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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later.Support Elizabeth on Patreon.

55 Comments

  1. Dave Simmons
    July 31, 2012 @ 12:13 am

    It's worth pointing not all of the books are illegal to download; a select few were put out as eBooks by the BBC. Not many on this list, but Lungbarrow and Dying Days were certainly in there, so folks can read along with those.

    They fell off the BBC webpage a year or two ago, but bless the Wayback machine and web.archive.org:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20101005210014/http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/ebooks/

    Enjoy.

    Reply

  2. Jack Graham
    July 31, 2012 @ 12:27 am

    Just reading the titles takes me back.

    Reply

  3. Anton B
    July 31, 2012 @ 12:44 am

    I'm excited in anticipation of your sideways guide to the printed works. I may even buy a few if you pique my curiosity enough. (Which I'm certain you will). Let the erudition continue!

    Reply

  4. Wm Keith
    July 31, 2012 @ 12:48 am

    And don't forget the public library (which also pays royalties to authors, miniscule as they may be)

    the royalties, that is.

    Reply

  5. Nick Smale
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    As someone who read maybe 50% of the New Adventures upon publication, loved them, and took part in the very active discussion of them on rec.arts.drwho – but who subsequently hasn't revisited them, and has almost forgotten what they said – can I say that I've been very much looking forward to this…

    Reply

  6. Andrew Hickey
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:18 am

    Also, Oh No It Isn't is available in an audio adaptation from Big Finish, adapted by the great Jac Rayner.

    Not covering Dead Romance?

    Reply

  7. AndyRobot800
    July 31, 2012 @ 2:06 am

    I approve.

    That is all.

    Reply

  8. Abigail Brady
    July 31, 2012 @ 2:34 am

    And Love & War will be available as an audio adaptation in October, for the 20th anniversary of publication.

    Reply

  9. Matthew Celestis
    July 31, 2012 @ 4:36 am

    I got into Doctor Who in 1990 after the cancellation. I think of the New Adventures as 'my era' and the NA version of the Doctor as 'My Doctor.'

    I'm so glad you are going to invest so much time in the New Adventures. Too many fans wouldn't bother.

    Reply

  10. jane
    July 31, 2012 @ 5:14 am

    I didn't start in on the books until BBC Books took over after the TV movies, and even then I only read a few titles before other interests crowded out reading Who. So all this stuff is new to me — so this is like finding a cache of missing episodes that weren't just lost, but never transmitted in the first place.

    I'll read as much as I'm capable, but I doubt I'll get to every title on the list (and September will definitely take a hit if the new TV stories go up then.) That said, I'm glad there's time to get caught up with Timewyrm, whatever that is, and rather pleased the blog's kicking them off on Lost Day.

    Mostly, I don't want to miss out on the conversation, and forty titles in five months is daunting. I suppose that's my biggest reticence about the blog's direction, but that's just based out of my own insecurities. Of course it makes sense to go this route — nay, I think it's vital, and I'm glad I'm getting dragged back into the Nineties to catch up with my "education."

    🙂

    Reply

  11. daibhid-c
    July 31, 2012 @ 5:16 am

    I was watching Doctor Who since the 80s, but started identifying myself as a Doctor Who fan in 1989, so I know where you're coming from. Really looking forward to this.

    Reply

  12. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 31, 2012 @ 5:31 am

    I am going to cover Dead Romance, but I'm going to hold that one until right before Interference.

    Reply

  13. Matthew Celestis
    July 31, 2012 @ 6:46 am

    My friends were watching Doctor Who in 1988 and 1989, but I was not into it for some reason. Being terrified by a few minutes of Curse of Fenric did not help.

    Reply

  14. Russell Gillenwater
    July 31, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    First, I just what to say I have enjoyed your blog since I found it in May (after seeing it in the links on Shabogan Graffiti blog). It has taken a while to catch up and it is one of my first destinations on M-W-F. While I have enjoyed it so far, I have to say that this is the part of the blog (your covering of the NAs) I have looked look forward to the most.

    While I started watching Who in 1978 and was part of the American fan culture of the 1980's, by late 1988 my interest started to wane (the combination of my PBS station dropping the show, the cancellation and going to university). However, in 1992 I picked up Love and War in a comic book story on vacation and it single handed restarted my interest in Doctor Who. In the pages of these books I found my new favorite Doctor, the Seventh (on TV it had been the fourth) and my new co-favorite companion in Bernice Summerfield. The NAs are my favorite era of Doctor Who, so this should be fun.

    Reply

  15. Ununnilium
    July 31, 2012 @ 7:04 am

    Definitely going to be librarying as many Virgins and BBCs as my system has.

