They have already celebrated their recently-started 50th-anniversary year with announcements of potentially memorable episodes, an in-show interior decoration, and a range of commemorative postage stamps, and now the classic BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who are planning a celebration in worded format, as a group of ‘well-known children’s authors’ are recruited for a one-off e-book series.
The line of 11 planned stories will focus on each of the previous versions of titular character ‘The Doctor’, and will be of original tales released first as ‘eshorts’ throughout the anniversary year to celebrate the show’s history. This means that starting with ‘first doctor’ William Hartnell and finishing with the current incarnation played by Matt Smith, each character will have their own retrospective tale to be told, undoubtedly leaving it to the hardcore fans of the show to decide whether or not they are ‘canon’.
Set to launch as a year-round publicity event, the identity of the first author is to be revealed to the public today (7 January) via the official Doctor Who Facebook page, while set for a release online on 23 January. In addition, the Doctor Who YouTube channel will contain a video promoting each author every month, with the video of ‘author 1′ set to release this coming Friday (11 January).
Once all the stories have been released online (currently uncertain as to whether or not they will be free), the BBC have confirmed a paperback version of all the mini-stories will be published by Puffin during the direct ‘anniversary month’ of November 2013.
Juliet Matthews, the publisher of the project for Puffin, said of the deal: “We are delighted to have 11 sensational children’s authors involved in the series, all bringing an individual style, imagination and interpretation to their eshort tribute to the Doctor.”
Current rumours are suggesting that Harry Potter writer (and recently-made partner on a developing BBC series) J.K. Rowling may be involved merely for her reputation as a ‘well-known children’s author’, but regardless of who is chosen, will the use of ‘professional fanfiction’ be one of the brand’s most attractive draws this year, or will the return of Doctor Who‘s season seven on its traditional home of TV (premiering in April 2013) retain the limelight as planned?