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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

What listeners say about Doctor Who: At Childhood’s End

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It all really is one story.

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

6 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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!

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

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

2 people found this helpful

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BRILLIANT!

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

2 people found this helpful

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Ace

The story moves briskly and always entertains Sophie Aldred really understands Doctor Who.
Truely Ace!

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Not a bad listen

Didn't know what to expect and was very surprised its a great story and so well read. I recommend this to and doctor who fan.

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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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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

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark M.
  • 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!

11 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!

3 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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Baratta She/Her
  • 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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  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kae Elnliwilts
  • 07-06-22

voices were Ace!

pun intended.

Sophie Aldred did a fantastic job narrating. Sometimes it sounded to me like she mixed up the voices a bit, used the wrong voice, but overall I was really impressed.

The story is also really interesting. I confess that I've never seen the original series, so it was pretty rad to get a glimpse into it and to meet some of the characters. Especially given that Ace will be making an appearance in 13's finale this fall!

I recommend this title.

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  • kcsshadow
  • 21-09-21

Ace!

Fantastic start to finish. Ace is my favorite companion of the classic Era and this is an amazing follow-up for her character! ❤

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  • shaunsue
  • 27-08-21

Ace can tell a story

A great story that blends old and new who. Sophie has a great reading voice. very enjoyable

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  • Di
  • 25-05-21

Fabulous Adventure!

Sophie Aldred has written a fabulous, engrossing story filled with memorable characters, some familiar, some new, and a veritable thrill ride of excitement from beginning to end. Very entertaining reading by Sophie. (She has a great voice and does the best voices!) I highly recommend it to ALL Doctor Who fans...younger and older. In word, this book and reading by Sophie is... ACE!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-05-21

FANTASTIC!

This book is appsolutly fantastic! 10 out of 10! the best Doctor Who story I've read in a while.