Beginners Guide – Printed Media

Doctor Who books have been available for the large majority of the show’s history. Some books are incredibly rare; some books are as common as a Cyberman with a gold allergy.

What are all these Doctor Who books?

Well it depends which ones you mean! If they have “BBC” on the cover, then they are either about the eighth incarnation of the Doctor (as portrayed by Paul McGann), adventures featuring the earlier Doctors or a perhaps a reference book. If the book is published by Virgin, it is an older, rarer book starring the seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). Both series of books are long running, the Virgin adventures ending in 1997. The original series of books that accompanied the show were printed by Target books and began its run in the early seventies until the very early nineties, every story from the show has been novelised apart from two titles Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks as a dispute arose between the creator of the Daleks and the authors who were commisioned to write them.

Also published was a series of annuals for each Doctor and they began in the sixties with William Hartnell and continued up to Doctor 6, Colin Baker. There is also a set of large format books available, many by Peter Haining – recommended are ‘Doctor Who’ 25 Glorious years’, ‘Doctor Who – The Key to Time’ and ‘The Time Travellers Guide’. Who Dares also published a wonderful book on Cybermen, written by David Banks and illustrated by well known ‘Who’ artist Andrew Skilleter.

Telos have also published novellas and reference books. The first of these novellas was “Time and Relative”, by respected writer Kim Newman.

In the wake of the new series, 6 new Doctor Who books starring the Ninth Doctor, Rose and (later) Captain Jack will be available in 2005. The first batch, The Clockwise Man, The Monsters Inside and Winner Takes All have already been released, with The Deviant Strain, Only Human and The Stealer of Dreams to be released in September.

How many books have been written about Doctor Who?

I don’t know. Kasterborous editor Christian Cawley is on a personal mission to have a copy of every Doctor Who book ever published, and even he doesn’t know. Bearing in mind the current and past Doctor books published by Virgin, then around the same again published by the BBC, plus the Target novelisations of the original series, plus the non-fiction books and one or two other short-lived series of books, plus the Telos books, the estimation is knocking 1000 books.

What is Doctor Who Magazine?

Doctor Who Magazine (DWM) is probably the most amazing magazine in the world. That might sound like fawning, but it is true – the magazine has championed Doctor Who from 1979, yet the show was only on television for the first 10 years! Without DWM there would be little or no Doctor Who fandom today. There certainly would be no, as DWM’s diversity is one of our inspirations.

Are there any recommended books about or on Doctor Who?

Well where can you start? BBC Books 40 Years of Time Travel by Justin Richards is an excellent starting point and should act as an excellent background source for anyone interested in Doctor Who’s first television run. The Target novelisations are also a good starting point, a light read adapted from the actual series.

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