    Reply

  16. Ununnilium
    July 31, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    I support this product or service!

    Reply

  17. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 31, 2012 @ 7:08 am

    A marvelous suggestion if you can find one that has them. Though at least in the US, the nearest copy of Timewyrm: Genesys seems to be about fifty miles away, and later books like Lungbarrow seem to have no library holdings in the US.

    The UK, not surprisingly, seems to do rather better.

    Reply

  18. Mike
    July 31, 2012 @ 7:56 am

    Will the next several months appear in book/ebook form? Just curious, since I realize it would be a while before we got there.

    I wish I had more time on my hands for reading – it would be fascinating to go back and read these books with the benefit of another 15-20 years of living.

    Reply

  19. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 31, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    The McCoy book will include all of the material up to the TV Movie. The book after that will be McGann (including the BBC Books and Big Finish audios) and Eccleston.

    Reply

  20. Ununnilium
    July 31, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    Back in the early '00s, my local library had a fair number, but I suspect many have sold them off as circulation numbers declined.

    That said, a good place to find people's old copies (tho only in the US): http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php

    Reply

  21. Matthew Blanchette
    July 31, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    I have to ask… will you address the obvious parallels betwen the Timewyrm books and Series 6, Phil? 😉

    Reply

  22. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 31, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    I don't know – at the moment I'm only 30 pages into Exodus and there aren't that many parallels yet. Remind me what you have in mind?

    Reply

  23. Matthew Blanchette
    July 31, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    The Doctor meets Hitler, and there is a sequence where an astronaut appears in a distinctly unaeronautical locale and kills a major character; it is later revealed that said astronaut is a child being controlled in the suit.

    I can see why Moffat utilized it; it's certainly memorably imagery…

    Reply

  24. encyclops
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    I didn't realize I owned so many of these — somehow I thought there were a lot more. I wish they were still in print, too, though happily I've been able to pick up a few of them gently used for decent prices by watching Half.com. Luckily I bought Lungbarrow back in the day; I have seriously mixed feelings about its contents but it's nice to be able to refer to it if need be.

    I'm excited that you'll be covering these, too, even and perhaps especially the ones I haven't read. I know I won't have time to get through them at your pace, so I'll just have to live with spoilers.

    Reply

  25. Sean Williams
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    While I heartily endorse your concern for authors' royalties, I suspect it wouldn't make any difference to them in this case. Tie-in work is usually for a flat fee with no subsequent payments even if sales are astronomical. Unless the BBC was extraordinarily generous in this area, you can happily buy secondhand copies without fear of robbing anyone, except the BBC, which hasn't made the books available.

    Reply

  26. Josh Marsfelder
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    I was wondering how you were going to divide that up: I figured it'd be that or Cartmel with a book of his own and either a book just for Virgin or Virgin/McGann/BBC Books as a volume for "The 90s". For what it's worth, you probably could have gotten away with doing Eccleston/Tennant as a single book too to cover the whole of the Russel T. Davies era.

    Also, did you ever find out a way to deal with the monster that the Tom Baker book promises to be? 😉 I was thinking one solution might be to give a book each to Phillip Hinchcliffe and Graham Williams and stick Season 18 either at the end of the Williams book or the start of the Saward one. Thus, you'd be keeping adequate distance between "The Deadly Assassin" and "Logopolis". I think about this sort of thing, you see, because I am a dreadfully boring person.

    And also I'm very much looking forward to seeing your take on the New Adventures-I don't plan on going anywhere, not to worry!

    Reply

  27. Russell Gillenwater
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    I forgot to add this, as Phil pointed out all of these books are out of print and some are hard to get a hold of and there is a lot of them. A sort of short cut for those who haven't read them or need to brush up on the ones they have there is the I Who book series by Lars Pearson from Mad Norwegian Press (http://madnorwegian.com/). These books are set up like the DiscContinuity Guide. I think the 1st Volume (which covers the NAs) is out of print, but Who North America (http://www.whona.com) has copies for $5 and you can get volumes 2 & 3 from Mad Norwegian Press.

    Most people probably know this, but the Doctor Who Guide (http://www.drwhoguide.com/) also has good synopsis of all the NAs.

    Reply

  28. Andrew Hickey
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    Actually, the BBC didn't publish the New Adventures, Virgin did, and the authors retained their own copyright on the books and on any characters they created. The ones that the BBC put on their website were ones where all rights had reverted to the authors.

    I believe that Virgin paid a nominal royalty on the New Adventures, though in practice few of the books earned out their advance. That's my understanding, but I can't say for sure where I got that understanding from, so take it with a pinch of salt.

