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Doctor Who: At Childhood’s End

Thirteenth Doctor Novel
Written by: Sophie Aldred
Narrated by: Sophie Aldred
Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Past or future, which path do you choose?

Past, present and future collide as the Thirteenth Doctor meets classic Doctor Who companion Ace, in an epic novel written and read by Sophie Aldred.

Once, a girl called Ace travelled the universe with the Doctor - until, in the wake of a terrible tragedy they parted company. Now, decades on, she is known as Dorothy McShane, the reclusive millionaire philanthropist who heads the global organisation A Charitable Earth. 

But Dorothy is being haunted by terrible nightmares in which she’s abducted to an alien world. Nightmares that begin just as scores of young runaways are vanishing from the dark alleyways of London. Could the disappearances be linked to sightings of sinister creatures - part man, part rat - lurking in the city shadows? Why has an alien satellite entered a secret orbit around the Moon? And how has Dorothy become a target for the victors in an interstellar war? 

Investigating the satellite with Ryan, Graham and Yaz, the Doctor is thrown together with Ace once more. Together they must unravel a malevolent plot that will cost of thousands of lives. But can the Doctor atone for her past incarnation’s behaviour - and how much must Ace sacrifice to win victory not only for herself, but for the Earth? 

Sophie Aldred, who played Ace in the BBC TV serial, reads her own thrilling novel.

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Martinico
  • 26-02-20

Ace!

Sophie Aldred's character Ace is arguably my favorite classic Doctor Who companion. I loved her opposite Sylvester McCoy's 7th Doctor - on TV, as well as in those unlicensed BBV "Professor and Ace" audio dramas of the 1990's, and in 20 years (and counting!) worth of official Doctor Who audio dramas from Big Finish Productions. So I went into this with high hopes.
Thankfully I was not disappointed. Her storytelling, plot development, and prose style are all quite good, and her knowledge of the Doctor Who universe is excellent. This is truly one of the better Doctor Who novels out there. And what better way to experience it than to listen to it read by Sophie herself! In addition to still being able to perfectly channel Ace, she does a cracking good 13th Doctor, and handles the other voices with skill as well.
One of the clever things this novel does, is find a way to sort of reconcile all of the various post-TV futures for Ace. Because in addition to Ace's future in the Virgin New Adventures books, there are also the not-completely-consistent futures in the various audio drama series' by Big Finish - their 7th Doctor adventures, their "Lost Stories", and their Gallifrey series. It isn't explored in great depth, but this novel, at more than one point touches on the idea that young Ace was at one point was given glimpses of all of these as possible futures. Doing it this way, skillfully sidesteps having to declare allegance to any one specific timeline.
"At Childhood's End" also successfully tackles explaining why Ace and the Doctor stopped travelling together in the first place - something otherwise never really explained in any of the post-TV books/audios - and allows the two of them to figuratively revisit that, and work it out.
This is all not to say that the book is all about drumming up the past. It's also a rather good, brand new adventure for the current Doctor and her companions, that could easily have been adapted for television.
I'm really hoping this isn't just a one-off for Sophie. She clearly knows her character, as well as the Doctor Who universe, and how to tell a compelling story. So hopefully this sells well enough for her to consider writing another. C'mon, Sophie! More!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Todd (Toad) Vogel
  • 30-03-20

Sophie Alfred Aced it!

Sophie Aldred Aced it with this book! A little of the old and the new Who series. It's always a bit awkward when an old companion meets a newer Doctor. They have to get used to seeing a different face (and different gender in this case) and they wonder how many times the Doctor has changed since they were last together and how many other companions have traveled with the Doctor. This story blends it all together so well. Ace, the companion of the 7th Doctor meets up with the 13th Doctor and her companions to face what seems like an old familiar for to Ace and her Doctor. Excellent story line and great narration by Sophie Aldred! She nailed the voices perfectly!

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  • Jennifer Baratta
  • 11-02-20

For Whovians

Sophie Aldred is an Outstanding author and narrator. Thank you for sharing this story and for being a great companion.

2 people found this helpful

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  • notallwhowander
  • 14-02-20

My favorite Doctor Who novel

I've read and listened to most of the new who novels and this one has won the title of favorite with a wonderful blend of my favorite classic companion and the new crew. Sophie Aldred does a wonderful job performing, coming as no surprise to those familiar with her audio work. Ace is of course, always wonderful in her capable hands and it's great to hear her read her own story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • E. Triebenbach
  • 28-08-20

Soooo Good!!

