Since we’re about to enter what can fairly be called the end game of the New Adventures, I figure it’s a reasonable time to start the discussion of how things are going to go for the next phase of things. First of all, I’m going to break chronology somewhat. The TV Movie is going after all of the Seventh Doctor New Adventures, including the ones that were released in late 1996/early 1997. I went back and forth on this, but ultimately I think the narrative works better that way. So the order is going to be Lungbarrow, TV Movie, The Dying Days, The Eight Doctors, with the two Benny adventures (Oh No It Isn’t and Down) that I’m covering at this stage going between Lungbarrow and the TV Movie. (Dead Romance will also get covered, but I’m holding it back to go closer to the rest of the Faction Paradox stuff.) I won’t break chronology within the Eighth Doctor era – once the novels and audios begin running simultaneously I’ll tackle my intended list in release order, switching between the lines as appropriate.
Second of all, something I have decided on and do not intend to be talked out of: I am doing fewer Eighth Doctor Adventures than I am New Adventures. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is simply cold calculation. My readership has dropped measurably since switching into novels. I expected this, and I’m not bothered by it in the least, but I also am not going to drag out the even less popular Eighth Doctor era to its maximum length. Another is that I simply do not think that large swaths of the Eighth Doctor novels are terribly interesting to the overall story of Doctor Who except as a broad demonstration that the series lost its sense of direction hardcore in this period. And, to be honest, the novel schedule is brutal. I’m having to work hardcore to keep up the two-book-a-week pace, and am often in a mad dash to finish posts at the end of my scheduled work weeks. I want to get back to a nice, relaxed TV blog a heck of a lot more than I want to read The Year of Intelligent Tigers, and that’s a Kate Orman book, and thus one I’d probably enjoy.
So practically speaking, I’m treating there as being a hand-off from the Eighth Doctor Adventures to the Big Finish line at the start of 2001, and at that point I am actively becoming less interested in the EDAs and more interested in the audios. I’m in turn less interested in the audios once they spin off into the alternate universe arc, because at that point the audios stop being the “primary” line of Doctor Who. So my plan, broadly speaking, is to have the Eighth Doctor era last about as long as the Virgin era, doing about fifteen novels and fifteen audios.
The current list of novels:
The Eight Doctors
War of the Daleks
The Scarlet Empress
The Blue Angel
The Shadows of Avalon
The Ancestor Cell
The Adventuress of Henrietta Street
The Gallifrey Chronicles
Two books I almost added but ultimately lopped off:
Legacy of the Daleks: Interesting for the Problem of Susan. But as Peel can’t be bothered to deal with the Problem, I can’t be bothered to deal with both of his crappy Dalek books.
City of the Dead: The #1 EDA, apparently. Fascinating. But as Camera Obscura is by the same author, the #2 EDA, and deals with more plot arc stuff, I picked it instead. And I don’t want to do that many post-Ancestor Cell novels, so I’m avoiding the option of “both.”
For the audios I’m taking a more straightforward tack. If I start at Storm Warning and continue forward the start of the C’rizz arc I get to thirteen stories as of The Creed of the Kromon. That’s a run that is about the size I want, and as the Big Finish material is all available for purchase I feel like moving linearly through it, doing stories whether good or bad, makes the most sense. (Whereas with the out of print books I try to do a highlight reel.)
I’m interested in doing at least one McGann audio from after the new series started as well. Lucie Miller/To the Death is tempting, but I fear the potential amount of back continuity for it. Thoughts?
November 1, 2012 @ 12:15 am
Are you going to do the Eighth Doctor DWM strips? They're genuinely very good, and for a lot of people whose only regular DW purchase was DWM, they were as close as you'd get to an official continuation of the Eighth Doctor (plus, RTD wanted to show the regeneration into the Ninth Doctor there, so…)
November 1, 2012 @ 1:07 am
I loved Lucie Miller/To the Death, and I would be interested in what you have to say about, shall we say, the seriousness of it, but yeah, it might a bit too deep into the series to do. Off the top of my head, the last three "series" finales are interesting in how much they rely on previous TV stories, but I didn't think that they were very interesting, with the exception, again of LM/TTD. It does seem like that might be the ideal choice.
I'm really looking forward to your Eight Big Finish coverage, by the way. BF single-handedly made McGann my favorite doctor.
