Doctor Who: Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman – A Review


Doctor Who: Nothing O’Clock (E-Short #11) by Neil Gaiman
Science Fiction | Short Story
Published by Puffin
Released November 21, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

This is another book that I read for the 2019 Reading Rush, this time for the prompt “Read a book with a non-human main character.” I was coming down to the very last day of the challenge, so thankfully I had this short story downloaded to my Kindle already.

Nothing O’Clock is one of twelve short stories written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. The series had some fantastic authors contribute to it, such as Holly Black and Patrick Ness. Each short stories tells a tale of a different Doctor.

So far this is the only one of the twelve that I’ve read, but that won’t be the case for long. Neil Gaiman wrote Nothing O’Clock, which follows the Eleventh Doctor (played by Matt Smith in the television series) and his companion Amy Pond.


When the society of the Times Lords still existed, they built a prison for a species known as the Kin, who were eventually forgotten about, especially after the Time Lords were destroyed. The Kin have escaped, however, and their plan is to legally take over Earth. The Doctor, as can be expected, is having none of this, and it’s up to him to save the day and return the planet back to humanity.

Neil Gaiman is no stranger to Doctor Who. He’s also written two scripts for the television series – “The Doctor’s Wife” and “Nightmare in Silver.” “The Doctor’s Wife” is actually one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes. All of the stories/scripts that Gaiman have written have been for the Eleventh Doctor, and he does such a great job with him.


Similar to the two scripts Gaiman wrote, Nothing O’Clock is just as dark, creepy, and silly as you’d expect. I’ve always been appreciative of writers who can write the Eleventh Doctor well, and find that perfect blend of hero and madman.

The story is surprisingly complex for how short it is and would have fit right into the television series. The reason I’m rating it three stars is mainly due to the fact that I’m comparing it to other Doctor Who stories – both in the television series and in written form. Compared to the rest of the Doctor Who universe, this story falls a bit flat. It’s still very enjoyable though, so if you’re a Doctor Who fan, this story is a must-read.

Finally, a quick note – this story is available as a Kindle ebook as well as being included in Neil Gaiman’s collection of short stories, Trigger Warning

Have you read Nothing O’Clock or any of the other 50th anniversary short stories? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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