purplecat: The Eighth Doctor (Who:Eight)

Book Cover for the Infinity Doctors by Lance Parkin.  A White background with the Doctor's Ring showing a swirling galaxy in the large blue stone
The difficulty with this book is where to shelve it since it is clearly intended to be an AU in which the Doctor never left Gallifrey though. Until about halfway through the book, I was kidding myself that I could pretend it was set after he had returned to Gallifrey at some point in the future but no. Anyway, since the Eight Doctor adventures occur in canon in publication order I eventually opted to shelve it among them in publication order.
purplecat: The second Doctor reading his 500 year diary. (Who:Books)

Cover of the Virgin New Adventures Happy Endings Novel which consists of a picture of Benny and Jason's weddings with misc guests - all well-known faces from Doctor Who (some from the novels) with an ill-advised purple background and a Fiftieth New Adventure stamp in gold.


Paul Cornell has been talking through his experience as a Doctor Who writer one gig at a time in his weekly news letter, in a surprisingly frank fashion. Despite being a member of rec.arts.drwho in the 1990s, a position from which it felt rather as if one had a ring side seat on what certain Dr Who authors were doing, it transpires I was relatively unaware of much that was happening behind the scenes. That said, I imagine there is still much he is missing out. He's just reached the first of his novels for the BBC books so it feels fitting to post the cover of the last of this Dr Who New Adventures (though he wrote the first Benny novel in between).

Happy Endings is a funny book. When the Dr Who Book Club read it they noted that it was almost impossible to understand without a fairly encyclopaedic knowledge of what had gone before. It's about Benny's wedding to Jason Kane, a romance I was never all that fond of, though its major crime (like much of the New Adventures, frankly) is inconsistent character development across books.

You can sign up for Paul's newletters from his website though I should note that this week's newsletter is somewhat atypical since it is dominated by a recent family bereavement (consider this also a content warning).
purplecat: The Seventh Doctor (Who:Seven)

A New Adventures book cover for Oh No it Isn't! by Paul Cornell.  It depicts Wolsey the cat in thigh length boots and a double carrying a gun and Benny dressed as a pantomime boy


There has been a certain amount of chatter in, admittedly fairly rarified, parts of the Internet about how this month marks the 20th Anniversary of the first appearance of Benny Summerfield in audio (her first appearance in a Dr Who novel was 1992, and her first solo novel was 1997). I've never been much of an audio person so the above is the cover of her first solo novel that was adapted into her first audio adventure. I had forgotten but was reminded by The All New Adventures of the Doctor Who Book Club Podcast that the scene depicted on the cover is a joke from the book itself in which Wolsey the cat (temporarily transformed into a Puss in Boots type character) randomly picks up a gun and stares into the middle distance in order to generate an interesting cover image.
purplecat: The second Doctor reading his 500 year diary. (Who:Two)

Target Book Cover for Enemy of the World by Ian Carter.  Shows Astrid in her futuristic spy security gear and, I think, Giles Kent, at a desk full of switches and monitors with volcanos erupting in the background.


Incidentally, my Facebook Connect link from LJ keeps failing. I keep re-enabling it and fiddling with settings but without success - the last failure was complaining about permissions. It's not a big deal since only public posts get cross-posted, those are mostly random Dr Who pictures, and I'm not sure my facebook friends are all that interested in them, but it is annoying so I was wondering if anyone was experiencing anything similar and, if so, if they had a fix.
purplecat: The  First Doctor (Who:One)




Also I ain't dead, in case any of you were wondering about the minimal posting for the last two weeks.
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)

Cover of The Doctor Who Quiz Book by Nigel Robinson.  Foreword by John Nathan-Turner.  It has pixellated/space invaders style artwork showing a tardis, planets, stars and green blobs with yellow tails which look a bit like jelly fish but which I  suspect are supposed to be rockets.

Nigel Robinson, I have learned since joining LJ, got his start in publishing with a Tolkien Quiz Book in which enterprise he was aided and abetted by [livejournal.com profile] fredbassett. He went on to edit the Doctor Who book range. His wikipedia page peters out in the late 1990s though I believe Fred has managed to track him down since.
purplecat: The second Doctor reading his 500 year diary. (Who:Books)



Once upon a time I had an encyclopaedic memory of the plot of every book I owned and a goodly number that I didn't. These days I can barely remember the plot of books I read last year. I have absolutely zero recollection of the plot of the above. It is the first Past Doctor Adventure on my shelves so I deduce it features the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan. I like the 1950s vibe of the cover. I've just read the back cover blurb and I still remember nothing, though it, together with the cover make me think of When Worlds Collide.
purplecat: The Sixth Doctor (Who:Six)

A Target Book Cover.  It has the Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who logo and a legend in the top right corner that reads `The Missing Episodes'.  The book title is The Ultimate Evil and the author is Wally K Daly.  The picture shows a generic blue-green planet with what frankly looks like a death star hovering above it and shooting it with a red ray.  Below this is a diamond shape with some kind of slug/frog alien wearing a pink jacket.  Next to this is a circle showing a bit of the Tardis console.  Below this is a scene of the Tardis in fog.  This is not quite as much of a disastrous mish-mash visually as the description makes it sound.