Stuart Ian Burns
November 1, 2012 @ 2:12 am
Some other suggestions for EDA:
Earthworld since its the one that's been chosen by BBC Books for the mass anniversary rerelease of old Who in March and there might be something in wondering why they chose it.
Placebo Effect — interesting because it drags the characters from Gary Russell's Radio Times comic into the novels so there's the continuity question.
Will be doing The Infinity Doctors?
November 1, 2012 @ 3:00 am
I really like City of the Dead… understood why you wouldn't want to cover it, but it's probably the only "classic" EDA that wasn't written by Lawrence Miles or Kate Orman (imho.) It's voodoo in New Orleans, for heaven's sake… what's not to like?
Regarding Lucie Miller/the "New" 8th Doctor Audio Adventures – the first season of that run are the only 8th Doctor stories besides the TVM that I'm pretty sure are canon (they were written for broadcast on BBC 7.) I remember "Blood of the Daleks" being pretty good, and I really like "The Horror of Glam Rock" and "The Scapegoat", but you probably don't need to cover them.
November 1, 2012 @ 3:36 am
First time poster, long time reader seconding the Infinity Doctors. Also, I'm wondering whether you're interested in looking at Daniel O'Mahoney's The Cabinet Of Light? They're both excellent books which seem to fall into the same set of works as the EDAs without actually being EDAs themselves.
Seconding EarthWorld, City Of The Dead and, though I doubt you'll look at it, Beltempest. I think it's a good example of the problems that affected/plagued the early range of EDAs, and probably the most outlandish attempt to deal with the problems that Sam posed as a character. (I also note that you're not looking at Seeing I, so I'm guessing you'll be ignoring her almost completely, yes?)
Considering the audios, your inclusion of Minuet In Hell boggles the mind a little (I'm excited in seeing what you'll say about this one, given that it would seem to cover much the same ground as The Sword Of Orion).
I also wonder if something like Embrace The Darkness or Time Of The Daleks couldn't just be skipped in favour of doing something from a fair bit along, like Terror Firma or perhaps even The Last. I understand the benefits of considering a linear progression, but I wonder if it's worth it at the cost of showing off/discussing some of the later works. The Condemned is another one I thought the blog would be interested in, even though it doesn't feature the Eighth Doctor.
On the Lucie Miller front, Lucie Miller/To The Death feels the most important of her stories (to me, anyway). But there's something hugely appealing about the Human Resources two parter, or the Martian two-parter with Tamsin (in both cases you can really see the effect that the new series had on the writing of recurring villains, and I kinda wish that the blog would give a slightly greater word count to Tamsin than any recount of To The Death will allow the character).
An Earthly Child might get a look in if you desperately wanted to talk more about Susan.
I don't want much, do I? 😛 Take it with a grain of salt, and all that.
Not That Matt Smith
November 1, 2012 @ 4:51 am
When it comes to the books I'm gonna be no help, but I gotta chime in on the Big Finish Paul McGann stuff.
I think you're right to stop following the story line after "Creed of the Kromon". The Divergent Universe Arc is a bit of a misfire mess anyways. That said, i think not covering "The Girl Who Never Was" is a real mistake because it really wraps up the 8th/Charley storyline and brings it back to Storm Warning and all that, so in terms of completionist, I have to ask if doing the one more story is really that much more (note that I'm not even saying do "Absolution" because that one is really just about writing out C'rizz).
But the 8th/Lucie stuff? God. It's so wonderful. "Lucie Miller/To the Death" is a real corker to everything and you'll for sure get a lot of mileage out of it, but there's a lot of other stories in there that are terribly exciting and good as well. The first two seasons are really quite good (I'm not hot on the third), but the fourth season is where they really start pushing the stories into new and interesting dimensions ("Relative Dimensions" and "Prisoner of the Sun" are wonderful and I'm curious to see what you'd pull out of "An Earthly Child").
So I'd really recommend the 8th/Lucie stuff. I know that it runs concurrent to series three/four and beyond. But as far as I'm concerned it's absolutely essential to my understanding of the 8th Doctor. (And now that I've said that sentence, I realize that no story is more essential to my understanding of him than "Lucie Miller/To the Death", but for maximum impact, you should really listen to the whole run of 8th/Lucie).
Anyways, I am le rambling but yay Big Finish!
