Fill Your Doctor Who Hiatus

We Doctor Who fans are old hat at hiatuses by now. Why, just two years ago we had one. And before that, we had a bit of a break and half series spread out a bit. Before that we had the specials during a bit of a dry year. And let’s not get started on the long wilderness years between 1989 and 2005 (with a brief star in the shape of Paul McGann in 1996).

Once again, Doctor Who is having a break for a year. It happens. Most shows do it. But few other shows have quite so much extra material for us to keep ourselves occupied while we wait for Jodie Whittaker and company to bounce back onto our screens.

So, here are some things Doctor Who fans can look forward to over the coming year. Plenty to fill your time… And empty your wallets. Sorry about that.

Big Finish

The Legacy of TimeThe obvious place to start is Big Finish. The audio drama company that kept the flame alive for years, and keeps our classic era heroes in our hearts. Or, at least, our ears. What’s more, 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Big Finish, and as such there’s a whole planet full of new gubbins on the way.

The biggest thing to look for is The Legacy of Time. A six hour stories which will see characters from the entire history of Doctor Who crossing paths – some for the first time. Classic and New Series Doctor Who will collide!

Are you a fan of River Song? The Diary of River Song returns for a fifth series, this time she sees off four incarnations of The Master, including Eric Roberts, who you might remember from the 1996 TV movie. Derek Jacobi, Michelle Gomez, and Geoffrey Beevers also reprise their roles. The Diary of River Song Series Five.

Missy / the Master

If that’s not enough Master for you, Missy will be getting her own series from Big Finish, too. In February 2019, Missy returns in the guise of a Victorian nanny and no doubt sinister shenanigans will ensue. And if that still doesn’t fill your appetite, and you’ve got more money than the Lady Casandra, Derek Jacobi gives another tour of the War Master, in Rage of the Time Lords and Anti-Genesis

David Tennant and Catherine Tate also return as the Tenth Doctor and Donna in 2019 – and they’ll be bringing the family with them in The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 3, out in May. The Paternoster Gang are joining Big Finish, starting with the special release, The Eighth of March, then continuing in their own series in 2019.

Paul McGann is returning as The Eighth Doctor in the epic conclusion to the Ravenous series. Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor gets his first new companion at Big Finish when he’s joined by WPC Ann Kelso, played by Jane Slavin.

Three more Main Range adventures will reunite the Seventh Doctor and Mags, the punk werewolf seen in 1988’s The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. And there’s plenty of excitement in the world of Torchwood in 2019. Series 6: God Among Us will continue to see Cardiff burn, and the Torchwood Monthly Adventures sees the team fighting monsters from the world of Doctor Who. The Autons and Margaret Slitheen return, plus Gwen is possessed by the Fendahl and Jo Jones meets Captain Jack!

Comics

[Cover Art image for Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor]If you’re more of a visual medium person, then the Doctor Who comics range might appeal. There’s quite a hot slate coming this year, including some for our current Time Lord, the Thirteenth Doctor.

Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is to continue her comic adventures in some brand new volumes. It might be worth catching up on what’s already come out. From Titan Comics…

The Thirteenth Doctor’s first comic adventure continues with Eisner-nominated writer Jody Houser (Faith, Mother Panic, Stranger Things)! The Doctor and her new companions face down an intertemporal crime lord and his time-travelling art thieves!

Illustrated by award-winning artist Rachael Stott (Doctor Who, Motherlands) and colorist Enrica Angiolini (Shades of Magic, Warhammer 40,000)!

There’s also a whole back catalogue of Doctor Who comics to work through as well. All the modern Doctors, the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth, have a veritable mountain of adventures on offer. There are even some tales for the classic fans, with the Eighth, Seventh, Fourth and Third Doctor having their own running series, too.

Books

Let’s not forget good old fashioned literature. As well as the recent release of several Thirteenth Doctor novels, we have some long awaited titles from the old school, too. Most notable is Tom Baker’s Doctor Who and the Scratchman.

I’ll let the press release speak for itself.

FROM TOM BAKER…

“I love the improbability of Doctor Who. Reason plays no part at all. As in religion, the overriding thing is faith. It may be improbable, but just believe in it and it’ll all come right.”

“When I was approached about the book, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I’m always on the lookout for a novelty. I’m very enthusiastic as I get close to darkness.”

Doctor Who Meets Scratchman began out of boredom somewhere in the 1970s, an idea for a story formed by Tom Baker and Ian Marter between set takes and pauses in filming during the Fourth Doctor era. Despite great enthusiasm and valiant attempts, funding Scratchman proved difficult (Baker accidentally made a newspaper appeal to the British public for help, and found himself deluged with children’s pocket money – which he had to return.)

For a long time, Scratchman was forgotten, until a script was found in 2006. It was donated to the British Film Institute by former Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner before his death in 2002. In his first-ever Doctor Who novel, Tom Baker’s incredible imagination is given free rein. A story so epic it was originally intended for the big screen, Scratchman is a gripping, white-knuckle thriller almost forty years in the making.

The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, who are preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.

With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the Devil. Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. And the Doctor’s worst nightmares are coming out to play…

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Joel Cornah
Joel Cornah is an author, journalist, and blogger. He is the author of a number of novels and novellas including; The Sea-Stone Sword, The Spire of Frozen Fire and The Silent Helm, with the upcoming novel The Sky Slayer, expected some time in 2016. He is an editor for The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Network, head of the Doctor Who department, and member of the Tolkien Society. He is a frequent blogger for the Pack of Aces blog, focussing on issues of Asexuality in media, specialising in sci-fi and fantasy.