I don’t know how many kids can say this, but I came to Doctor Who fandom through the books.
Growing up, I didn’t have a TV until after my parents separated (consolation prize and all). But even then, Ireland had only two TV channels, though sometimes the richest kids would have a large antenna to catch the four extra that came from the UK. So there was no reliable way to catch Doctor Who except by the random luck of being at somebody’s house who had “all the channels” (all SIX, folks), and it happened to be on. With the show being a cliffhanger-based serial, one could generally be assured of a slightly unsatisfying narrative that way, although I got enough to know I liked it.
What I did have was a library card. And the children’s section at my local book-borrowing outpost was bursting on the inside with Doctor Who novelizations. I read as many as I was able, with the occasional sci-fi magazine being my visual guide for what the characters looked like. I also read drastically out of chronological order, as there was no numbering system on the books themselves. I almost certainly imagined better special effects than the BBC ever conceived, though I was young enough that I didn’t notice the seams in the monster suits when I did catch an episode.
When the series relaunched, it was almost like deja vu, as I did not have cable! And then when I did, it switched from Syfy to BBC America, which was not carried by my system. Now I finally have the access, but I’ll never forget the way those original tie-in books captured my imagination.
Today’s contest offers you the best of both worlds: a prize package featuring three books – original tales, unlike the ones I grew up with – and three DVDs. In print: A PLAGUE OF THE CYBERMEN by Justin Richards with signed bookplate, THE DALEK GENERATION by Nicholas Briggs and THE SHROUD OF SORROW by Tommy Donbavand (to read excerpts from the books, CLICK HERE). On disc: “The Ark in Space,” “Shada” and “Robots of Death.”
I think the contest idea for this one is obvious. In a comment below, tell me who or what you think Clara Oswin/Oswald really is, and how she ends up in the Asylum of the Daleks. Enter as many times as you like, and remember that the most likely theory isn’t necessarily the best or the winning-est one (I’ll pick the one I like the best, for whatever reason). Contest ends next Monday, April 8th, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. Please make sure you check the site regularly after that date to see if you’ve won, as I reserve the right to re-allot prizes if not claimed in timely fashion.