Fri
Jan 4 2013 11:45am
Will J.K. Rowling Write a Doctor Who Short Story?

Will J.K. Rowling Write a Doctor Who Short Story?

Allons-y! Expelliarmus! A rumor is circulating that the magical J.K. Rowling will pen a piece of short fiction featuring our favorite Time Lord from Gallifrey. As reported recently, a series of eleven Doctor Who stories is being comissioned as online “e-shorts” in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the show, to be followed by a paperback release of all the stories in November 2013. Interestingly, all the stories are said to be written by “well-known children’s authors.” And while names like Philip Pullman and Anthony Horowitz are being bandied about, the biggest rumor is that J.K. Rowling will write one of the stories too!

If this is a legitimate rumor, might this lead to Rowling writing an actual TV episode of Doctor Who? It wouldn’t be without precedent. Russell T. Davies famously wanted the author to participate in a meta-fictitional Harry Potter episode in 2007. (It was scrapped by David Tennant and Davies before it got to script stage, with “Voyage of the Damned” resulting in its place.) And many who have written Doctor Who prose (Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss) have gone on to write actual episodes.

In any case, on January 11th, the BBC will release a series of promotional videos featuring each author, at which point we’ll know exactly who is writing what, if Rowling is in, and who got stuck with what Doctor.

One wonders which Doctor would Rowling be best at portraying. We could see her portraying the imperiously goofy Tom Baker, with Sarah Jane Smith as the Hermione companion. What about you?


Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com. Stubby has been chosen to write about the 6.5th Doctor i.e. the wig Sylvester McCoy had to wear when regenerating into Seven.

9 comments
Colin Bell
1. SchuylerH
It doesn't seem too likely. Rowling has said that she doesn't generally read SF or fantasy and at the time of The Casual Vacancy was trying to make a fairly clean break with the genre. Of course, that didn't go down altogether well...
Evan Langlinais
2. Skwid
Well, at least it wouldn't violate her belief that you can't write grown-up material in a fantastical setting...
RobertX
3. RobertX
Even if she did, I don't know how good it would be. Sometimes authors don't do so well out of their chosen genre. I am not a particular fan of her HP writings either though.
Douglas Freer
4. Futurewriter1120
I doubt Jo would write a DW story but if she had to I could see her doing one of the newer Doctors starting with Paul McGann's.
Personally I want to submit my own DW story arc but I don't know where to send it once I get the details down.
Colin Bell
5. SchuylerH
@4: The writers of Doctor Who no longer accept the submission of unsolicited manuscripts. Perhaps your best bet is to contact Doctor Who Magazine. They should be able to give some advice for getting prose stories or comic strips published. (Doctor Who seems to prefer its screenwriters to start out on the printed page.)
Douglas Freer
6. Futurewriter1120
@5SchuylerH: I thought about the Magazine but wasn't sure. Thanks.
Ashley Fox
7. A Fox
Sigh. I'm not sure I'm entirely keen on this idea. But then her cutesy, im-so-middle-class-and-delightfully-british (if a bit try-hard) voice may actually work well with DW.

And for those saying she wouldnt do it: You gotta remember she has a lot of kids, some of the age where DW is disected in the playground after each ep. I imagine, if offered (and if they are offering it to big kids writers, thats almost a gaurentee) she would do it for them.

I'd be interested to see what she does....Now Pullman, of yeah, that could be pretty damn goood.
Colin Bell
8. SchuylerH
@8: I'm not sure if anyone else has read this but British author and editor Michael Moorcock wrote Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles in 2010. I enjoyed it but failed to see what, if anything, it had to do with Doctor Who. (Since Moorcock's stories are set not in the galaxy, or even the universe but across the entire multiverse, it was easy for him to shoehorn in a couple of regulars from his own series.) Still, if you like Doctor Who space operatics, I would recommend it.

Brian Aldiss, another venerable British author, wrote a short story in that universe but the Doctor wasn't a character. Stephen Baxter wrote Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice in 2012. It starred the Second Doctor and a lot of the plot from Paul J. McAuley's Fairyland. (which reminds me, McAuley also wrote a Doctor Who novella, albeit one I haven't read) Next year, Alastair Reynolds is bringing one out starring the Third Doctor and the Master, which last time I heard was called Doctor Who: The Harvest of Time.

Pullman's take in particular would be rather different and interesting but I'd rather he got on with finishing The Book of Dust and "Will's Green Book", which I believe we've been promised since 2006. Since he isn't George Martin and his fanbase is mostly British, the response to this delay consists of subdued grumbling rather than the outright production of motivational songs.
Alan Brown
9. AlanBrown
I'd like to see Rowling contribute a story. And wouldn't it be nice to see Gaiman contribute a story, in addition to scripts he has been doing lately?

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