Author: Nigel Robinson
Publication Info: London Bridge (1993)
The TARDIS crashes and Bernice Summerfield finds herself alone in the East of London in 1909, albeit the Doctor has somehow found a way to supply her with a bank account to draw upon, and the support of the Waterfield family for a place to live. Soon she’s investigating a series of grisly murders attributed to Springheel Jack, but are actually committed by … aliens! Meanwhile, Ace is on a desert planet in the far future aiding the surviving humans against the insect-like Charrl. And the Doctor is off having adventures in another book that I won’t be reading.
This is the first example of a “Doctor-light” story that became common in the future Virgin Adventures and in the new television series. It also continues the trend of characterizing the Doctor as a manipulative mastermind, the Ace as surly and violent, and Benny as clever but self-doubting. Even the surreal dream-like sequence of the conclusion is a New Adventures’ trait. Nevertheless, it’s a much more simply-written, straightforward narrative than some of the other, more complex books. And barring a few examples of sexist language, it’s a pretty enjoyable adventure to read too.