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08 October 2016 @ 06:04 pm
Cover of Search for the Doctor (1986)  

Given how studiously Doctor Who, the show, has avoided giving us child companions, it is always a little jarring when a piece of spin-off media chooses to do so. Though, in the case of a choose your own adventure book, you can see why it might have been tempting, even if it does make your assumptions about your audience pretty explicit.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/213316.html.
philmophlegm: cyberleaderphilmophlegm on October 8th, 2016 05:32 pm (UTC)
What was the publisher?
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on October 8th, 2016 06:10 pm (UTC)
Severn House Publishers Ltd (according to the inside). There were at least six of them (because I have six of them) not all with the little boy starring as "You".

There are also at least two (because I have two) Fasa Choose your own adventure books (also sixth Doctor based) which are about three times the length and US focused - e.g., the first is all set around the American Civil War and amused me at the time because one of the "losing" scenarios involved the chain of reasoning that went "South wins the civil war -> America doesn't buy Alaska -> COMMUNISM WINS" which I thought was a bit of a tenuous chain of reasoning.
philmophlegm: Victoria Waterfieldphilmophlegm on October 8th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC)
The FASA ones are presumably part of the same licence as their early 80s RPG http://www.shopontheborderlands.co.uk/cat/doctor-who/doctor-who-fasa/ .
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on October 8th, 2016 06:34 pm (UTC)
I assume so. I have a goodly selection of the FASA material (bought from a US Who fan of my acquaintance back in the day) but I have to confess I've never actually looked through it properly so don't have much of a feel for the game.
philmophlegm: dalekphilmophlegm on October 8th, 2016 06:43 pm (UTC)
Me neither actually. To be honest, I'm not convinced that Doctor Who really lends itself to an RPG. It's quite a valuable RPG though.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on October 10th, 2016 10:50 am (UTC)
I think the "great man + lesser companions" format (and yes, I know, the show does lots to subvert that from time to time, but only from time to time) is bad for roleplaying (again, as a generalisation). I think the FASA game encourages players to come up with their own Time Lord team though which has the potential to lead to much more balanced player groups.
philmophlegm: I'vegotasportscarphilmophlegm on October 10th, 2016 11:48 am (UTC)
Yes, I think it makes a lot out of the Celestial Intelligence Agency.
Nicholas: tardisnwhyte on October 9th, 2016 07:21 am (UTC)
I reviewed all six books in this series here, and the FASA ones here. The FASA ones are much better!
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on October 10th, 2016 10:21 am (UTC)
On the whole I'd agree with you about quality. I've not read either range since the 1980s, but I find it surprising that I recall more odd details about the Severn House range than the FASA one (I recall nothing about the Vortex Crystal at all) which is odd though maybe its the random oddness of several of the stories that makes them more memorable in retrospect. Mind you there were a lot of pretty rubbish choose-your-own-adventure books being published in the 1980s attempting, one assumes, to cash in on the success of the Jackson and Livingstone books.
philmophlegm: The Shop on the Borderlandsphilmophlegm on October 10th, 2016 11:50 am (UTC)
...leading to the eventual publication of the superb 'The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain', surely the best gamebook ever written. http://www.shopontheborderlands.co.uk/cat/gamebooks/