Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Anniversary takes shape

Finally, details are creeping out concerning the plans for Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary. Nothing much on the plans for the TV series, although the second half of series 7 has been outlined (two episodes from Mark Gatiss and one from Neil Gaiman!), but the expanded universe continues expanding.

An audio event was a dead cert, but the surprising thing is that the BBC and Big Finish are joining forces to create a series of audiobooks. Sounds like they'll be along the same lines as the Companion Chronicles series, with a main narrator and a guest voice. Sounds like a great idea; the rights issues can be circumvented, allowing Big Finish to bring their expertise to the new Doctors. This audio alliance is planning a  run of stories, one for each Doctor, one per month right through to an eleventh Doctor story in November. The first story has been named as Hunters from Earth, is narrated by Carole Ann Ford, as Susan, and is set before the very first episode of the TV series. Exciting stuff, and it's great news that we'll be getting a new ninth Doctor story (there were so very few during Eccleston's brief run), although how my wallet will deal with eleven audiobooks is another matter.

IDW, the current owners of Doctor Who's international comic rights, will be going down a similar route. This series, entitled Prisoners in Time, will be twelve issues long, with an adventure for each Doctor. What of issue twelve? Well, an eleven-Doctor team-up is the sort of thing only the comics can really do...

Finally, BBC books are republishing eleven novels - once again, one for each Doctor. The list has been released, to some discussion. They're not the books I'd have chosen to represent the series, but there are some crackers in there. Last of the Gaderene is a great bit of traditionally-styled third Doctor fun, while Only Human is the best of the ninth Doctor's limited run. There's a few there I haven't read yet, so I may well pick them up, and the new covers are absolutely gorgeous. It's a shame that there a no Virgin novels in the pack, but I guess that's a rights thing. It's odd that they've chosen the novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks; it's a great book, but stretching it to match the others in format will take some big old type. Surely it would have made more sense to release that as part of a third run of novelisation reprints, and use an original novel for the seventh Doctor release?

If you're interested, my line-up would have been (assuming no Virgin novels allowed and no duplication of authors):

The Time Travellers by Simon Guerrier
The Final Snaction by Steve Lyons
Last of the Gaderene by Mark Gatiss
Festival of Death by Jonathan Morriss
can't suggest a fifth Doctor one without resorting to the Virgin MAs (Crystal Bucephalus by Craig Hinton for the record)
The Shadow in the Glass by Stephen Cole and Justin Richards
Heritage by Dale Smith
The Year of Intelligent Tigers by Kate Orman
Only Human by Gareth Roberts
Prisoner of the Daleks by Trevor Baxendale
The Coming of the Teraphiles by Michael Moorcock
plus The Infinity Doctors by Lance Parkin as an extra. Damn, no room for Paul Magrs... perhaps we can have thirteen? The Blue Angel does involve a future Doctor, however briefly...

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