We’ve survived invasion by Daleks, Cybermen, Autons and Zygons – but has the Earth ever faced anything as monstrous as internet trolls?
That’s the question asked by David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in a new novel to be published this spring by BBC Books.
Jenny T Colgan’s In The Blood – the first full-length Tenth Doctor novel since 2009 – tells the story of an alien virus that attacks online trolls, feeding on the hatred and despair in cyberbullies everywhere.
Faced with a wave of anger and bitterness sweeping the globe – from the streets of London to the web cafes of South Korea – it’s down to the Doctor and Donna Noble to save the planet from the aliens. And possibly from ourselves.
“I wanted to write an exciting Earth-set adventure for the Tenth Doctor and Donna, and I thought, what would strike you, if you’d just arrived here, at this point in our history?” Colgan tells RadioTimes.com. “You’d probably be a bit amazed at how much pointless bile people send over the internet – this amazing tool we have, this amazing source of infinite knowledge and so on, getting used for so much abuse. It’s really mind-boggling.
“The thing is, I’m a Doctor Who fan, obviously, and 99.999% of fandom is absolutely lovely – I can’t stress that enough – but a tiny proportion are quite aggressive, and that’s puzzling to me, because it’s the antithesis of everything the Doctor stands for. So the book is looking at modern rage, how pent up people can get. It’s pent up anger that the virus feeds on, all that frustration with nowhere to go.
“When the trolls first start to die, people are not that concerned – people who’ve been bullied so much they’ve had to change schools aren’t that sympathetic. But of course the Doctor doesn’t see it like that at all. A life is a life to him.”
“I’m making it sound a lot more po-faced than it actually is,” adds Colgan. “It’s mostly Ten and Donna having a great time, as they usually do!”