Welcome to DoWntime’s not-too-regular column, Assessing Stress. That’s where we assess … stress. Or more accurately, talk and debate about the newest episodes to hit the television screen, the new releases from Big Finish, and all these good things.
And today, Tibère, on his own this time, opens a book, for a change, and chats about The Missy Chronicles, the recent anthology about everyone’s favourite evil Time Lady. Spoilers after the “read more” tag.
Additionally, a bit of an advertisement – if you want to hear a bit more about the book, you’ll be able to catch DoWntime guest contributor (and Clara expert) Ruth Long on the Trap One podcast that way !
Well, if one is to talk about the Missy Chronicles, one first needs to talk about what these recent anthologies published by BBC Books have been all about. They tend to be a bit light on character, in a way – their primary purpose seeming more to be a collection of short, fun little stories about a cool character we want to see more of. The River book they made a couple years ago is a perfect example of that, with only Jenny Colgan’s story hitting any sort of key character notes and the rest consisting of pleasant and well-written Who runarounds (yes, I’ve been taking notes for a future Follow the River, why d’you ask).
The Missy Chronicles mostly follows that pattern. If you’re looking for an in-depth examination of the character and her complexities, you’re probably going to be disappointed by most of the things past the first and best story – but really, Missy is just fun to be around, and while I wouldn’t go proclaiming that this specific volume is a literary masterpiece, it’s an infectiously entertaining, if a tiny bit uneven, read, with a diverse panel of writers that allow for some very different and creative takes on the character. There are much worse ways to spend ten bucks.