Did you know that originally Doctor Who was created in order to teach history to children? The First Doctor traveled back in time to places like the ancient Mayan civilization and cavemen. The BBC had initially intended him only to travel backwards in time for this purpose.
Obviously, in modern Who, the Doctor has free reign over time and space (except for 1930’s New York… d’aww!). Those of us itching for Series 10 with Peter Capaldi and new companion played by Pearl Macke can get a quick fix with the new BBC book, Doctor Who: The American Adventures written by Justin Richards. The fun of this book extends to younger fans, as it is actually a fairly easy reader style chapter book. Again, the Doctor shoots back in time in order to teach kids about history, only this time with an American focus.
Travel Through Time
The Doctor pops back to the days of the California Gold Rush and the travelers on the Oregon Trail. (No one dies of dysentery, thankfully!) He shoots into the future of Florida in 2017… with no mention of who wins the Presidential election, darn. He even pops in to a World War II military base as troops prepare for D-Day. He meets many new creatures and friends along the way.
The book is kid-friendly too! Reading to my second grader, the stories are engaging and make for quick bedtime reads (although Mommy does a terrible impression of The Doctor, apparently!). The cadence is the only thing that is tough for Americans, as it is definitely written in British English and style. The Doctor is true to character, with plenty of mention of his infamous eyebrows. Doctor Who: The American Adventures harkens back to the First Doctor’s intent of bringing history to life for kids, and it encouraged my son to want to learn more about the Oregon Trail. Time to break out the Apple II e! Doctor Who: The American Adventures is available TODAY wherever books are sold!
Spectator Sport: the Doctor finds himself, among other time travel tourists, on an invisible spaceship observing the Battle of New Orleans… and must stop a would-be assassin from killing one of the Throne Lords aboard.
All That Glitters: when a gold miner in the mountains of Colorado begins behaving strangely after picking up an odd metal object found in a stream, it’s up to the Doctor to save America from hostile alien takeover.
Off The Trail: a dust storm blows an Oregon Trail-bound family of wagoneers – and the Doctor, in his TARDIS – to a scary alternate reality, and they must together prove to their captors that humans won’t be held captive without a fight!
Ghosts of New York: workers digging the tunnels for the New York subway in the early 1900s report seeing ghosts and refuse to work any more… enter the Doctor, his psychic paper, and an ancient spaceship hell-bent on returning to its home planet.
Base of Operations: the Doctor tracks a strange alien signal coming from U.S. army base where soliders are waiting to be deployed for the 1944 D-Day landings – only to find that the aliens have already begun replacing U.S. troops with their own kind.
Taking the Plunge: a ride at 1980’s Disneyland called the Space Plunge is draining the life essence from the people who pass through it – and the Doctor is forced to duke it out with a gun-totting maintenance man who’s less human than he appears.