If you’ve been paying attention to my website this evening, you might have noticed a new book, cover above, listed for pre-order. I’ve been waiting for ages to be able to post it, as I think it’s rather rude to jump the gun on your own publisher, but the listing finally appeared on the Big Finish website this week.
Doctor Who: Short Trips – Transmissions is a collection of original Doctor Who short stories featuring the first eight incarnations of the Doctor, licenced by the BBC. My contribution is an adventure of the Eighth Doctor, portrayed on television and radio by Paul McGann, called ‘Lonely’. It’s a story that genuinely could not be recreated for television, and I’m very pleased with it.
Which probably understates matters. The Doctor first appeared on television before I was born. As soon as I was old enough to follow half an hour of television drama a week, I was watching it (Peter Davison, Doctor number five, being the lead at the time I got truly hooked, around 1982). I followed the series through Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, at the same time as catching up on what had gone before with Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee and Tom Baker, and was horrified when the series ended in 1989. I got overexcited when Paul McGann stepped into the role for the US/UK pilot in 1996, and while I didn’t like that production, I thought he was brilliant in the role. In the long absence from the screen that the show went through until 2005, which given the quality of the new series that emerged turned out to be a good thing I think, I bought the original novels and short story collections produced first by Virgin Publishing under licence from the BBC, and then by the BBC themselves. When the Beeb licenced Big Finish to produce original full cast audio dramas featuring original casts, I was over the moon (some are as good, or better, than anything that appeared on screen). Big Finish also grabbed the licence to produce hardback short fiction anthologies on behalf of the BBC too. Now I’m in one them, and couldn’t be happier. ‘Lonely’ is only small addition to the vast Whoniverse, but the absolute thrill of being allowed to explore there as a writer, when I’ve been sitting back and enjoying it as a viewer and reader for as long as I can remember, has been startling.
No doubt I’ll talk about the story and how it came about at some point. Right now, I’m just going to sit back and grin.
In July 2008, the book will be sitting in a bookstore near you, in hardback, awaiting your pennies. From the uncorrected proof that I’ve read, it’s well worth the money.