Column 6 He's Back And It's About Time! 1st of April 2012
Or perhaps that should have read “I’m Back And It’s About Time!”
It is incredible for me to believe that it has been months since I last contributed to this column. I won’t go into details here but it was not my intention. Hopefully regular service is being resumed with this column. It better be at least. You know why?
Because last year and this year are incredibly exciting for a fan of literary Doctor Who. Look at last year alone. The first reprints of the Eighth Doctor Adventures were released, we got the first wave of Target books being reprinted, the Doctor Who Book Club podcast getting its start and the announcements of both a novelization of Shada in the works and Big Finish doing an adaptation of the New Adventures novel Love And War.
This year looks to be just as exciting. There are six more Target reprints on the way, the Book Club podcast seems to be thriving (forgiveness is begged since I haven’t listened to all the episodes due to either not owning or having yet read the books they’ve picked), the Shada novelization has just come out and the Love And War adaptation is set to come out in just a few months’ time. On top of all that, there are new novels featuring the Second and Third Doctors in the works.
If there is one sad thing about this year it is that we haven’t got further Eighth Doctor Adventures reprints to look forward to. If there are, I haven’t heard anything about them. [Note: Neither have I. Al] It’s sad that BBC Books chose not to promote these more and it looks like we might only get the handful of books we’ve seen so far. It’s a shame really.
Then there’s the Shada novelization or rather the hype around it. While I am happy as anyone to see a new Doctor Who novelization coming out (the first since the Scream Of The Shalka webcast was novelized nearly a decade ago), it’s annoying to keep reading how it’s a lost story complete at last. Apparently someone has a short memory or hasn’t Shada come out several times before? I seem to recall a VHS release with linking narration by Tom Baker, the scriptbook that came out with it (everywhere but the US apparently), the 2003 webcast starring Paul McGann’s Doctor that can still be viewed on the BBC’s classic Doctor Who site and the Big Finish audio CD release of that webcast as well (which incidentally was the very first Big Finish release I ever bought). So Shada isn’t exactly lost or incomplete, it’s the same kind of hype that surrounded the new James Bond novels that came out in 2008 and last year which were heralded like there hadn’t been upwards of twenty other Bond novels published between 1968 and 2002. But if it gets people reading, is there really any harm done?
Despite my sadness over the lack of further Eighth Doctor Adventures reprints and annoyed by the hype surrounding Shada, this year still has plenty for me to look forward to. There’s more Target reprints, hopefully some episodes of the Book Club’s podcast I can listen to, a couple of new Past Doctor Adventures in the works and the Love And War adaptation.