In a first for Doctor Who, BBC Books have announced their plans to publish a new novel that’s written by a character from the long-running television science-fiction drama series.
The new book is actually a first for Doctor Who in two respects: it’s the first novel to be published in e-pub format only and, more interestingly, the first to be written by a character from the TV series itself.
Titled, The Angel’s Kiss, it purports to be “A Melody Malone Mystery”, written by and featuring Melody Malone herself.
BBC Books describe Malone as “the owner and sole employee of the Angel Detective Agency”.
The plot of the book centres on a Hollywood film star, Rock Railton. According to the synopsis, during the press party for his latest movie, “studio owner Max Kliener invites Melody to the film set of their next blockbuster. He’s obviously spotted her potential, and Melody is flattered when Kliener asks her to become a star. But the cost of fame, she’ll soon discover, is greater than anyone could possibly imagine.
“Will Melody be able to escape Kliener’s dastardly plan – before the Angels take Manhattan?”
In a neat little piece of marketing, the book – which will be e-published on Thursday, 4 October – will make its first appearance on Doctor Who, when the final story of the current run of episodes – The Angels Take Manhattan – is broadcast this weekend.
The Steven Moffat-penned storyline sees the Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions, Amy and Rory Pond and their daughter Professor River Song (Alex Kingston), once again take on the Weeping Angels.
It will draw to a close the Ponds' tenure in the TARDIS, and has already been described as a tear-fest; with rumours flying around that at least one of the pair will not live to the end.
The Angel’s Kiss will become part of the story itself, with Amy and the Doctor seen reading it at various points during the episode. The extent to which it impinges on proceedings, however, is not known – but, a clue can be found in the name of the book’s author: Melody.
BBC / Doctor Who
Doctor Who: Amy Pond reads The Angel's Kiss (Melody Malone)
The actors who play Amy and Rory – Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill – both joined the series in 2010, during Smith’s first full episode as the Doctor. At Christmas, a new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman (A Room at the Top), will take their place.
River Song’s future on the show is still not known. A recurring character since 2008, Moffat actually killed her off in her very first story, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. In those episodes, River Song teamed up with Smith’s predecessor as the Doctor, David Tennant, and, although it quickly became clear that the Doctor had never met her before, Professor Song claimed to have been travelling with the Doctor on and off for many years. Since then, each time the two characters have met up, it has been at different points in their personal timelines. In 2011, in Let’s Kill Hitler, for instance, River Song met the Doctor for the first time, as far as she was concerned. Confused? You will be!
Moffat is well known for playing with time within Doctor Who, having argued that, although the science-fiction drama is all about time travel (the Doctor’s police box is in fact a time machine), for much of it’s TV history, the series shied away from dealing with specific time-themed storylines.
Time and time again!
During his involvement on the show, all that has changed, with many of his stories dealing with time itself. Indeed, although Coleman was expected to make her debut in this year’s Christmas special, the actor turned up unexpectedly in the first story of the current run. Again, messing with time once again, viewers witnessed Coleman’s character perish at the end of that episode, Asylum of the Daleks.
The Angels Take Manhattan is due to air in the UK, US and Canada on Saturday, 29 September, and in Australia and New Zealand later in the week.
This year’s as-yet-untitled Christmas episode is expected to be broadcast in the UK and US on Christmas Day.
A further run of eight episodes will follow some time in the new year, with another batch expected later 2013, to coincide with Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. Next year will also see the showing a one-off drama based on the origins of Doctor Who. The 90-minute drama, An Adventure in Space and Time, is written by Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss.