Doctor Who: The Stealers of Dreams

Doctor Who: The Stealers of Dreams - Steve Lyons The Doctor, Rose and Jack, three time travellers, land once again on a foreign planet that’s inhabited by humans. What they find is not what they expected: The planet is supposed to be very advanced, but they see that there is a big lack of development instead. Another thing they notice is the absence of fiction. On tv, there are only programs that show facts and the people of that planet have a strong negative reaction to lies.
Later, they learn that any kind of fiction is forbidden (lies, books, tv series, dreams...) and that people who are caught indulging in fiction end up it the Big White House, some kind of asylum for who they believe to be mentally ill.

The big problems start when the Doctor, Rose and Jack split up and one of them starts seeing and hearing things that other people can’t.

The first thing I have to say is that I enjoyed reading the book, as I think will any Doctor Who fan. That’s a good thing, but it can also make it very difficult to review, as any fan will already know who the three main characters are. Readers not familiar with the tv series can still enjoy the book. They will find it difficult to get to know the Doctor, Rose and Jack, as the information given about them is small and not all at the beginning. Also, some knowledge of the tv series is required to understand an important point, as it is an allusion to an episode.

It can be rather confusing sometimes, as the reader doesn’t know what is reality and what isn’t until the very end of the book and every person the main characters meet has a different version of the truth. This is important and explained in the end. While it forces the readers to pay more attention it also helps them to feel like one of the time travellers, as it is through the characters that they discover what’s really going on.

There are two important topics in this story that are well addressed. One is fear and the other is hope. The society in this alien planet has created a form of government to avoid problems. They had hoped to escape other planets’ problems, such as fights and wars; basically they wanted to avoid any kind of conflict and to live in peace. To achieve that they forbade any kind of fiction, hoping that if people only considered facts, feelings wouldn’t complicate things.

The problem is that when they forbade fiction, they also forbade people to dream, to hope. And it came to a point where any form of dream or story was feared and the people involved were punished.

Some of the secondary characters are members of an illegal group who try to save literature in any form and encourage each other to write stories, comic strips, poems... And that law that was created to preserve peace and avoid conflicts is what leads the people in that planet to a fight.

Lastly, I’d like to mention that the author succeeds in writing about such serious topics in a way children can understand, which is not always an easy thing to do.