    Reply

  29. Ununnilium
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    Well that's surprisingly awesome.

    Reply

  30. Matthew Blanchette
    July 31, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

    "Also, did you ever find out a way to deal with the monster that the Tom Baker book promises to be? 😉 I was thinking one solution might be to give a book each to Phillip Hinchcliffe and Graham Williams and stick Season 18 either at the end of the Williams book or the start of the Saward one. Thus, you'd be keeping adequate distance between "The Deadly Assassin" and "Logopolis". I think about this sort of thing, you see, because I am a dreadfully boring person."

    I'd do the former, just because it would provide a nice capstone-contrast to wrap up the Baker volume… and because that "Logopolis" entry is a great place for ANY book to end, let alone Phil's. 😀

    Reply

  31. Sean Williams
    July 31, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    Apologies for my early-morning vagueness re who published what. Of course: Virgin! And if you're right about rights and royalties (I have no reason to believe you're not as my experience is entirely with other franchises) this speaks to a very enlightened model. Makes me wish I had tried harder for a gig when the opportunity existed . . . .

    Reply

  32. gregmcduck
    July 31, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    I'm rushing through these books as fast as I can, but I only just finished the Timewyrm stuff and just started the three Cat's Cradle books. I'll try to contribute to the conversation where I can. :\

    Reply

  33. greenpear
    July 31, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    I have just today run across this blog. Don't know how it escaped me all this time. I find your assessment of the episodes (the few I've read so far) have many interesting bits that I had missed upon my initial viewings so thank you for pointing out so much.

    I am starting from the beginning and working my way up to the present. Excellent work…

    Reply

  34. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 31, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

    As I said in the Survival thread, the logic on a McGann/Eccleston book is somewhat mercenary. An Eccleston/Tennant book would, as you point out, make a lot of sense thematically. But a McGann book will almost certainly be a weak seller, whereas the new series material will probably sell quite briskly, and so, Peter Jackson-like, I'm stretching three books out of new series material. (The logic of putting the Virgin stuff with McCoy, on the other hand, is more straightforward – the McCoy book would be too short otherwise.)

    As for the monstrosity of the Baker book, right now I plan to just damn the torpedoes and do it as one volume, but I may end up splitting it if that proves unmanageable.

    Reply

  35. Yonatan
    July 31, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    sigh…i am going to have to take my new adventures out of their box now…i have the dying days, return of the living dad and so vile as sin on the shelves now, but the rest are in a couple of big boxes along with the Target novels.

    Also, I was wondering if you are going to cover the novelizations of Power & Evil of the Daleks, since they came deep into the Virgin era.

    Thanks, love the blog

    Reply

  36. John Callaghan
    August 1, 2012 @ 1:44 am

    How many people have asked if you're doing Dimensions In Time? Can I ask as well?

    Reply

  37. John Toon
    August 1, 2012 @ 3:08 am

    Ah, but what about the Pop Betweens? Will you be concentrating on other books to compare with what the book line was doing, or taking a look at some of the short-lived genre TV series the BBC put out in the 90s? BUGS? (Surely a winner, with your love of techno thrillers.) Crime Traveller? Virtual Murder?

    Reply

  38. Electric Dragon
    August 1, 2012 @ 3:33 am

    I would just point out the best version of DiT is the "production notes subtitles" version on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFoutUmpv6Q

    Reply

  39. Electric Dragon
    August 1, 2012 @ 3:45 am

    Surely the most influential genre shows in this period come from the US: Star Trek TNG, Twin Peaks, Babylon 5, The X-Files, Quantum Leap.

    Reply

  40. Eric Gimlin
    August 1, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    I'm up to Lucifer Rising right now, and am going to switch from trying to read everything to just reading your list so I can hopefully keep up. I'm missing 10 of the NA's right now, but have the BBC web versions of a couple of those.

    For the record, it was The Pit that slowed me down enough that I gave up in the middle and went to just the reading list.

    Happy note: we've reached a point where I was reading the book on the way to work on a Metro bus, and not only was I not getting odd looks, I wasn't the only person reading a Doctor Who novel. (They were reading one of the Tennant novels, not sure which.)

    Reply

  41. Josh Marsfelder
    August 1, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    Well, I mean Troughton got his own book and he lasted just as long as McCoy. I think three seasons is sufficient enough, but that works too of course.

    But yes I missed the thread on the "Survival" post. Would have commented there had I seen it. Good luck on all of them, especially the Tom Baker one!

