Time was, anything was merchandised and published with the Doctor Who logo on it. There was very little quality control on it from the BBC. I heard a rumour that back in the 1980s, the producer John Nathan Turner vetted everything that was released commercially and checked their authenticity to the series rigorously. Having seen some of the stuff (and even purchased some of it) from the era, we can all safely say that that is a myth - like further missing episodes turning up. JNT's pet dog Pepsi probably had more say in what could be released than he appears to have had.
In the 1980s, Doctor Who Target novelisations were a publishing phenomenon. Phenomenon in that no one in the publishing world could quite understand why there were so many and how on Earth a company could make them pay.
The books provided fans the chance to relive recent (and occasionally old) episodes in prose form before the age of Sky plus and TV on demand. Visually these books suffered in the mid-life with poorly chosen photographic covers and a lack of any Doctor other than the current one posing on them. Sometimes the photos appeared to have been cut out using a pair of 'Play School' scissors and stuck to a piece of day-glo card - whichever was available to the work experience guy at the time. All in all, visually they went through a pretty shit period.
I'd hate to think what would've happened if the current Doctor Who success happened in the early 80s as opposed to today....
|A BOOK: Yesterday|