Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day and Doctor Who!

I am back after dealing with a very nasty infection in my jaw to talk about something very appropriate for Valentine’s Day; Doctor Who, because of his two hearts. I know I am sort of stretching there. In all seriousness I have wanted to talk about Doctor Who for some time now. November of last year we celebrated 50 years of Doctor Who. It aired the day after Kennedy assassination.  By now you might be asking yourself why am I talking Doctor Who in a YA Literature blog. I do have a very good reason as to why. According to the Guinness World Records Doctor Who has the largest fictional series [of novels] built around one principal character. That still isn’t the full reason why I am talking Doctor Who, but is it is the start of it – book/novel. 

Doctor Who novels began as the TV stories being novelized so people could read them. In England especially at this time, they didn’t show reruns of TV shows. This is one of the factors as to why we have so missing episodes of the first two Doctors. The BCC didn’t see the value of the episodes taking up space in their vaults; especially once overseas sales of the episodes had stopped. So the only way to relive the adventures of the Doctor and for some people the first time was by reading these novelizations. The cool thing was they had a number of the actual writers of the scripts actually write the novelizations. So they could add details, which might not have carry over from the script to screen.

Depending on how long you have been reading YATopia and the crazy things I write or talk about, you may or may not know I am a YA librarian when I am not playing writer or editor or vid/podcaster. There are two areas I take great pride in, in my YA section of the library. The first being my Graphic Novel/TPB/Manga section and the second being my Doctor Who section. I have a small but growing section of Doctor Who in my YA section and thanks to the BBC to actually opening up a press here in the states to print Doctor Who novels I no longer have to buy the imports and pay those prices. I can afford to buy even more Doctor Who for the section.

Now we are getting to my point here - the Teens, Tweenies, and Adults all love reading Doctor Who novels, novelizations, comic books, etc. Every month, when I do the bookmobile outreach to the local High School and Middle School I bring my collection of Doctor Who books. What led me to do this was a Weeping Angel shirt I like to wear to work. I wore this shirt to an outreach and the students went nuts over the shirt as they recognized it and I talked Doctor Who with them. In all honesty I can talk for hour upon hours upon hours about Doctor Who. So I decided to bring the Doctor Who books with me. The students went crazy over them, I brought novelizations, novels, visual dictionaries the gambit of Doctor Who books I had in my section.

I can tell you their favorite Doctor is the 11th Doctor. I have books spanning the range of the Doctors and by far Smith’s Doctor is their favorite. I can’t wait to see what happens with the 12th Doctor and Capaldi.  Sometimes they are shocked to find out there are even Doctor Who books, because they had no idea they existed. The looks on their faces at this discover is quite magical. And as a librarian it is my job to put books in their hands and since I am a Doctor Who fan why not Doctor Who books if they are a fan of the show. Reading is reading is reading.

Doctor Who is a family program and so is the current range of books. Doctor Who has had the novelizations, the New Adventures, and now what is being done now. The current range featuring NuWHO has really tried to capture the magic and flavor of the show. The BBC has finally realized not only the world wide popularity of the show, but the age wide popularity of the show. You can find books for all ages of readers. Doctor Who is both a girl’s book as well as guy’s book all at the same the time. They both come at the books from different angles and interests.

You can really see this; while during the year leading up to the 50th anniversary the BCC had 11 British YA authors write stories for each of the Doctors – Eoin Colfer, Michael Scott, Marcus Sedgwick, Phillip Reeve, Richelle Mead, Malorie Blackman, Alex Scarrow, Charlie Higson, Derek Landy, Derek Landy, and Neil Gaiman.  I hope the BBC continues down this path with more YA author writing for the novels. I personally would like to see author A.J. Hartley (Darwin Arkwright) take a shot at writing one of these Doctor Who novels. 

 Doctor Who is just one of those magical properties that can bring so many different people to the table. It is one of those properties like Harry Potter which can bring the whole family together. And I do hope the rumors are true, at some point that J.K. will be writing something for Doctor Who be it a mini-episode to a full episode to a short story to a novel because I think would be absolutely magical and bring even more people to show. It would is hard pressed to imagine more people watching the show since it is the BBC’s most widely watched show they have.

So all I can really say at this point is watch Doctor Who, read Doctor Who, and enjoy Doctor Who!

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