November 1, 2012 @ 5:39 am
I second the Infinity Doctors and the Placebo Effect
November 1, 2012 @ 6:11 am
The thing I always notice about the Eighth Doctor stories, the BBC EDAs but even moreso Big Finish, is that it seems like quite a lot of the writers were reluctant to commit to a personality for him, and therefore were very often (much moreso than with any other Doctor) inclined to do stories where the Doctor has lost his memory or is otherwise not himself — he's still confused from a (Unrecorded but referenced later in 'Terror Firma') memory erasure in "Storm Warning", then goes on to suffer from amnesia, psychosis, mind-control, or actually-being-someone-else in 'Minuet in Hell', 'Zagreus', 'Scherzo', 'The Natural History of Fear', and 'Something Inside' (And possibly a few others). I know that the Doctor has an arc in the BBC books where he has to rediscover himself following 'The Ancestor Cell' though I never read those books. I'd be interested in the places where you can see authorial reluctance or disagreement over the direction of the characters and the series
November 1, 2012 @ 7:07 am
Hell, during that extended arc he loses his memory at least twice more (Half Life and Fear Itself). It got pretty ridiculous.
However, I'm entirely certain that he doesn't forget anything in Scherzo or The Natural History Of Fear (though it's meant to look like he has in the latter). He does lose it in The Eight Doctors though.
Gonna throw out a minus on The Placebo Effect. You could approach the same continuity idea with Big Finish's The Company Of Friends (which does far more interesting things with continuity, as well as being a cross-over thingy).
November 1, 2012 @ 8:02 am
The first one I'm going to recommend here to add to the list is The Tomorrow Windows. First, because Jonathan Morris is sort-of important in the final stretch of EDAs (OK, so not all that important), second, because his books are interesting; and third because the book is structurally interesting in deliberately mirroring Alien Bodies and also coming in a near-inverse position in the run, and also does something quasi-Adamsian in the middle of the series' attempts to be terribly serious. Oh, and it features a cameo of Ken Livingstone, which Livingstone reportedly gave permission for, which may raise questions about reception of the EDAs at this point (2004).
I'd also suggest The Taking of Planet Five if only because it's curiously entertaining despite not quite working and is one of the few books that Lawrence Miles seems to not-dislike.
November 1, 2012 @ 8:54 am
I think you're right on the EDAs – they are a less important part of the overall story, even if oddly prescient of the way the TV revival went.
It seems to me that Interference is the last "event" novel, the last time . At about that moment the audios launched, and the books immediately became subsidiary to the audio plays. And when the Paul McGann audios stared, I would say Big Finish decisively became the de facto torchbearer of the 8th Doctor's adventures.
And to me, the best ongoing stuff BF have put out is the Lucie Miller plays – which were also the most high profile given they ran as a BBC Radio series. I would really like these to get more than a cursory nod.
November 1, 2012 @ 8:57 am
Should have said: It seems to me that Interference is the last "event" novel, the last time the books felt at the cutting edge.
November 1, 2012 @ 8:58 am
I'll probably pad them out a bit in the book version, but I'm hard-pressed to justify a large block of time for what would, in the end, still be Time Can Be Rewritten entries. I mean, maybe I could be talked into doing two stories instead of just the finale, but that's about as far as I think I'd go.
November 1, 2012 @ 8:59 am
The Girl Who Never Was: Sold!
November 1, 2012 @ 8:59 am
I originally limited my list to just the stories where the Doctor actually has memory loss, but it occurred to me that the stories where he's not himself due to adverse influence (or the thing that happens in 'The Natural History of Fear' which I think is one of Big Finish's all time best use-of-medium twists) also have the same effect of getting the writer out of the position of having to write a consistent characterization of what the Doctor is "normally" like.
November 1, 2012 @ 8:59 am
I will do The Infinity Doctors, yes.
November 1, 2012 @ 9:00 am
I'm happy to do City of the Dead if there's a good case for it over Camera Obscura – I just expect I'll only do one of the two.
November 1, 2012 @ 9:02 am
I intend to – I've done a comics post for every other Doctor.
November 1, 2012 @ 9:05 am
Could I encourage you to do an Eddie Robson Lucie play? Maybe The Eight Truths / World Wide Web? I think that's especially interesting to see how the new style of the RTD series feeds bak into the audio plays. And unlike Jonathan Morris (the other mainstay of this line), Robson is almost exclusively an audio writer you likely won't cover elsewhere.
