doctor who ghosts of indiaMark Morris
BBC Books
2008

India in 1947 is a country in the grip of chaos–a country torn apart by internal strife. When the Doctor and Donna arrive in Calcutta, they are instantly swept up in violent events. Barely escaping with their lives, they discover that the city is rife with tales of ‘half-made men’, who roam the streets at night and steal people away. These creatures, it is said, are as white as salt and have only shadows where their eyes should be. With help from India’s greatest spiritual leader, Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi, the Doctor and Donna set out to investigate these rumors. What is the real truth behind the ‘half-made men’? Why is Gandhi’s role in history under threat? And has an ancient, all-powerful god of destruction really come back to wreak his vengeance upon the Earth?

Here it is, the final Doctor Who novel that was purchased with that bundle of other Doctor Who novels that, for all intents and purposes, I did manage to read within a month…but have just now gotten around to reviewing them all, over a year later. Sometimes, it takes a while for something to fester and bubble in my brain…other times, things get lost in the busy shuffle that is living, I guess. But we’re not here to read my thoughts on that, are we? And if you were, then…um, I don’t know what to say about that. Anway…

Ghost of India find The Tenth Doctor and Donna arriving in Calcutta, India, in 1947, at a time of great upheaval. The Doctor thought he was arriving in 1937, you see, to eat at a fantastic restaurant he knows about. Only, now the restaurant is a charred husk, due to the rioting in the city. Also, there seems to be some kind of disease that’s causing people to become violently aggressive psychopaths. This might have something to do with a kind of alien entity that has taken up residence inside an abandoned temple in the form of Shiva. The Doctor and Donna team up with a young altruistic doctor (lower-case “d” in this instance) and some guy named Gandhi team up to check out what may be going on. Turns out things are a bit more dire than just a socio-political uprising. Think “alien abduction on a grand scale.”

As historical fiction goes, Ghosts of India wasn’t too bad. I’m not much with the British occupation of India (or any other country that’s not under British control, for that matter…’Merica), and I only know of Gandhi because…well, who hasn’t heard of Gandhi? He’s kind of a cultural icon, regardless of whether you’ve studied his life and philosophies or not. 1947 Calcutta does work well for the backdrop for the overall mystery surrounding the weird disease and alien invasion plot. Again, a serviceable Doctor Who novel, perfect for killing off a few hours.

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