Uniting ‘The boy who never grew up’ and ‘A mad man in a blue box’ Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer is one of eleven lucky souls charged with writing short stories to be released via eBook on 23rd of every month leading up to Doctor Who’s golden anniversary in November.
Taking inspiration from Peter Pan, the first book A Big Hand for the Doctor sees the first incarnation of the Time Lord arrive in Victorian London where he bumps into a certain J.M. Barrie before embarking on an adventure that lands him right back at the beginning of all his adventures.
Giving himself some ‘wriggle room’ Colfer choose to set his short story before the TARDIS first appears at Totter’s Lane.
Speaking to the Today programme’s James Naughtie and fellow author and Doctor Who novelist Una McCormack, Colfer explained why he choose to free himself from established mythology and pilot the TARDIS towards the inception of one of his all-time favourite children’s books:
I thought it might be a nice idea to somehow blend Peter Pan and Doctor Who together… My story is set in Victorian London in 1900 and the Doctor kind of bumps into J.M Barrie so there’s a little bit of… so if you’re a Peter Pan fan you might get the references I hope.
It’s fantastic he can, whatever venture or time or place you want him to go you just send him there so I very luckily had a load of Victorian London research left over from a book so I was able to finally use it!”
The series is as much a celebration of the Doctor as it is of the short story genre itself. Una McCormack said the endeavour was a ‘lovely idea’ and shared her thoughts on the longevity of the Doctor:
It’s difficult to think of anything else like it in terms of post war culture… I can’t see these stories going away.
A Big Hand for the Doctor is available now via eBook for Kindlefor £1.99.