As with practically any short story anthology, the offerings are necessarily a mixed bag. Surprisingly, given that the Eighth Doctor is on the cover, he featured only in a small role in the last story, “The Glass Princess” by Justin Richards. Richards, is, by the way, obsessed with glass, but I have to confess I was almost in tears as I finished this story. It was easily my favorite, though it was highly sentimental, and yet the fairy tale quality really charmed me. It was with surprise that I realized Steven Moffat had freely adapted the idea for “A Christmas Carol.”
For the first half of “Confabula,” by Ian Potter, which featured the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa, I was extremely impressed by the intricate class-based sci fi critique. However, he rather spoiled it by his too-clever reveal. Highly enjoyable, too, was Simon A. Forward’s “The Astronomer’s Apprentice,” where Victoria, Jamie, and the Second Doctor visited Traken long before the Fourth Doctor ever got there. I’m such a sucker for Traken, even though I guessed the twist of this one.
“Katarina in the Underworld” by Steve Lyons was a good tribute to one of the least-liked companions, and the First Doctor was beautifully portrayed. I think it would make a great Companion Chronicle, in point of fact. “Teach Yourself Ballroom Dancing” was a surprisingly touching story for the Sixth Doctor. It’s not every day he gets kissed on the lips by ballet dancers. Alas, I’m not sure I really got the point of “An Overture Too Early” by Simon Guerrier.