Wednesday 7 January 2015

Eighth Doctor novels not worth remembering- OFFICIAL

Proceed calmly to the exit, Paul.
I am, admittedly, exaggerating for effect here but the judgement does seem to have been passed down. For the longest time there I thought that Doctor Who's wilderness years were just going to be forgotten. I suppose we all told ourselves, even if we were enormous fans of the novels, as I was, that they were just to kill time until the “proper” series came back. When it did, as it did, the books would go out of print, some of the truly exceptional ideas and material would make its way into the series in some form and the rest would be gradually forgotten by fandom at large. Its a process I fully expect to see repeated with with the Star Wars expanded universe over the next few years.

Then something happened: the wilderness years books started getting revisited. Big Finish have adapted Love And War and The Highest Science with Damaged Goods, The Romance Of Crime, The English Way Of Death and The Well-Mannered War coming this year. BBC Audio, meanwhile, are doing unabridged talking books of Past Doctor books.

The Eighth Doctor books, meanwhile? They've been included in a few reprint series but only when they had to be to get every Doctor in. Projects that require effort like audio, however, omit them entirely.

And honestly? I can't blame them. There were some good books in the series but I don't know if I could even pick out ten I'd genuinely recommend without severe qualification. The series was confused from day one with no real sense of direction; the authors had no idea who their main character was meant to be and couldn't co-ordinate with each other worth a damn; and the series tried its audience's patience far too damn much with extended and over-complicated story arcs. It was not a good moment in Doctor Who's history, let's just say.

I can't say a part of me isn't sad, though. Those books were a big part of my youth and for the longest time they were the nearest thing we as fans had to an ongoing series. Naturally there's an investment there.

At the very least they could do a talking book of Alien Bodies, that was a good one.

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