deadpanned, Doctor as lost man-child comedy.
River Song: World Enough and Time by James Goss (Big Finish, 2016) A bit of a mess, sadly. Colin Baker can’t be faulted but his Doctor is out of character and has been shoehorned into the script merely for the gimmick of his being there. River Song would have been better on her own.
Doctor Who: Legends of Ashildr by James Goss, David Llewellyn, Jenny T. Colgan & Justin Richards (BBC, 2015) A shameless, mostly unreadable cash-in. Of the four stories in this collection, only Colgan’s could claim anything like independent worth. In the other tales, Ashildr is either unrecognisable (Goss), superfluous (Llewellyn), or bland (Richards). Uninspiring narratives that fritter away Ashildr’s unique potential.…
Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen by Douglas Adams & James Goss (BBC Books, 2018) Goss takes delight in adding a fourth book to Douglas Adams’ trilogy of Doctor Who stories, channelling the unfocussed wit of ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’ (Adams’ version), diligently but to the detriment of the Doctor Who tale that could have been.
Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection of Time Lord Verse by James Goss; ill. Russell T Davies (BBC Books, 2017) By themselves Davies’ illustrations would make this a 4-star book, but the unmitigated celery stick of Goss’s verse (so-called) diminishes this to a dudgeon-inducing 1-star cash-in from the direst depths of e-space. Utterly unreadable to poets, Doctor Who fans…
Torchwood: Golden Age by James Goss (BBC, 2009) In terms of script this radio drama harks back to the first series of Torchwood, where the team’s standard modus operandi was to rush in with no weaponry and no clue, just hoping for the best. Everything rests on an overplayed villain.
Doctor Who: Dead Air by James Goss (BBC Audio, 2010) Doctor Who meets The Boat That Rocked: a creepy tale somewhat at odds with the drollness of its recounting – an extended Tenth Doctor monologue in which David Tennant (sublime and Scottish in other readings) sounds like Bill Nighy crossed with Arnold Rimmer.
Doctor Who: City of Death by Douglas Adams & James Goss (BBC Books, 2015) Like Douglas Adams’ script before it, this posthumous collaboration appears to have been written somewhat hastily; while it does capture (and at times build upon) the splendour of the 1979 serial, this isn’t quite the much-pined-for novelisation that Gareth Roberts’ Shada was.
The Doctor: His Lives and Times by James Goss & Steve Tribe (BBC Books, 2013) This photograph-rich primer on Doctor Who comprises one-third a potpourri of reminiscences by cast and crew across fifty years (with crosspollination between classic and news series Who) padded unfortunately with an excruciating, nigh unreadable pastiche of ersatz news articles and faux memoire.