Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On Writing Dr. Who

Death Ray Magazine has a lengthy interview with IAMTW member Lance Parkin about his Dr. Who tie-ins:
The creative process with The Eyeless was an odd mix this time. I’ve written a fair few Doctor Who books, and that’s not really the challenge any more. The challenge this time is that the tenth Doctor books have this immense audience. You can buy them in Asda, and they’ll be 3-for-2, front of house, at the major bookstores. With my previous books, I knew my name had a little capital – I could get away with stuff because I’d written Just War or The Infinity Doctors or whatever, so I was given the benefit of the doubt. This time, most of the people who read my book have no idea who I am, a lot will barely notice the author’s name. You’re not allowed old monsters or the sort of continuity in-jokes I love that half the audience won’t get, now.
With The Eyeless, I’ve got quite a straightforward story – 15 years ago, a giant alien fortress arrived on an alien planet, killed everyone there. The Doctor arrives, determined to deactivate the Fortress, a sort of Guns of Navarone-type mission. The Doctor’s all on his own. It’s the sort of plot that would work on telly… But then, it’s a novel, so it ends up being quite introspective. There’s stuff beneath the surface. I’m hoping it works on two levels: action-adventure stuff, and plenty of it, but also if you’re looking, you’ll find plenty of stuff you’ve not been told directly.

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