At long and wearied last, it’s time for the Kickstarter for TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 8, covering the Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston eras of the series. The Kickstarter is over here waiting to accept your money. The base goal is a somewhat higher than before $5000, largely because I’ve learned my lesson about shipping physical rewards. Also, there’s a lot fewer physical rewards. But all of this is technical shop talk, and this should be about publicity, so let me change hats and be a proper hype woman for myself.
This book will cover the two attempts to bring Doctor Who back—the ultimately disastrous US revival in 1996, and the massively successful UK one in 2005. It begins with a lot of hope and ends with a lot of hope, and everything in the middle is one of the most gloriously tangled messes in the history of the series, comprising multiple irreconciliable timelines, feuding lines, and a lot of very, very daft shit. If Volume 7 is a story about how to get cancelled and still be a triumph, Volume 8 is a story about how to score an absolutely massive and medium-changing hit television show despite doing literally everything wrong for nearly a decade.
And yet in that tangled web of errors there’s so much that’s fascinating. Works by Kate Orman, Jon Blum, Paul Magrs, Lloyd Rose, and Lawrence Miles abound. Paul McGann’s consistently deft performance that somehow works even when he’s sleepwalking through some of the most dire scripts Big Finish has ever written. And just a staggering amount of stuff that is so brain-meltingly weird that you wonder how on Earth anybody thought this was what you should do with Doctor Who.
As it stands, the book should include almost all of the blog posts from the McGann and Eccleston eras. (As with McCoy, there’s a few that were frankly filler to deal with the fact that three novels a week was an unsustainable pace, and I’m likely to cut those.) And then, with stretch goals, there are several more. The stretch goals are roughly organized in phases, proceeding thusly.
Through $7000, they add the Now My Doctor essays that sum up the respective eras of the television show. No Eruditorum Kickstarter has ever failed to hit this sort of tier, and I can’t imagine it’s going to be a problem this time. It’d be bizarre not to have these.
Starting at $8000 are a triptych of essays about the War Doctor era. Due to my continuing refusal to write new essays on Big Finish material, these will consist of a Day of the Doctor essay (almost certainly working in the novel this time), an essay on the book Engines of War, and a Now My Doctor essay. (Might I slip in an essay on the Eleventh Doctor comics run dealing with the War Doctor? No active plans to, but you never know.)
At $11,000, we get to the canon essays. These are big and fun. How Many Time Wars Were There? Does the Eighth Doctor have a Chronology? So Was He Half Human? All of these questions will be delved into with thoroughness and a love of knocking over tables and making a mess. These are consistently some of my favorite essays to write in the books, and I’m really hoping we get all three.
$14,000 is an odd duck—a Pop Between Realities essay on Spiceworld, the Spice Girls film, and more broadly on New Labour. This is a bit of scene setting I missed doing the blog, and it really needs unpacking, so I’m hoping we can get this in there.
And finaly, at $15k and $16k, a pair of novels I’d like to add in: Lloyd Rose’s acclaimed City of the Dead, and the Faction Paradox classic Book of the War.
All of these, I think, are fun essays that I actually want to write. So hopefully we’ll plow through a good chunk of stretch goals and get to fill out the book with all sorts of goodies.
This was a weird era to write about, but it has some of my favorite writing in Eruditorum, especially the Eccleston season, which has multiple mad, gonzo essays, including two that are going to be glorious nightmares to try to format for print. I am thoroughly excited to clean them up and get them into an Official Version, and to finally bring the TARDIS Eruditorum books into the new series.
So if this is something you want to read, and if you want to financially support my work, I implore you to go back the Kickstarter. Once again, the link is right here. Thank you, as ever, for your support.