November 1, 2012 @ 9:06 am
I may do Cabinet of Light, I'll definitely do Infinity Doctors. Earthworld is also compelling.
I'm leaning towards another Lucie Millera s well, though I'm not at all sure which.
November 1, 2012 @ 9:22 am
Agree, Prisoner of the Sun is great, as is Deimos/Resurrection of Mars and I adore Relative Dimensions – a great series
November 1, 2012 @ 9:32 am
I suppose you're counting the non-EDA Big Finishes as Time Can Be Rewritten candidates? That's completely understandable, though I tend to think BF itself is an interesting era of its own. Too bad though, I was hoping to hash it out with you over something like "Fearmonger", "LIVE 34", "The Veiled Leopard" or "Robophobia"…
I guess if we're nearing the end of the Vigrin era this also means you probably won't be doing the Pop Between Realities entries I was hoping you'd do, but I shall survive! 😉
Not That Matt Smith
November 1, 2012 @ 9:35 am
Yeah. If you're going to do Lucie Miller at all, just do the entire fourth season because it's really trying for something different.
It'll also be interesting to see you do "The Girl Who Never Was" because Alan Barnes is such a… unique writer and there's probably mileage in comparing that with "Neverland" and "Zagreus" (or even "Gods and Monsters" which just came out…). Guy's ideas are frakkin batty.
November 1, 2012 @ 9:38 am
You've pretty much convinced me to put Robophobia in the McCoy book.
What are you still hoping for in Pop Between Realities for Virgin? I've still got five I'm planning on, and the schedule is vaguely fungible.
Not That Matt Smith
November 1, 2012 @ 9:44 am
But also the first three Lucie Miller seasons. If you're limited on space you should be okay with the fourth season alone, but the whole run is, I think, really worth your time.
November 1, 2012 @ 9:54 am
Here's the problem with the Lucie Miller run: it comes at the end of the McGann era, and is all Time Can Be Rewritten entries. In a period where I already have a bunch of stuff I need to place, since I've got any Pop Between Realities from 2004 I want to do, plus Shalka, plus This Town Will Never Let Us Go, plus probably Cabinet of Light.
Meanwhile, on the other side of this block we have posts on stories many, many times more popular than any McGann material.
Is the Lucie Miller stuff great? I'm sure it is, and I really look forward to it. And I'm more likely to expand out that section of the McGann book with some extra entries than I am to add in more than one or two more EDAs. But from a "managing the blog" perspective, that's eight stories, or nearly three weeks of blogging.
To give you an idea, the readership of my blog dropped off 12% in the first month I started covering novels. It's rebounded in October, but I think that's because I released a book just before the start of the month. The most successful posts I've done on the novels get numbers that are comparable to my least popular television posts. The Pop Between Realities posts are routinely getting more hits than the novels. And this is on a blog that's ostensibly focused on Doctor Who. But I can get more hits talking about Sliders than I can about Doctor Who books.
I expect that to repair itself slightly with the Big Finish Audios, which are at least in print, but every piece of evidence I have tells me that I have a block of high-interaction readers on comments and a much larger block of silent readers, and the larger block of silent readers are deeply less interested in the Wilderness Years material.
I'm doing it anyway because the material is, to my mind, vital to the historical progression of Doctor Who. But that's not a case that can be made for Lucie Miller, which is, however good, still material that came out on audio during a time when Doctor Who was a massively successful television show. Given that, I just don't think I can justify a three week digression that breaks the historical flow of the blog to cover it.
November 1, 2012 @ 10:23 am
Well, that'll teach me to write in Blogger: Got the friendly “Whoops! That's an error!” message and it completely erased my comment. Anyway, here's mostly what I was trying to say:
Well, I'll be anxiously looking forward to that book then!
As for mid-90s Pop Between Realities candidates I was hoping you'd take a look at, the ones that most jump to mind are Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (which we've already discussed why you're skipping, even though I still disagree) and Stargate SG-1, for the way it self-consciously posits and places itself in an established genre of science fiction and plays around with the ramifications of this: Basically, what sets the SG team apart from other science fiction leads is that they are in fact science fiction fans. Also, Stargate SG-1 inherits a great deal from both Star Trek and Doctor Who, or at least pays homage to both on a regular basis.
