Dead of Winter
by James Goss

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 1 849 90238 0


    In Dr Bloom's clinic at a remote spot on the Italian coast, at the end of the 18th century, Maria is a lonely little girl with no one to play with. She writes letters to her mother, telling of intrigue and secrets, and of strange faceless figures that rise from the sea. She writes about the enigmatic Mrs Pond who arrives with her husband and her physician, and who will change everything. What she doesn't tell her mother, is the truth that everyone knows and no one says - that the only people who come here do so to die.


    Amy and Rory.

    Pg 109 On a beach in Cote d'Azure, December 1783.


    Pg 29 "'Have you known her long, monsieur?' I asked him. 'Since she was a child'" The Eleventh Hour (although also Let's Kill Hitler, given that this is actually Rory masquerading as the Doctor).

    Pg 42 "I've a friend who likes fish custard." The Eleventh Hour.

    Pg 88 The sonic screwdriver makes an appearance (Fury From the Deep et al).

    Pg 91 "I remembered my lovely little old Dad trying to put up a deckchair on a family beach holiday." Amy's Dad makes an appearance in The Big Bang.

    Pg 98 "It's a lovely English village with a post office and a duck pond" The Eleventh Hour.

    Pg 123 "If Boris didn't watch out, that'd go missing and we'd never hear the last of 'Nightcaps are cool'." The eleventh Doctor's catchphrase (The Eleventh Hour, The Big Bang, The Impossible Astronaut).

    Pgs 134-135 "'Were there no flight attendants in your village?' 'Only Jeff'" The Eleventh Hour.

    Pg 137 "Not the full Oncoming Truck brilliance, but a sly little look." The Oncoming Storm was the Draconians' name for the Doctor (Love and War). Coincidentally, it was also the Daleks' name for him (The Parting of the Ways).

    Pg 138 "Well, I wonder if it's just that you really, really, really love me because you do, and sometimes if it's just that you slightly love me just because of the way that meeting the Doctor meddled with your childhood." The Eleventh Hour.

    Pg 139 "I felt my mouth go dry and wondered if this was how Daleks felt." Rory first met the Daleks in The Big Bang.

    Pg 140 "Bananas are good." The Doctor Dances.

    Pg 159 "There's a mechanism... thingy. If the TARDIS senses a threat it removes itself from the scene." The Hostile Action Displacement System (The Krotons).

    Pg 170 "There'll be rice pudding for you, buns for everyone and plenty of orange juice for the Silurians, too." Doctor Who and the Silurians et al.

    Pg 213 Amy's Dad appears in flashback (The Big Bang).


    Maria and her mother, Dr Bloom, Prince Boris (though he doesn't have long to live at the conclusion), Henry Nevil, the Elquitine sisters.


    1. Cover: Apparently Maria is the spitting image of the Siren from The Curse of the Black Spot.
    2. Pg 233 "Prince Boris was probably amused - you know, in thay 'English people are sooo funny' was of his." Except this is Amy's internal voice and there's absolutely no way she'd refer to herself as English.

    PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]

    1. The Siren took its physical template from Maria, for reasons unknown.
    2. Amy is convinced that Prince Boris only finds Dr Bloom and Rory amusing, not herself or the Doctor.

    Pg 94/127 The Familiar, ghostly sea creatures that are somewhere between smoke and pulsing green meat, wet and cold, but also vital.

    Pg 235 The Sea, a towering creature with tentacles, claws, teeth, metal and hundreds of mouths.

    Pg 109 Cote d'Azure, 1783 (page 10).

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    There are some very clever twists in here. The early revelation about the Doctor and Rory is subtly signposted, but very rewarding. The late revelation about Maria works very nicely. And the epistolary form is a nice change of pace. So why does it all feel so laboured? This should be a fantastic book, but instead it feels as though it's trying way too hard to impress and failing. It's too bad, because Goss's Torchwood novels were excellent. Not a bad read, by any means, just not the breakout novel it wants to be.