TARDIS Eruditorum is an acclaimed blog and book series that charts the history of Doctor Who from its debut in 1963 to the present day. Tackling the show story by story, the blog used Doctor Who as a lens to understand British culture and history. Doctor Who is a show about everything, so I used it to tell the story of everything. Since writing the blog, I've been gradually revising and republishing the essays as a book series that aims to be the most comprehensive account of Doctor Who ever. And I need your help to put the next volume out.
Volume 7 of TARDIS Eruditorum will cover the Sylvester McCoy years, starting with his inauspicious (but terribly charming) debut in Time and the Rani through the storming highs of Remembrance of the Daleks and The Curse of Fenric, and finally past the cancellation of the series into the first part of the Wilderness Years, when Doctor Who was kept alive as a series of novels from Virgin Books called the New Adventures. Far from a disposable line of cheap fill-ins, this line was a shockingly innovative era of the show in its own right, in turns as brilliant and infuriating as the show itself, and featured the earliest Doctor Who material by Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Gareth Roberts, and Paul Cornell.
Every essay in the book will be revised and improved from its original blog version, including not only essays on every televised Sylvester McCoy story and the major titles of the Virgin Books line, but a host of entries on other major sci-fi/fantasy programs of the era that provide vital context for Doctor Who and a bevy of additional entries on forgotten direct-to-video projects, Doctor Who comics and video games, and later additions to the McCoy era from BBC Books and Big Finish. The result will be the most thorough and comprehensive history of the Sylvester McCoy era ever.
But doing a book right costs money. I'll need to hire a copy-editor to clean up errors in the prose, commission another brilliant cover from series designer James Taylor, and set aside a chunk of time to revise the entries and typeset the book. All told, I need about $2000 to make the book happen.
But, of course, just doing all of that would only end up with a history as comprehensive as the old blog. If we really want to be the most thorough ever, I'll need to write a couple extra essays on topics I didn't cover on the blog. And so I've got a series of stretch goals beyond $2000.
If the Kickstarter reaches $3000, I'll add an essay on Nightshade, Mark Gatiss's first-ever professional piece of Doctor Who, in which the Doctor basically ends up in a Quatermass story.
At $4000, I'll write a new "Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Tea" essay on Springhill, an early Russell T Davies show that employed both Gareth Roberts and Paul Cornell as scriptwriters, and whose plot was raided for Davies's first Doctor Who novel.
At $5000 I'll write an essay called "Was the Doctor Half-Woven On His Mother's Side" in which I tackle the idiosyncratic continuity of the Virgin Novels, particularly their strange idea of where Time Lord babies come from.
At $6000 I'll do a Pop Between Realities essay on the Andrew Cartmel-overseen season of Casualty, which was the project he moved on to after Doctor Who was cancelled and before writing a trio of cyberpunk-flavored novels for the Virgin new Adventures line.
At $7000, I'll do the Big Finish audio Master.
At $8000, I'll do the BBC Books novel The Algebra of Ice by Lloyd Rose, one of the most acclaimed authors of the Wilderness Years.
At $9000 I'll look at the Big Finish audio The Unknown, from their Diary of River Song series, featuring the 7th Doctor meeting River Song.
If the Kickstarter can make it to $10,000, I'll include an exclusive interview with Virgin New Adventures superstar Kate Orman about the Sylvester McCoy era and her memories as a fan of it.
At $11,000, I'll do an essay titled "Is Ace Queer?" The answer will definitely not be "no."
At $12,000, I'll do the acclaimed Big Finish audio The Fearmonger.
At $13,000, I'll do the direct-to-video Sontaran story Shakedown along with Terrance DIcks's novelization of it for the Virgin Books line.
And finally, at $14,000, I'll do The Pit, infamous for being the worst of the Virgin Books line, and featuring William Blake as a one-off companion in ways that are absolutely bound to drive me up a wall. It'll be an essay full of sputtering, apoplectic rage, and snark. Just what you want.
So if you can chip a few dollars in, I'll be extremely grateful. I've got rewards from $5, which gets you an ebook of Volume 7 when it's finished, all the way up to signed and 100% Kickstarter-exclusive hardcover copies that will never be for sale again after February 28th. And even if you can only chip in $1, I'll send you the bonus essays as they're written and give you immediate access to my forthcoming essay on Deep Breath from when TARDIS Eruditorum resumes posting as a blog series in March to finally cover the Peter Capaldi era.
Thank you for backing, and I hope you enjoy.
Risks and challenges
There are very few risks; the bulk of the book is written, and I've produced six volumes of the series already, so I have a very good idea of what the seventh will take. It's possible I'll miss the listed delivery date, but honestly I'd be surprised. Past that, basically unless I get hit by a bus this will happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)