BBC Books has revealed the first official book to accompany the new series of Doctor Who, a “beautifully illustrated collection of stories about the remarkable women” of the show.
Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived features “inspiring tales” of the women of Doctor Who and is first official book published to accompany the new series, announced in collaboration with Penguin Random House last July, celebrating Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the 13th Doctor.
BBC Books acquired world rights to the title which will publish on 27th September in hardback, priced £16.99.
Written by Christel Dee, former presenter of "Doctor Who: The Fan Show", and writer Simon Guerrier, the book will feature more than 75 stories of women in the 'Whoniverse', both real and imagined. From historical figures such as Agatha Christie and Queen Victoria to fan favourites like Bill Potts and River Song, each woman has made a unique contribution to the world of Doctor Who, according to a BBC Books spokesperson.
“Whether they’re facing down Daleks or thwarting a Nestene invasion, these women don’t hang around waiting to be rescued – they roll their sleeves up and get stuck in,” the spokesperson said. “Scientists and soldiers, queens and canteen workers, women from outlandish science-fiction and those steeped in real history, they don’t let anything hold them back.”
Illustrated throughout with specially-commissioned artwork by a team of female artists – including Gwen Burns, Valentina Mozzo, Sonia Leong, and more – the book also features new companion ‘Yasmin’, and an extended entry on the Doctor herself.
BBC Books and Penguin Random House Children’s UK struck a two-series deal with BBC Worldwide to continue their line of Doctor Who publishing last summer. The exclusive deal for global rights features formats including non-fiction, fiction, activity, novelty, audio and the annual including a combination of titles that introduce the show and the Doctor to a new audience as well as more in-depth books for "die-hard" fans.
Dee said: "With Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor arriving this autumn, we thought this would be the perfect time to reflect upon the wealth of incredible female characters from Doctor Who’s 55 year history – because there are so many! We hope the stories in this book will inspire a whole new generation of fans and existing fans too."
Albert DePetrillo, BBC Books publishing director, said: “We thought long and hard about which book would start our publishing programme for Jodie Whittaker’s first series of Doctor Who – and Christel and Simon’s book is the perfect choice. It’s bold and fresh in its approach, it makes a strong statement, it’s beautifully written, and stunning in its design.”
He added: “It represents everything we love about Doctor Who, and we couldn’t be happier to be publishing The Women Who Lived on the BBC Books list.”
“We hope this offers a fresh perspective on the history of Doctor Who, a chance to celebrate the richness of past episodes as well as looking forward to the series’ exciting future,” Guerrier said. “I thought I knew Doctor Who backwards, but we discovered loads of new things in our research for the book.”
Dee is a cosplayer, convention enthusiast and “long-time Whovian”. She previously hosted and was the assistant producer of award winning YouTube series “Doctor Who: The Fan Show”, after BBC Studios discovered her popular Doctor Who comedy sketches on YouTube channel FiveWhoFans in 2015. She contributed cosplay tips to Doctor Who: Paper Dolls for BBC Books. She writes regularly for Doctor Who Magazine and became Doctor Who's digital marketing manager at BBC Studios earlier this year.
Guerrier is co-author of Whographica and The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who for BBC Books among other publications and has written “countless” Doctor Who books, comics, audio plays and documentaries. He is currently working with his brother Thomas on “Victorian Queens of Ancient Egypt” to be broadcast on Radio 3.
Penguin Random House UK has been the home of Doctor Who with BBC Books since the 1990s, while Penguin Random House Children’s UK has published Doctor Who titles for over a decade.