Target put out three novelisations of stories that were commissioned for the cancelled series 23 of which this is the only one by an unknown writer/producer and not featuring an returning villain. Wally K. Daly has a minimal wikipedia entry which nevertheless suggests he was an interesting writer of Radio plays. I recall almost nothing about the book beyond it was the weakest of the three stories (all of which were weak, suggesting somewhat that they were quickly written up from half-finished ideas or at least early drafts rather than adapted from completed scripts) and that the alien villain seemed to be something of a duplicate of the popular Sil character from the previous season (and who appeared in the third of these novelisations).
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)

A very yellow book cover with the 1980s Doctor Who `neon' logo followed by Travel without the Tardis The Doctor Who fan's guide to England, Scotland and Wales.  Then there is a photo of the third Doctor in bessie, followed by the authors Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman


I'm not sure if this is the first of the Doctor Who location guides to get written, but it was certainly the first I came across. A novelty in the 1980s Who fandom landscape as I experienced it for being written a) by Americans and b) by women. "It is quite acceptable," they note, "for porters, newspaper vendors, and bus and train conductors to call a strange person of the opposite sex `Love (Luv),' 'Duck,' 'Dearie,' or even 'Darling'." (which is true, at least in some parts of the country, but I suspect a lot more visible to a female traveller than a male traveller in the 1980s).

The section of the book on British Terminology, as well as containing all the standard items, lists a definition for Underlinen (I'm sure this is the only place, outside a Victorian novel, I've come across this term in the wild - and why on Earth were they discussing their underwear with people (possibly I shouldn't ask)?). There is also a discourse on the difference between British and American bacon which caused me to look this up. The Internet tells me that British bacon is served in round slices, a claim I find odd. I get the impression that American bacon is what we would call crispy bacon, but it's all bacon. "Don't try to order a BLT," they warn but don't elaborate whether this is because of the strangeness of the bacon or that the term was a mystery to 1980s Britain.

Their packing list advises that the traveller bring a clothes line and toilet paper (! even in the 1980s I don't think the UK was so primitive that one did not generally find toilet paper in most toilets) and how long (and where) were they staying that they thought a clothes line would be necessary?

It's an odd book, half being a quick travellers guide to the UK (plus Paris, Seville, Amsterdam and Lanzarote) and half being a brief guide to Dr Who filming locations with particular emphasis on how to get to them. It was fascinating at the time and remains so.
purplecat: The second Doctor reading his 500 year diary. (Who:Books)

The Cover of the Dying Days Virgin New Adventures Novel by Lance Parkin, showing the Eight Doctor and an Ice Warrior

The last Virgin New Adventure and the only one to feature the Eighth Doctor by Lance Parkin who was among the more highly regarded NA authors and who, at one point, had the beginnings of a successful career in television which would have made him an obvious candidate to contribute to the new series. Except it sort of stopped for reasons that have never been clear to me and he seems to have retreated into a career primarily writing spinoffery of various descriptions. Not quite the crash and burn of Lawrence Miles, but odd none-the-less.
purplecat: Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor (Who:Five)




My main memory of this book is that at one point the Doctor is more or less forced to spend five years running a high class restaurant on a world populated by intelligent hamsters which on a quick skim just now turn out not to be large intelligent hamsters but large furry intelligent coffee tables (I was clearly getting confused with the Pakhars from the New Adventures).
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)




I had cause to pull this off the shelf the other day in order to write a Tides of Time article. I'm sure Perfect Timing wasn't the first Dr Who charity fanfiction anthology but it was the first of a new wave that started during the "wilderness years" when the line between fan and professional Dr Who fiction was particularly blurred. Perfect Timing 2, obviously, was its follow up and charity fanfiction anthologies, as far as I can tell, have continued to be published on a regular basis ever since.
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)




It is difficult to explain how incredibly amazing this book was when I first randomly purchased it from The Children's Book Shop on Oxford's Broad Street circa 1980. The truly incredible part about it was that it contained summaries of every Doctor Who story up to Sarah's departure in The Hand of Fear. I spent hours pouring over those summaries which were the only real access one had to information about those episodes though the book recommends to the reader, at the end, the range of Target novelisations of which there were "27 in print and more in preparation".
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)




Survival has always felt like a thoughtful story that the show, at the time, didn't have the resources to do justice to.

I'll be interested to see in a few (10?) weeks' time how, nearly 30 years later, Rona Munro's next script fares.

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