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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old October 25 2012, 12:54 AM   #1
Allyn Gibson
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50th Anniversary Book Releases

In March, BBC Books is issuing 11 books, in a uniform design, reprinting a PDA, an NSA, or, in one case, a Target novelization, one for each of the 11 doctors. See here.

The titles being reprinted by Doctor are:

First Doctor: Ten Little Aliens, Stephen Cole
Second Doctor: Dreams of Empire, Justin Richards
Third Doctor: Last of the Gaderne, Mark Gatiss
Fourth Doctor: Festival of Death, Jonathan Morris
Fifth Doctor: Fear of the Dark, Trevor Baxendale
Sixth Doctor: Players, Terrence Dicks
Seventh Doctor: Remebrance of the Daleks, Ben Aaronovich
Eighth Doctor: Earthworld, Jacqueline Rayner
Ninth Doctor: Only Human, Gareth Roberts
Tenth Doctor: Beautiful Chaos, Gary Russell
Eleventh Doctor: The Silent Stars Go By, Dan Abnett

I like the packaging, the covers look snazzy.
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Old October 25 2012, 01:28 AM   #2
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

It'll be cool to check these books out. Most of them I haven't read, even the Ninth and Tenth Doctor novels are ones I never did get around to getting. Indeed, out of that batch the only one I've read is The Silent Stars Go By, and though I have seen Rememberance of the Daleks I have not read the novelization.

I'm a bit disappointed though, I was hoping they would write a new novel for each Doctor, either as a paperback or mini-hardcover like the NSAs. *Sigh.* Oh well, these should keep me entertained, and at the very least there is that new Third Doctor novel coming out next year. And I agree, those covers do look nice.
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Old October 25 2012, 01:30 AM   #3
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

I agree with that blogger that some of the choices are baffling, while others are pretty solid. I wonder who the introductions will be by.
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Old October 25 2012, 02:30 AM   #4
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
I'm a bit disappointed though, I was hoping they would write a new novel for each Doctor, either as a paperback or mini-hardcover like the NSAs. *Sigh.*
There are rumblings of a project along those lines for 2013. According to a poster on Outpost Gallifrey (this thread if you're a member there), there's to be monthly eBooks in 2013, one Doctor a month from January to November. If so, I'd expect them to be novella-length, like Pocket's Star Trek: SCE eBooks of a decade ago.

Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
I agree with that blogger that some of the choices are baffling, while others are pretty solid. I wonder who the introductions will be by.
It's an odd line-up, but I see the logic. Mostly. It's not a "best of" series, it's an "introduction to each Doctor" series aimed at the market that's discovered Doctor Who in the last decade, not the market who bought these books originally. I'm sure that the BBC wanted a Dalek book in the series, but there aren't many choices (John Peel's EDAs are not standouts, and Prisoner of the Daleks, while a top-notch book, is widely available now and is something that the target audience for these reprints would likely have).

The one that I can't see the logic for is Earthworld, unless the BBC criteria was that they had to have a Jac Rayner novel, but even then Wolfsbane is an infinitely better choice as a Rayner eighth Doctor novel (even though it's mostly a fourth Doctor novel). Picking the novel to represent the eighth Doctor was always going to be tricky, because there's so many more of them to choose from. Honestly, my first choice would have been Paul Leonard's The Turing Test, followed by Lawrence Miles' Alien Bodies, then Lance Parkin's Father Time.
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Old October 25 2012, 03:13 AM   #5
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

If they're going for an "introduction to each Doctor" approach, and I agree they are, I don't know that any of those eighth Doctor books particularly work. They're all quite good, but The Turing Test and Father Time both work by being atypical eighth Doctor stories, and Alien Bodies, like an awful lot of Miles' Who fiction, backgrounds the Doctor and doesn't really capture him. I mostly read the arc-driven eighth Doctor books, so I don't know which ones precisely would work; maybe Vampire Science, The Year of Intelligent Tigers, or The City of the Dead?

The selections that give me pause are those for the first, second, fifth, and sixth Doctors. But really, I suppose that the second, fifth, and sixth never really had any standout PDAs, introductory or otherwise, so one selection is as good as another. Surprised they didn't go with The Witch Hunters for the first, though, as it's always been popular, it's not inaccessible, and it's by an established NSA author. But I haven't read it, so maybe there's a problem I'm not aware of.
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Old October 25 2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
Surprised they didn't go with The Witch Hunters for the first, though, as it's always been popular, it's not inaccessible, and it's by an established NSA author. But I haven't read it, so maybe there's a problem I'm not aware of.
On Facebook yesterday I read Steve Lyons say that he was told the BBC didn't want an historical because the series is sci-fi now. Otherwise, yes, The Witch Hunters would have been a brilliant choice.

Also, good point on the EDAs. Vampire Science may be the most accessible book possible of the ones you suggested.
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Old October 25 2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

I love the covers. I'll probably pick up the ones that I don't already own.
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Old October 25 2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
On Facebook yesterday I read Steve Lyons say that he was told the BBC didn't want an historical because the series is sci-fi now.
I sort of wondered about that possibility. In a way it's a pity-- pure historicals were part of the first and second Doctor eras to which they want to introduce people-- but I do see the logic.
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Old October 25 2012, 08:56 PM   #9
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

Shame really, I thought that Ten Little Aliens was terrible.
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Old October 30 2012, 12:48 AM   #10
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

Unlike the rest of you, I'm not a fan of the packaging. But then, I've liked Lee Binding's work on the NSAs, so I still have art I like on the books I'm interested in.
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Old November 5 2012, 06:58 AM   #11
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

I've read the 6th and 11th Doctors selections and enjoyed them both.

"Players" also had a reference to one of my favorite historical fiction series characters, which I liked.
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Old November 5 2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

Well, the selection seems to split largely into three groups:
People working on the new series (Roberts, Gatiss, Russell)
People on staff (or used to be on staff) at BBC Books (Cole, Richards, Rayner) - possibly that made it easier to get their OK for a reissue.
Original series legends (Dicks, Aaronovitch).

You do wonder whether some of the 'definitive' 7th/8th Doctor authors from the 1990s and early 2000s are spitting blood that their 'masterpieces' have been overlooked...
Having said that, there were some author-driven short-run reprints of various BBC titles by Lance Parkin, Kate Orman and others last year (still some copies in my local Waterstones). Perhaps the fact that they're in print ruled out any notion of reprinting them?
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Old November 5 2012, 04:37 PM   #13
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

I think Aaronovitch was probably chosen less as an original series legend and more for the success of his current "Rivers of London" novel series, plus of course the already-mentioned desire to get a Dalek book in there. And Dicks, like Cole, Richards, Baxendale, and Rayner, was more likely picked as a recognizable name for established readers of new series fiction, though I doubt the Uncle Terrance effect hurt.
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Old November 5 2012, 04:43 PM   #14
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Re: 50th Anniversary Book Releases

Cool. I hope this leads to more reprints and to new original novels for the older Doctors.
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