Hasslein Blog: Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who


Hasslein Blog

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who

By Rich Handley

We are pleased to present the cover to Hasslein Books' first publication for 2014, titled Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who, written by Matthew J. Elliott.

Very few television series have remained in production for decades. Fewer have come back from cancellation. And even fewer have continued to thrive following the loss of their lead actor. So it's pretty amazing that Doctor Who can proudly boast all three claims. The British science fiction program, produced by the BBC, depicts the adventures of an extraterrestrial Time Lord known as the Doctor, who explores the universe with a variety of companions in his TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), a time-travelling spaceship resembling a blue police call box.

Doctor Who aired an astounding 26 seasons during its first incarnation, from 1963 to 1989, with seven actors in the title role, each differing from his predecessor as much in appearance as in personality. And yet the show not only thrived, but actually increased in acclaim and popularity. As if that weren't atypical enough, the show has come back from the grave twice, first in a 1996 TV movie, and now as a much-renowned revival series that has run from 2005 to date. The show has become a significant part of British popular culture, and has evolved as a cult favorite in the United States and worldwide.

The series has changed radically over the years, with eleven actors portraying the Doctor so far, and more than 50 companions joining him on his adventures. But the televised episodes are just the tip of the iceberg, as the Doctor has made numerous references to additional offscreen encounters never expanded upon onscreen. RiffTrax.com writer and performer Matthew J. Elliott has accepted the herculean task of chronicling the stories between the stories. This is not a typical Doctor Who project… but, then, Matthew is not a typical Doctor Who fan.

"I can honestly say there's never been an unofficial Who guidebook like it," Matthew said when describing the project for us last year. "It's the only book to focus upon what we don't see. Many times throughout the series' run, the Doctor has described, in passing, escapades that have never been filmed. No, this isn't just a book of lists, collecting together all those unseen adventures (although we Who fans do love our lists). No, it's much more than that. Taking my cue from W S Baring Gould's chronology of the cases of Sherlock Holmes, I've attempted to place them chronologically within the Time Lord's life, identifying the last possible moment when each missing story could have occurred. The result is an alternative biography of our favourite Time Lord, and throws up many tantalizing possibilities: A missing Dalek story featuring the Second Doctor and Jamie... the Fourth Doctor and Romana assisting UNIT in fighting the Cybermen... the Eleventh Doctor becoming a fan of '80s power rock band Poison... the Third Doctor being caught in the middle of a war between the Daleks and the Ice Warriors. Trust me, it's all in there."

This project immediately struck us as one that belonged at Hasslein Books, and we could not be happier to have Matthew Elliott on board writing it. Matthew is probably best-known as a writer and performer on RiffTrax.com, the online comedy experience from the makers of cult sci-fi TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K to the initiated). He is the author of Sherlock Holmes on the Air and the editor of several collections of H P Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard collections for Wordsworth Editions. His short story "Art in the Blood" can be found in The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries 8. Other short fiction and articles have appeared in the pages of SHERLOCK, Total DVD, The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine and Scarlet Street.

To date, Matthew has written more than 200 plays for U.S. radio, including episodes of The Twilight Zone, Vincent Price Presents, Wrath of the Titans, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Allan Quatermain, Logan's Run, Raffles the Gentleman Thief, The Father Brown Mysteries, Kincaid the Strangeseeker, The Adventures of Harry Nile, The Perry Mason Radio Dramas, Fangoria's Dreadtime Stories and the Audie Award-nominated New Adventures of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. He is the creator of The Hilary Caine Mysteries, which first aired in 2005, and also writes comic books for Bluewater. Matthew says he does nothing in his spare time, because he doesn't have any.

Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who will cover every episode of Doctor Who to date, up to and including "Time of the Doctor," the final episode of the Doctor's 13th incarnation, played by Matt Smith. This will be the first of several Hasslein titles published in 2014, and the first of two Doctor Who books slated to help celebrate the series' 50th anniversary, alongside Who at 50: Celebrating Five Decades of Doctor Who, by Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson.

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