This is the first 13th Doctor story I’ve listened to, it was totally worth it! A really great plot that tied up some loose ends from a few recreations past. I enjoyed every minute.

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  • Randy T Smith
  • 08-08-20

To Sophie

Well done, Sophie. Really enjoyed the bringing together of the classic and new. Well done!

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  • Neisha Mulchan
  • 03-07-20

superb book

Absolutely loved this book & Sophie's understanding of the characters, the ethos the emotion and journey of the companion is superb!

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  • Jamie Fairchild
  • 24-06-20

What fun!

Sophie was not only one of my favorite Doctor Who companions as Ace, she’s also a talented storyteller! This book was so much fun I had a hard time putting it down. Well done Sophie you have brought a wonderful era back to life.

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  • Mary Beth
  • 22-06-20

Incredible performance

Those of us of a certain age recall the wonderful, albeit at times cheesy, Classic Who episodes of the 60s-80s. Due to college obligations in a part of the US where the local PBS stations did not air Doctor Who, I missed out on the McCoy years. This is the most likely reason why this story did not engage me as much as it might have otherwise. It does fall under what I consider 'Doctor Light' given The Doctor is a supporting character, but this is not in itself a major flaw ('Blink' is one of the all time great Who stories). And the story itself is solid, and the performance is spot on. Sophie Aldred has an amazing vocal talent to sound like many different characters, keeping each distinct and believable. You can easily believe it is Jodie Whittaker is voicing her character. My problem? I didn't understand the basic reason reason for the conflict Ace holds against her Doctor. I almost stopped listening a few times, but Sophie's excellent performance kept drawing me back. I don't have much interest in listening to his particular Doctor Who story again, but I am absolutely going to seek out other stories narrated by Sophie. She is THAT good.

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  • Cas Hanney
  • 10-06-20

LOVE

Squiget!! The best character. Sophie did SUCH a good job!!!! NAILED IT! Would read it again!

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  • Andrew C
  • 09-02-20

It all really is one story.

Quite the best thirteen Doctor story. With more than a little Seventh thrown in.

4 people found this helpful

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  • claire greenaway
  • 05-03-20

Excellent story. Well read. Links nicely back to who origins

A well crafted story which captures the dynamic between Ace and 7th dr, and adds the current incumbents to the mix perfectly. The character of ace is not compromised and remains true to the original spririt which Sophie embodies. A gripping and enjoyable read. Well done.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-02-20

At Childhoods End is ACE!

Absolutely loved the story, especially in Ace's voice, a perfect blend of the classic Doctor and the latest incarnation.
Highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elmo66
  • 21-07-20

Outstanding

Sophie Aldred is an amazing orator and writer. had no expectations, but it was a thoroughly outstanding performance

1 person found this helpful

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  • JONATHAN
  • 21-04-20

BRILLIANT!

Brilliant doctor who story really well written and performed by Sophie Aldred Brilliant fantastic story

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steven E.
  • 14-09-20

I good story for one my favourite companion

Ace was always a companion I love when I was young and it was good to see what happened to her after the show ended

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  • duncan e c mcleod
  • 07-07-20

Doctor Who: At Childhood’s End Review

I loved this audio book very much and I want more like this in the future.
By Orkneyislands

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  • Malcolm Holford
  • 28-06-20

At Childhoods End is ACE!

Great book,really well read,by an Ace narrator.Great new Doctor story with loads of references to original Doctor.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-06-20

Needs an edit!

The performance was great. But the story felt sluggish at times and could have done with more closure at the end.

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  • fred jones
  • 05-06-20

Great story well written and narrated

A great story well written and narrated by the author, catches the spirit of Ace and her relationship to the Doctor perfectly as it should. Sophie makes an excellent performer and has a good range of voices, does a good job of both incarnations of the Doctor. My only quibble is the overuse of the Alien control device, much like the Doctors Sonic Screwdriver it seems to be able to do anything, but apart from that excellent

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  • Wendy
  • 29-02-20

Interesting.

Sophie Aldred did a good job writing and readings this audio book. I felt I could see what was happening it was so well described. I enjoy all Doctor Who characters. Well done Sophie.