Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor by Steven Moffat; dir. Saul Metzstein (BBC, 2013) This season finale exhibits some very cool ideas, stitched together with plenty of good humour. Matt Smith carries the pathos well, yet there’s a bit too much plot crammed in and the episode is scored to within an inch of its life.
Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol by Steven Moffat; dir. Toby Haynes (BBC, 2010) A successful transplanting of Dickens’s novella into the Doctor Who universe, using science fiction to clever effect and adding a twist to the tale. Moffat captures both the Doctor’s exuberant childlike aspect and the seriousness beneath. Matt Smith is in top form.
Jackaby by William Ritter (Algonquin Young Readers, 2014) A supernatural detective story that doesn’t overplay its hand, relying on clever but sensible plot progression and the charisma of the eponymous Jackaby – a cross between Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock and Matt Smith’s Doctor Who, narrated by a Victorian Clara Oswald John Watson.
Doctor Who: Dark Horizons by J. T. Colgan (BBC, 2012) While writing in a style evoking the tv show’s snapshot paciness, Colgan nevertheless crafts a solid historical setting — a Scottish island under both Viking and alien incursion — and adds depth to the mercurial flitting about of Matt Smith’s otherworldly (yet unworldly) Doctor.
Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid by Martin Day (BBC Audio, 2010) More a straightforward short story than novel, and with a production crackle marring Matt Smith’s suitably Doctor-esque flittering consciousness narration, this audiobook nevertheless stands out for its atypical Who setting (mediaeval Japan) and the uncommon, almost poetic refinement of Martin Day’s prose.