I'd also like to take some time to plug Wishbone: I absolutely do not expect you to cover this one (I mean you'd probably have to hurry if you wanted to), but I'd at least like to point out it is alarmingly, uncannily comparable to Doctor Who (at least Classic Doctor Who) in a not-insignificant number of ways and effortlessly captures the connection between the realms of the mythic and the mundane with a deftness and maturity that might be unique to it. Like Doctor Who, Wishbone is something that is ostensibly a children's show that consistently aims and hits far, far above its means and expectations and, like the Graham Williams era in particular, it disguises how eminently clever it's actually being by prominently featuring a talking dog.
Frankly rewatching this show has floored me and I at least have to spend some time giving it some long-overdue hefty media critique, even if no-one else will.
November 1, 2012 @ 10:52 am
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November 1, 2012 @ 10:54 am
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November 1, 2012 @ 11:00 am
This is the bit where deciding what to cover gets tricky. You've been doing MAs, PDAs and BF as "time can be rewritten" entries for some time now, and following the "current" Doctor's adventures week to week.
But if we are talking about the evolution of Doctor Who as a concept, as a series of narratives, and as a cultural phenomenon, isn't the fact that suddenly Doctor Who became asynchronous an interesting and important change that deserves some comment (maybe just an overall entry on the implications? Doctor Who, with the MAs and even moreso with the launch of Big Finish audios suddenly was exploring multiple simultaneous parts of its history at once and with BF and Colin's era at least, consciously trying to develop and do something new with that history, rather than just recreate the past. Big Finish came across as BRAND NEW DOCTOR WHO!!!! even before McGann came on board, despite being set in the series past.
The experience of the series ceased being one of following a single continuing narrative and became one of following multiple simultaneous stories, leaping from one to the next each month.
November 1, 2012 @ 11:02 am
The full list of Lawrence Miles material to be covered:
Christmas on a Rational Planet
Adventuress of Henrietta Street
This Town Will Never Let us Go
The Book of the World
Which is actually one up from the seven I promised back in the first Interference post.
November 1, 2012 @ 11:22 am
Are you releasing one volume per year or faster? The thought of waiting years for the later volumes is daunting. 😉
November 1, 2012 @ 11:32 am
I'm trying very hard to speed up production. I have a semi-professional copy-editor working on the volumes now, and one of the nice things about spending money is that it gets done not only better than when you have volunteer family member labor, it gets done faster. Which is to say, I'm hoping for both Pertwee and Tom Baker to come out next year, and maybe Davison/Colin Baker, though that's a longer shot.
November 1, 2012 @ 11:42 am
The fascinating question is where that will fit in…
November 1, 2012 @ 11:44 am
The best thing about Placebo Effect was the return of the Kleptons from the TV Comic
November 1, 2012 @ 11:49 am
Between The Scarlet Empress and Unnatural History.
November 1, 2012 @ 11:49 am
I'm very surprised you are not covering The Book of the War. I mean that book completely differs from anything else in Doctor Who in the way it reads like a roleplaying source book, while actually being an exploration in philosophy
November 1, 2012 @ 12:21 pm
I know this is looking pretty far forward, but: Once you've caught up with history and end this blog, do you have any plans on what, if anything, you're doing next?
November 1, 2012 @ 12:39 pm
I have ideas, but not plans. There are other books I want to write that I might use the open time for: most likely a thing on Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and occult warfare that I've been musing on for over a year now, but some other ideas too.
I'm also aware that a continual publishing-for-free presence on the Internet does me considerable favors as marketing goes, and so I'm also likely to find some way of having a blog-like presence, even if not at the thrice-weekly schedule.
November 1, 2012 @ 1:41 pm
I think that's reasonable, just doing one. Because what you obviously need now is yet another suggestion as to which that one should be, how about it being Death in Blackpool? It requires a bit of context, but far less than the finale of the fourth series, and it's the arguably the crux of the run.
November 1, 2012 @ 2:54 pm
Just a wacky idea: since it's blog space that limits the number of audios you can cover rather than listening time, how about doing one blog entry on the whole of Series 4 of the NEDAs? If you have to do just one story I agree with Lucie Miller/To the Death, but it's so much part of a longer story (in a way that (say) The Invasion of Time wasn't) I think you lose a lot jumping in at the end.
November 1, 2012 @ 4:22 pm
When you finally reach the TV Movie, will you be reading 'Regeneration' which contains all the 'movie bibles'? Just curious – it's a fascinating read and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the various ideas.
