So, I finally get to announce two really awesome Doctor Who-related projects with which I’m involved! YAY! For both, I delve into Classic Who, bringing what my editors/publishers have called a fresh, unique perspective to writing about the classic series.
That’s right, mo-fos. If Classic Who fandom is like a duffel bag full of sweaty gym socks, I’m the fucking Febreze.
From the publishers that brought you the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords and the fabulous Whedonistas (in which I also have an essay), comes the sister anthology to Chicks Dig Time Lords called Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who,edited by Deborah Stanish and LM Myles. This is a more ambitious book than Chicks Dig Time Lords in that it’s a season-by-season analysis of the entire series from Hartnell to Smith. Check out the fabulous contributor list HERE. (can you believe I’m in the same book as these people?!)
When I was approached to contribute to the book, I was asked to choose the top three seasons of the show that I’d like to write about. So, I chose one Pertwee season (he’s my favorite classic Doctor), and two New Who seasons. Surely, I’d get one of my choices! Right?
By the time I got my picks in, they’d already been taken, and all that were left were Doctors I haven’t gotten to yet (I’ve only gotten through Tom Baker in classic episodes, so I’ve not seen anything from Davison through McGann) and…*gulp*…the First Doctor. “NOOOOOOOO!” I thought. “I hate that guy! He’s such a toooooooool! Any essay I write will be some variation of Blah-blah-blah-douchebag. Blah-blah-douchebag. Blah-blah-what a douchebag!” But in the spirit of challenging myself, I agreed to write about the second season of Doctor Who, which features stories like “Planet of the Giants,” “The Romans,” and “The Space Museum.”
And I’m so glad I did, because as I re-watched those episodes, I started seeing the First Doctor in an entirely new context. The divide between Classic and New went away, and I started seeing him as the younger version of the 900+ year old Gallifreyan we know today. That changed everything, including how I feel about him. You can read my essay, “All of Gallifrey’s a Stage: The Doctor in Adolescence,” when Chicks Unravel Time is released NOVEMBER 13TH!
And then, once you’ve read my essay in Chicks Unravel Time and have gotten good and sad about the fact that you’ll have no new Classic Who writing from me to look forward to…dry those eyes! Because there’s another anthology coming out in November that will feature my unique take on Classic Who: ATB Publishing’s first book, Outside In: 160 New Perspectives on 160 Classic Doctor Who Stories by 160 Writers, edited by Robert Smith?. (Yes, the question mark belongs there. Robert Smith is a common name. Robert Smith? is not.) This book goes a step further than even Chicks Unravel Time in that it not only examines the show season-by-season, but story-by-story, each contributor writing a review of one Doctor Who story.
Robert approached me about contributing at Gallifrey One earlier this year on the recommendation of my Whedonistas editor, Deborah Stanish (thanks, Deb!), and said that he needed someone to review the Third Doctor’s (squee!) final story, “Planet of the Spiders.” Of course I would! I love the Third Doctor, and would be happy to revisit him. Then Robert stressed that he wanted the reviews in this book to tread new ground. As he says in a blurb on the ATB website:
It’s the biggest, wildest idea I ever had: as many reviews are there are classic series stories. That alone was a huge undertaking. But what really makes this shine is that I put in an additional requirement: say something different. In short, these aren’t your father’s reviews. What I wanted for OUTSIDE IN was takes on the classic series that make you go, ‘Wow, I never thought of that.’ Fortunately, that struck a chord with everyone and I mostly got to sit back and watch everybody bring their A-game to the table.
Some reviews are thoughtful, some are funny, and some are utterly gonzo. I’ve had mock-angry letters to the BBC, transcripts of council meetings, even a recipe. There are flow charts, maps, TV scripts, timelines, Shakespearean plays… and, of course, intensely passionate and vocal opinions about the entirety of Doctor Who. You may not agree with everything that’s said in this book – indeed, I hope you don’t! – but the end result is something intensely personal that every Doctor Who fan will find resonates with them in some way.
*gulp* NO PRESSURE. Just, you know, WRITE ABOUT DOCTOR WHO IN A WAY NO ONE ELSE EVER HAS BEFORE. WHATEVS. I hit upon something, though, and wrote about it in a way that’s pretty damn funny. You can check out my take on “Planet of the Spiders” when Outside In comes out NOVEMBER 23rd!
So, November’s a big month if you enjoy me and/or Doctor Who! (Ideally, you love both!) Get ready, because going into the new year there just might be some events happening where I’ll be celebrating these two fabulous books and interacting with you IN PERSON. Stay tuned! And get thee to your favorite booksellers in November for Chicks Unravel Time and Outside In!