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Spore: 01/31/20


Spore by Alex Scarrow is the Eighth Doctor novella from the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary boxset. The Eighth Doctor had one adventure for an American made miniseries in 1996 — and a brief cameo in "The Night of the Doctor" (Doctor Who, 14 November 2013). So there's not much in the way of screen time to build on. There might be books but I haven't read any.

Since he was an American creation or regeneration to use the in show term, it makes sense for this adventure to take place on American soil. Specifically it's set near Las Vegas in a small desert town. The town is under attack by an unknown but 100% lethal pathogen. The Doctor, though, recognizes it and knows he has to jump in before Earth is destroyed.

Apparently the Spore, the Doctor's name for the invading pathogen, is a test of sentience. If sentience is proved to its satisfaction it will self destruct before completely destroying the planet.

After all the horror of the dead in the town and the Thing-like mutations, the climax was a bit of a let down. Yes, the Doctor likes to talk. They (to include the current regeneration) tend to ramble. But after all that set up, a Socratic discussion between aliens on behalf of the Earth just wasn't a satisfying ending.

Three stars

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