November 1, 2012 @ 4:57 pm
It's also not the first time that Morris dabbled with Miles' concepts without actually dabbling with his concepts. Anachrophobia's apparently a Faction Paradox story dealing with their final extinction and defeat, despite them never appearing on page and being very un-Faction for 99% of its length.
November 2, 2012 @ 12:15 am
Actually Phil, at the risk of sounding weary on this topic, if you do a second New EDA can I suggest Human Resources, the 2-part finale of the first series of Lucie plays?
The reasons are: it's a relatively pivotal story for Lucie and the Doctor, resolving the first series arc and redefining their relationship; it's a great example of how Eddie Robson imports the new TV series hallmarks into the audio range; it's a Headhunter story (and she's an important ongoing character in this series), and it's quite good. I think it would make a neat companion piece to the Lucie Miller/To the Death entry.
November 2, 2012 @ 12:51 am
If you're going to do the Earth-Arc, "Fear Itself" by Nick Wallace was the (retroactive) conclusion to the arc. It was the last eighth Doctor book released, but it was set between "Escape Velocity" and "Vanishing Point" and provided the story of the Doctor re-engaging with the universe and his travels after his lengthy stay on Earth. It was the finale that "Escape Velocity" failed to provide. You could slot it in as a "Time Can Be Rewritten," if you wanted, and it does relate to some matters in "The Gallifrey Chronicles." Specifically, it's the story of why the amnesiac eighth Doctor chooses not to pursue his lost memories.
November 2, 2012 @ 4:23 am
Just a couple thoughts. I was initially critical of you doing so much less of the EDAs, but looking at that list, I think it's mostly correct. I can't really think of any more EDAs that really deserve to be on that list, with the exception of maybe Year of Intelligent Tigers.
Secondly, I'd love it if you continued the Big Finish line one more audio after Kromon so you get to do Natural History of Fear. I think that's probably one of the most important audios from an experimental perspective, and I think it gives you an example of a Doctor light sort of thing that is perfectly in line with what the audios want to do, but is absolutely incompatible with the New Series. I also would love to read you doing a post on Terror Firma, because I think that says some interesting things about the line.
I wonder, could you do the Lucie Miller episodes that were broadcast on BBC4 between the New Series season one and Season Two? That would break up the time can be rewritten articles quite a bit, and also kind of give you a "back in alternate universe Doctor Who where it never came back on air, this is what's going on." You can also compare RTD who to the conscious mimicry of the Lucie audios.
Lastly, you mentioned Pop Between Realities for the Virgin era, and I just wanted to still throw my support behind a Babylon Five Pop Betweeen Realities! It's a very important Scifi show to the 90s, and very influential to Kate Orman and Rebecca Levene. I would also heavily argue for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if I didn't know that one was inevitable.
November 2, 2012 @ 6:54 am
I'm surprised that Philip is writing off the eighth Doctor adventures, but I look forward to seeing his take.
I have read all of them and found there were many wonderful novels in the range. "Vampire Science," "Kursaal," "Alien Bodies," "Frontier Worlds," "Parallel 59," "The Shadows of Avalon," "The Fall of Yquatine," "The Banquo Legacy," "The Burning," "Casualties of War," "The Turing Test," "Father Time," "Fear Itself," "Eater of Wasps," "Year of Intelligent Tigers," "Grimm Reality," "The Adventuress of Henrietta Street," "Ananchrophobia," "Trading Futures," "The Book of the Still," "History 101," "Time Zero," "Camera Obscura," "Emotional Chemistry," "The Tomorrow Windows," "The Sleep of Reason" and "The Gallifrey Chronicles."
I realize that there were serious problems early on in the range. None of the arcs were successful; the Future War was a mess, the Earth Arc fizzled out and was only fixed after the fact with "Fear Itself," the Doctor losing one heart and with it his superpowers was forgotten, the Alternate Universes arc was a mess… but there were so many great books that worked beautifully as individual stories, and in those terms, I really feel the post-"Ancestor Cell" books were successful in that many of them were fantastic DW stories.
November 2, 2012 @ 6:58 am
If you want to do an Eight/Lucie Miller story, I'd suggest Lucie's debut in "Blood of the Daleks." And if you want to do a second, "Human Resources," is the season finale to that first run of Eight/Lucie stories and does a nice job of featuring the eighth Doctor in a very modern-paced adventure.
