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 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: The Tardis (Doctor Who)




The Pit is widely regarded as the worst of the Virgin New Adventures novels. I only have dim memories of the one time I read and I recall mostly being a bit bemused and feeling that William Blake was underused. I recently listened to the Doctor Who Bookclub podcast discuss the book and they certainly didn't like it much. Their final conclusion was that there were some potentially interesting ideas in there, but that the execution failed to explore them in a way that brought anything much to life, and the structure meant the whole story ultimately felt rather pointless with the Doctor, Benny and Blake making no real impact on the events.
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)




The covers of the New Adventures novels were often rather pedestrian, even when they managed to get the human figures anatomically correct and in proportion (which was not always the case). This cover, by Jeff Cummins, is therefore among the more striking and accomplished. It is also, as it happens, one of my favourite books in the range.
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)




I can't quite put my finger on what it was about Timewyrm:Revelation, Paul Cornell's first novel, that was so exciting, because I can completely understand the criticism that it is basically too wierd. But I think it was the first time official Doctor Who canon (even if this is a branch of canon that has since been side-lined) served up something that was from a fan of the show being explicitly fannish about the show.

I'm inclined to say this was the moment that the inmates began to take over the asylum. Although arguably that happened in 1988 when John Freeman took over DWM.

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