The Collector’s Corner #6: The Adventures of Tohtori Kuka!

What, I hear you ask, does this mysterious “Tohtori Kuka” have to do with that wanderer in space and time known only as Dr. Who, the Doctor, Theta Sigma, John Smith, and Doctor Von Wer? Well, put that chair down and let me tell you. “Tohtori Kuka” is “Doctor Who” in Finnish. Two of the Target books were translated into Finnish in the 1970s. Both were only available in hardback. Both were produced in a larger format than the Target books, so they are large and Scandinavian – “Big Finnish”, hahahaha.

Ahem. 

Alas, Tohtori Kuka only had two adventures: he saved the world from the Autonien Hyokkays and also from the deadly Luolahirviot. The Finnish books present the good Tohtori as a kind of superhero: he is said on the blurb to have “special powers” which enable him to zoosh through time and space. Tohtori Kuka, you will be pleased to hear, also puts his special powers to use to benefit mankind. I think. I don’t really know. You try typing Finnish into Google translate. It’s hard. And the English you get back is basically gibberish. Here’s an example: “a deported Doctor Who is one of the space-age states that can easily move from one age to the other.” I think this means: “The exiled Tohtori Kuka is one of the Space-Time Lords who can easily move from one age to another.” But then, Kuka knows? 

The covers are new and they are rubbish. The Autons are fat and have big muscles, as all shop window dummies do. They are scowling. Here they are: 

And here are the Luolahirviot. Yes, this is the Finnish for “Cave Monsters”, i.e. the Silurians. Note the third eye. Aren’t they nice? 

They do remind me of something. Can’t quite think.  

Ah, got it! 

Yes, it’s the soup dragon from The Clangers! Whether Morka, Okdel and K’to were purveyors of soup and suppliers of blue-string pudding to the rest of the hibernating Luolahirviot is unclear. Let us hope so. 

In these Who-lean times, when we are depressed by starvation from new episodes of our favourite programme (no, really: aren’t the Jodie Whittaker stories fabulous?), I offer you the image of the soup dragon as a panacea to gladden your hearts and see you through a year of Kuka-less Sundays. Here she is again. 

Bye-bye, Okdel! Please keep the soup simmering for us! Don’t let Tohtori Kuka scoff it all! Bye-bye!