June 20th, 2011 — Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Virgin's Doctor Who Books
The books released by Virgin Publishing during the 1990s played a unique role in the history of Doctor Who. After the show's cancellation in 1989, it would not have been at all surprising for widespread interest in the show to die out after a few years, with only a handful of diehard fans continuing to remain active. But Virgin's continuation of Doctor Who in the form of a series of novels called The New Adventures was instrumental in keeping the show alive in a new and experimental form.
The New Adventures were such a success that Virgin was able to continue expanding the variety of Who books they published: the Missing Adventures, the Decalog Anthologies, and a slew of non-fiction and other miscellaneous works. This period of intense production lasted from 1991 to 1999, at which time the last of its Who-related works, the spin-off Bernice Summerfield Adventures, also came to a close.
The years since then have seen the BBC's own Who novels continue for nearly a decade, followed by a revival of the television series itself in 2005. But June 20th 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the very first New Adventure (Timewyrm: Genesys by John Peel), which makes it the perfect time to look back and admire a success story almost unique in the publishing world.
This website, Virgin Territory, is designed to pay tribute to the many talented writers, artists, and editors who made the Virgin Era such an unusual and exciting time for Doctor Who.
Illustrated Book Guide
The bulk of this website consists of an illustrated guide to all the New and Missing Adventures, along with Virgin's Bernice Summerfield books and the Decalog anthologies.
The other Who books from Virgin — their non-fiction titles, and other miscellaneous works of fiction such as Who Killed Kennedy and The Paradise of Death — will be added at a future date.
One of my main goals in creating this site is to draw special attention to the many talented cover artists and designers, and how their amazing work contributed to the overall success of the Virgin books — a topic that's been strangely neglected.
Each book has its own page, complete with the following features:
- Fully illustrated with huge, high-quality scans of the front and back covers, as well as the spines and other related images
- Details on each book, including title, author, cover artist, publication date, ISBN, and page count
- Numerous prefaces, introductions, and afterwords reproduced in full, to give notable books their full historical context
- Huge, high-quality scans of the original Preludes from Doctor Who Magazine
- Trivia about the authors and artists, and other miscellaneous information
- Brief plot descriptions
- Short, review-like remarks about the story and artwork
Note: So far, I have only been able to add trivia, plot descriptions, and reviews for the first 18 New Adventures, from Timewyrm: Genesys through Iceberg, plus a few other random books. I will continue adding this information as time permits.
Also, there are numerous index pages — separate lists alphabetized by Title, Author, Cover Artist, etc. — so you can quickly find exactly the type of information you're looking for.