The Ruby in the Smoke, Philip Pullman

The Eleventh Doctor isn’t Paterson Joseph.  I really, really wanted it to be, but no, it isn’t him.  They said so today.  It’s some little child twenty-six years old (my generation, for heaven’s sake!) that nobody’s ever heard of.  Except that apparently he was in the BBC film version of Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke.  With Billie Piper, Billie Piper!  Hurrah for Billie Piper!  So I decided to read the books and then watch the films when they come in at the library.

The Ruby in the Smoke is about a girl called Sally Lockhart whose father has just died, and there is some mystery surrounding his death and finances, and a number of other things, that she ends up having to work out.  She meets some nice people that help her, and some nasty people that don’t.  This is all in 19th-century London.  Every time someone says something about 19th-century London, I always hope they will sometime bring up Oscar Wilde, but so far they have not.

I enjoyed this – everyone’s so cheerful and they all rush round trying to get everything sorted out.  Sally can be a bit of a pansy sometimes, but when she bothers trying to be cool, she manages it handily.  I admire a girl who can handle photography and finances – though I was surprised nobody thought to worry about whether their printed photographs would give away their location to the dastardly villains who were after them.  One time I made an index for a book about photographs from this time period, which was interesting, and reading this book reminded me that I don’t remember one single thing about it.

Anyway I’ll have to see the film.  I like Billie Piper.  Maybe it will help me to feel slightly, slightly better about this new kid playing the Doctor.

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