November 2, 2012 @ 8:55 am
For the Big Finish list I'd recommend covering:
Sirens of Time
The Genocide Machine
The Spectre of Lanyon Moor
The Apocalypse Element
The Holy Terror
The One Doctor
Chimes of Midnight
Dalek Empire (perhaps just cover the first series or the first two, but the third and fourth are probably significant for featuring David Tennant and Noel Clarke)
Creatures of Beauty
Unbound: Sympathy for the Devil
Natural History of Fear
Blood of the Daleks
Unbound: Masters of War
A Thousand Tiny Wings
Survival of the Fittest
The Architects of History
Lucie Miller/To The Death
November 2, 2012 @ 12:24 pm
I think 'The Gallifrey Chronicles' is a prime contender for 'Time Can Be Rewritten' given that it's very obviously an attempt to retcon the entire arc from "The Ancestor Cell" onward to bring it to a place that was compatible with the new series — it seems incredibly clear to me that the whole thing with the Matrix and the "real" cause of the Doctor's memory loss and the possibility of Gallifrey's rebirth were things that they'd deliberately set out to exclude prior to that point: they wanted a utter and irrevocable break with past continuity, then backpedaled at the end to avoid being utterly obsoleted.
November 2, 2012 @ 1:27 pm
Wow. Fascinating discussion. I dropped out of Doctor Who late in the New Adventures series, and I wish that I'd stuck around just a little bit longer so I'd own Lungbarrow. And I skipped Who Killed Kennedy? Ah well. At least both survive digitally.
I missed most of the Eighth Doctor. I've read a few — hunted up The Gallifrey Chronicles especially since I assumed it would tie things into the new series — and then read / skimmed through all three volumes of I, Who.
Should say that I'm one of those readers who came on board when he heard about the second book from Kasterborous. I grabbed a Kindle copy of the first volume and I'm enjoying it, also enjoying wandering through this blog.
I'm looking forward to the analysis of the Eighth Doctor. I also admire the choice to limit the blog time with the hope of expanding it when it's in book form. We may not like to admit it, but there will always be more people who know the series only from television.
Which is exactly why Disney will [probably] ignore everything from the Star Wars expanded universe: everyone knows the movies, but only a small subset know the novels.
November 2, 2012 @ 1:45 pm
Just curious how are you planning the Faction paradox stuff?
I mean as much as I (obviously) like them only a couple of them are in any way related to Doctor Who, apart from the fact that the Faction appearing in the EDA. I mean Erasing Sherlock doesn't even have much to do with Faction paradox beyond the fact it was published under it's banner.
November 2, 2012 @ 1:56 pm
Untrue. The revelations in "The Gallifrey Chronicles" had been plotted out from "The Ancestor Cell" onward. Lance Parkin said so.
November 3, 2012 @ 4:42 am
Four books I'd suggest to add to the list are "Seeing I" – probably my favourite in the entire line, "Earthworld", "The Crooked World", and "Deadstone Memorial". I think that those are some of the strongest out of all of the EDAs (and out of the ones you haven't already listed). 🙂
But if I had to pick just one, it'd definitely be "Seeing I" (it's an Orman novel, too!).
November 4, 2012 @ 8:38 am
Yeah, Wishbone! 😀
November 5, 2012 @ 3:33 am
Oh yeah, Seein I is an absolute must.
November 7, 2012 @ 2:14 am
Would like to belatedly chip in with a second vote for The Taking of Planet Five. I'd be interested to read your thoughts – and it is pretty heavily referenced in The Book of the War.
November 12, 2012 @ 12:08 am
This is a very very belated comment, but I can't get your blog to feed through to my reader. Also, I have been thinking about the Eight/Lucie question-
Even though both I hate them and think they're badly written, I think Lucie Miller/To The Death are actually a very interesting episodes to talk about, because you get to deal with how Big Finish can treat its own characters, the need for an epic finale now we're doing more New Who stuff – and contrast it with Charley's INITIAL exit, which admittedly was post revival as well, but which was by Alan Barnes… and Lucie's INITIAL exit, which was… by Alan Barnes. Who makes me feel things and not just anger. I don't think there's too much back story involved even with Lucie Miller etc, because all you need to know is who the characters are (a one line summary should suffice) and that Lucie is a companion who loves the Doctor, but not like that. There was some beautifully complicated stuff before that… but not in this one.
