Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pirate Planet: a blast from the past

Seventeen years ago Doctor Who was dying. The long-running BBC science fiction TV series was scheduled against ratings juggernaut Coronation Street, a death sentence for any original drama series. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in New Zealand, I was rediscovering my childhood passion for the series. I even got fleetingly involved with Doctor Who fandom, something that hadn't previously been possible as it didn't really exist when I grew up watching the show. Such was my renewed enthusiasm, I volunteered to pen a fan novelisation of The Pirate Planet, a four-part adventure Douglas Adams wrote for the TV series when Tom Baker was still the Doctor. It was one of the few TV tales never officially novelised and I decided to have a crack at it.

The results were published by the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club in 1990, after I emigrated to Britain. The book got several subsequent revisions, thanks to kiwi fandom stalwart Paul Scoones, all of which improved my initial efforts. Over the years an estimated 600 copies of The Pirate Planet were sold on a not-for-profit basis - not bad for a fan novelisation. Well, the NZDWFC had nwo gone all 21st Century and made The Pirate Planet fan novelisation available for downloading as a free pdf. And yes, that is my original cover artwork above, ample proof of why I became a freelance writer, not an artist or illustrator...

No comments: