Saturday, November 21, 2009

Michael Moorcock on writing new Doctor Who novel

A few months ago Mark Gatiss wondered on Radio Four why there were no more Doctor Who novelisations.

Now his wish has come true, and Michael Moorcock has been signed up to write one.

However, writing in The Guardian, Moorcock confesses to some misgivings:
When I was first offered the chance to write an original Doctor Who novel I hesitated. I felt I'd had enough fun and should settle down to the autobiographical stuff I'd mapped out for the next year or two. Then I realised that not only might I enjoy writing an original adventure, I could also take a look at what a character who has become part of our national folklore has come to mean. I could do, in fact, what SF does best for an intelligent, knowing audience. So I told my agent to go ahead and draw up the contract.

Now the vast potential of what I can write is beginning to dawn on me. Far from thinking in terms of fun I've become a little scared. All time and space is open to me. I have to mix comedy and melodrama while telling an epic adventure story featuring a complex protagonist capable of ranging across the entire multiverse. I'm increasingly overawed as I consider what I must live up to. Hardcore fans are already questioning my qualifications. I can only hope I'm equal to the job.


  1. Whofan6:56 pm

    Gatiss' point was that they no longer produce novelised versions of the TV episodes. There have been many original stories published since the series returned in 2005, so this is hardly news.

  2. Well to be fair, I think the fact that one of the giants of British science fiction is writing a Dr Who novel counts as news.

  3. Whofan8:35 pm

    Fair enough, but the blog makes it sound as if this is the first, and also that it's somehow a response to Gatiss' request, when that isn't the case.

  4. No, the blog merely says that Gaitiss' wish has come true, there's no implication that Gaitiss engineered the Moorcock commission.

    And to be fair, again, the original blog post is a summary of the longer Guardian article to which it is linked.

    Anyway, interesting to see that a writer of Moorcock's calibre is just as intimidated by the empty page as the rest of us.

  5. Anonymous1:43 am

    Mike Moorcock writing a Dr Who novel??! Whofan, what are you thinking? This is like J J Abrams directing The Prisoner or Joss Whedon writing a new series of Catweazle! It's MICHAEL MOORCOCK, man! Now we can forget all about Russel T Holby - I hope.

  6. Whofan10:24 am

    Confusion yet abounds about the point I was trying to make, which was in no way intended to disparage Moorcock as a writer. Let me attempt to clarify once and for all:

    The Radio 4 programme that is referenced in this blog post was about Target Books. These books were novelisations of previously screened Doctor Who episodes. At a time when there were no home video nor repeats, they allowed fans of the show access to stories that had already been broadcast and that, as far as they knew, they would never be able to see by any other means.

    In the radio show, Gatiss lamented the fact that since the show's return in 2005, although there have been many new "Dr Who" novels published, the decision has been made not to produce novelised versions of the TV episodes themselves.

    As Moorcock is writing a new story and not an adaptation of a TV story, he is therefore in no way "fulfilling Mark Gatiss' wish" as claimed by this blog!

  7. Thanks Whofan, you're right - the original post was confused on that point.


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