On a similar 'Time Can Be Written' note, I'd second 'Human Resources' as the kind of 'hey, real life can be wacky too' kind of thing that characterises the Lucie Miller/RTD particularly Donna Noble era. The Donna thing is obviously particularly relevant as they're the same sort of characters. And characters that obviously contrast with the companions Eight was given at the time (Anji and Sam, for example) – even Fitz (arguably the most successful of the EDA companions)(although I like Anji and think she's interesting) is more idealistic than Lucie and Donna and his wanting to be a musician is more romantic than just being a temp. Also, Eddie Robson is quite an important figure in Big Finish of this era. So it might be worth talking about that.
If possible, just because I really like this era, I'd also quite like you to do something in between Human Resources and Lucie Miller – because after a shaky start, I think this series did some really good stuff. A lot of it is just simply light and wacky and funny ('Grand Theft Cosmos') – I don't know how much you'd want to say about that really.
Something like 'Death in Blackpool' maybe… or 'The Zygon That Fell To Earth' represent some of the things this run of EDAs do best. I think.
Not That Matt Smith
November 23, 2012 @ 9:27 pm
Two more 8th Big Finish recommendations for you: I know you don't wanna do Divergent Universe but I'd be interested in Caerdroia? (If you're going to do one that's the one to do?). If you're looking to round it out with an even fifteen, maybe "Terror Firma"? Assuming you do the 13 Charleys and then Girl Who Never Was.
December 14, 2013 @ 4:27 pm
Thinking about the BBC Eighth Doctor books, two which are notable which you didn't review are Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and History 101. Both are notable because most of the BBC books were thematically not terribly experimental, while these were.
Interestingly, I can't say that any of the others which you skipped are specifically worth reviewing if you're trying to hit the memorable, fandom-influencing ones.
Many are quite good. Seeing I and Year of Intelligent Tigers are excellent, but they're very much "More Kate Orman". The post-Father Time books are, on average, significantly better than the earlier ones, perhaps because Anji functions as a companion better, without all the emotional loading dumped on Fitz and Sam. Trix is unfortunately a cipher — I always thought there was some mystery about her which would be revealed, but apparently not.
December 14, 2013 @ 4:33 pm
If you ever do the Telos novellas, both Rip Tide and Frayed are actually really important. There aren't that many female authors in Doctor Who, even in the books.
These are two more, and each of them takes an entirely different tack from pretty much everything which has gone before. And from each other. The fact that they are going off in different directions from the "mainstream" is, I think, very important.
December 14, 2013 @ 4:35 pm
Frayed is Tara Samms, no? Isn't that widely acknowledged as a pen name for a bloke? Stephen Cole, iirc?
December 14, 2013 @ 4:46 pm
Well, that's new information since I read it. He was very good at hiding the pen name at the time. It's still interesting because Stephen Cole writes completely, utterly different material as Tara Samms than he does under his own name. I prefer the work of the pseudonym, quite a lot. One can have quite interesting discussions about such things.
December 14, 2013 @ 4:52 pm
"I'm doing it anyway because the material is, to my mind, vital to the historical progression of Doctor Who."
I'm going to press you on Rip Tide again in that case. It's probably not obvious how it's vital to the historical progression of Doctor Who, but in context it stands for several principles:
(1) You can be a fan without being enmeshed in organized fandom.
(2) Yes, it is right and good if the companion is a straight-up wish fulfillment author insertion heroine.
(3) Yes, it is fine to write a story with no arcs and no continuity.
All of these principles have been compromised to a greater or lesser degree over the course of the books, which had gotten obsessed with arcs and continuity.
The Telos novellas were attempts to take new, different directions with Doctor Who, each one in a different direction. It says something about the historical development that at this point, this IS a new, different direction.
December 14, 2013 @ 9:03 pm
" isn't the fact that suddenly Doctor Who became asynchronous an interesting and important change that deserves some comment (maybe just an overall entry on the implications?"
Yeah. Phillip seems to have missed the point when it happened.
Goth Opera is the defining point of asychrony and worth reviewing on its own.
The book which convinced people that "Missing Adventures" were going to work was Venusian Lullaby. (Everyone agrees that John Peel's Evolution was a failure.)