    Reply

  42. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 1, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    Sure, but Troughton's seasons consisted of forty plus episodes such that he had a total of twenty-one stories. McCoy had twelve.

    (Similarly, much as the scope of the Baker book feels big, he actually "only" has forty-two stories, which, while more than any other Doctor, isn't as much bigger than Hartnell's thirty as it feels. The larger problem with that book is that it has two essays that are over twelve thousand words long.)

    Reply

  43. Keith
    August 1, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    Glad to see the Virgin line of books getting some attention. I bought every one of them in the '90s (and still have them), though I don't think I ever got around to reading all of them thanks to university. Based on some of the comments here, I've forgotten a great deal about the ones I did read.

    Can't wait for the entries on the "someone is messing with the Doctor's timeline" arc starting with BLOOD HEAT . I really liked that set of stories, especially CONUNDRUM.

    Not sure what the majority of fans thought of the series, but I do recall reading early feedback in DWM along the lines of "Why are the New Adventures so bad", which wasn't entirely unexpected with stories like THE PIT and TRANSIT (the latter being criticized for sexually graphic material, if I recall correctly).

    Any plans to incorporate the comics from DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE as well? I recall them doing some good stories around the same time that made use of NA characters and developments (EMPEROR OF THE DALEKS, a parallel universe story with a similar premise to BLOOD HEAT, etc).

    Reply

  44. Josh Marsfelder
    August 1, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    Yeah, that's a good point about story count. I never know how to classify Doctor Who seasons…

    My suggestion about possibly splitting the Tom Baker book was less because I think his era is long as much as it is divided into 2.5 conceptually, thematically distinct eras. And has two essays from you that are over twelve thousand words long. 🙂

    Reply

  45. Flynn
    August 2, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    abebooks.com would also be a good place to look.

    Reply

  46. Flynn
    August 2, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    I'm gonna try to do a similar thing, mostly because I don't like to read the entries of the stuff I haven't seen/read/experienced, which means that since I haven't seen most of the episodes of the 80's (and almost none of McCoy's), I haven't been able to properly follow this blog for a while, and I don't want four more months of that. And the NA's intrigue me anyhow.

    Though I'm going to be attempting to cram all 60-something of them in as well, which should be fun.

    Reply

  47. Dave Simmons
    August 2, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    Somewhat shocked today to see that some of these books ARE now available on the amazon store as kindle editions. All Lance Parkin's stuff is up there, $8.99 each.

    Shocked, and pleased, that is. There's even one of Lawrence Miles' Faction Paradox novels available there. Apparently they're listening to me frustratedly clicking on the 'I would like to read this on Kindle'.

    Reply

  48. Andrew Hickey
    August 2, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

    Yeah, BBC Books started reissuing some of the EDAs last year, as paperbacks and ebooks, at the same time they started the reissue campaign for the Target books, and the first batch were all Parkin's. No subsequent batches have come out yet, and no NAs as far as I'm aware.

    As for Faction Paradox, all Obverse Books' stuff is available as ebooks, and Mad Norwegian have just started converting their FP books. Phil Purser-Hallard's said that the other Mad Norwegian FP novels are due out as ebooks some time this year.

    Reply

  49. BerserkRL
    August 3, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    Also used.addall.com, which searches multiple sites, including abebooks.

    Reply

  50. Dave Simmons
    August 3, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

    Yeah, I just stumbled across the Obverse books shortly before I read your comment. And very reasonably priced they are too (at least compared to the paper ones).

    Really hoping Mad Norwegian do some version of The Book of the War pretty soon, been wanting to have a browse through that for the longest time. And we can only pray for the About Time series…

    Reply

  51. 5tephe
    August 4, 2012 @ 12:52 am

    I'm willing to give it a try with you both – at least one title a week…

    Reply

  52. therebelprince
    August 4, 2012 @ 2:17 am

    Great news! As a newer fan (having only watched the series for the first time through from 2009 to 2011), I've only just started the first of the New Adventures, so hopefully the lure of your ever-insightful commentaries will force me to speed up my intake.

    Reply

  53. Deinol
    August 31, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    I travel around for work a lot, and one of the things I like to do is track down Doctor Who novels in used bookstores. Sometimes you can find tons of them. I remember being surprised at the selection I found in a used bookstore in the Milwaukee airport.

    If you keep an eye out, there are a lot of Doctor Who books out there.

    Reply

  54. David Gerard
    December 5, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    They're pretty much impossible to find even by the usual legal means. This is an apparent deficiency in the preservation of culture.

    Reply

  55. David Gerard
    December 5, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    The usual illegal means, I mean.

    Reply

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