There’s something for every Whovian among this month’s new non-fiction releases from Obverse Books.
The Edinburgh-based publisher is best known for printing tales of Iris Wildthyme, a renegade Time Lady spun out of Doctor Who in a collection of short stories, novels, and audio dramas.
But the company also offers an inside look at the long-running BBC program through fanzines, episode guides, personalized accounts, and more.
New this month is “Downtime: The Lost Years of Doctor Who“: A 400-page volume that tells the story of the many direct-to-video broadcasts and audio adventures produced in the decades between the Seventh Doctor’s final adventures in 1989 and the rebooted series in 2005.
During the interim, BBC One broadcasted only three new Doctor Who stories: the 1996 TV movie starring Eighth Doctor Paul McGann and companion Grace Holloway (Daphne Ashbrook), and two Comic Relief projects—a 1991 comic book (devised by Richard Curtis, Neil Gaiman, and Grant Morrison), and 1999’s spoof “The Curse of Fatal Death” (starring Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, and Joanna Lumley).
“Meanwhile, seemingly almost forgotten, some of the Doctor’s friends, enemies, and legally dubious clones continued their adventures in the direct-to-video market and their own spin-off audio adventures,” according to the Obverse book description.
“Downtime: The Lost Years of Doctor Who” by Dylan Rees is available now in paperback form (£19.95), as an e-book (£9.95), or bundled together (£24.95).
If you like nostalgia, join Finn Clark on his latest stop along an “epic journey,” in which he examines Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor and companion Sarah Jane Smith, with “a quick check on the Egyptian Pharaoh Erimem,” Obverse teased.
“Time’s Mosaic: No. 5” comes in at a slim 279 pages, on sale in paperback (£14.95), e-book (£6.99), or both (£17.95).
The publisher also revealed details of its 10th installment in the “Black Archive” series—an ongoing set of book-length insights into single Doctor Who stories from 1963 to the present day.
“Doctor Who is endlessly fascinating, a powerful storytelling engine about which many millions of words have been written over the years,” author and editor Philip Purser-Hallard said last year. “There are certain stories, though, from all eras of the program’s history, which are exceptionally deep and rewarding—whether because of their unusually powerful writing, rich symbolism, or complex themes.”
The first nine books cover the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors—from “The Ambassadors of Death” (1970) to “Dark Water” and “Death in Heaven” (2014).
In March’s “Scream of the Shalka,” Jon Arnold looks at the 2003 animated webcast of the same name, which revived the show with a new Doctor—two years before the show’s 2005 renaissance.
“Our primary emphasis is on the stories as stories, rather than the behind-the-scenes history which has been covered in admirable depth elsewhere,” Purser-Hallard said. “While we aim to make an authoritative and significant contribution to the overall critical conversation about Doctor Who, we intend each of these books to be entertaining as well as of academic interest.”
Readers can pre-order “Scream of the Shalka” from the Obverse Books website.