Well, it’s only been a few days since the series was announced, but already a lot of interest is being generated (the series even made it to Digital Spy!). With all this interest a few questions have begun circulating, so I thought I’d take a moment to address a few of them, just to clarify things.
Are they official or fan made?
The short answer is… they are official. But let me explain. No, they are not licensed by the BBC, but that’s because they don’t need to be. The BBC does not own the characters or concepts created by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln for their Doctor Who scripts. The copyright is owned by the Executor of the Haisman Literary Estate and Henry Lincoln, and we have a license with the Haisman Estate and the approval of Henry Lincoln. But yes, they are fan made, in that most of us involved in producing these books are fans, in the same way as the TV series is, the BBC novels are, and Big Finish’s output is.
Will there be eBooks?
Yes indeed. We’re even looking into setting a pre-ordering system for eBooks.
How will you do the back-story — in relation to the books and audios?
Our main point of reference will be the TV series. This is the only source we will go to great lengths to not contradict. There is not a great deal of back-story for Sir Alistair on television; most of what we have learned was revealed in all the novels and audio dramas produced since 1991. Now, it is a fact that much of the novels and audios conflict (as does a lot of the TV series, come to that), and it is generally considered (and stated in both respective mediums) that they take place in separate realities, both spun-off from the prime reality of the TV series. Our books will be no different. We spin-off from the television series and are set in that reality and will not contradict what we know of Sir Alistair from that medium, however there will almost certainly be echoes of the continuity established in the novels and audios, suggesting that certain events happen in all realities, although not always in the same way. A good example will be, in most of the books and audios it is accepted that Sir Alistair was born in 1930, and we see no reason to contradict that as it fits what we’re doing and it makes Sir Alistair around the same age as Nicholas Courtney. Of course, all this said, if fans wish to tie everything together, then they are most welcome to do so. After all, that is part of the fun of being a fan, trying to make everything fit. I do it, we all do it! But as professionals we can’t be bound by continuities outside of the TV series as to do so would only inhibit and constrict what we’re creating.
Will the UNIT dating issue be dealt with?
Not directly. We’re not dealing with UNIT, but we do detail the years leading to its formation and thus fit within a certain timeline. The guidelines make it clear, for the authors, in which year the series is set (initially, that is), but they have been expressly told not to state the year within the narrative. There will be clues, both subtle and not-so, for those who wish to work it out. But we won’t be directly tackling the issue. The UNIT dating issue has existed for so long now, where’s the fun in solving it?
Will the Doctor make an appearance?
Short answer; no. It’s not within our license to use anything owned by the BBC, and that especially includes the Doctor.
Will any other companions appear?
Again, no. There are a few companions not owned by the BBC, but to use them would almost certainly muddy the water.
Will it be the ’60s-’80s Brig and UNIT or the CyberBrig?
Neither. The announcement has made it very clear that we’re dealing with Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart directly following The Web of Fear. At this point he has only met the Doctor once. He has only dealt with an alien threat once. And his entire world view has been changed by this.
So, they were a few of the most asked questions (even the last one!), and these are the official answers. We’ll explore the behind-the-scenes more in the lead-up to the release of The Forgotten Son, but for now I hope this reaches you all well. If there are any more questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.
The first four books (or the first, if you wish) be can be pre-ordered directly from Candy Jar Books. All pre-orders will be shipped at least a week prior to official release.