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16 February 2009 @ 06:24 am
I am confuzzled, re: 'Doctor Who' books ...  
So, I've been getting all of the Rose and Donna DW books (sorry, I just am not a big enough fan of Martha), and I'm quite confused about something. Rose was the companion for two series (with appearances in a third) and is featured in TWELVE books. Okay, cool. Martha was the companion for one series (with appearances in a second) and is featured in TWELVE books. Donna was the companion for one series (with appearance in a special) and is featured in FOUR books.

I do not understand this. Why is Martha -- the companion in only one series -- in the same amount of books as Rose -- the companion in TWO series. Furthermore, why is Martha in THREE times the number of books that Donna -- also the companion in only one series? I don't get it. I thought at first that maybe the popularity grew so much that by the time Martha came around, they realized there was a bigger market and so more books and that more Donna books would be coming. However, books are started to coming out (or will this year) of the Doctor alone, post-Donna. So I don't get it.

And on not getting it, why can't there continue to be Rose/Nine and Ten/Rose and, yeah, Ten/Martha, Ten/Donna books just because the actors are gone? They can still fill in adventures with them that wouldn't contradict what's on the show.

Anyhoo, just wondering.

ETA: Well, after reading responses I imagine it probably has to do with image licensing. Both Billie and Catherine Tate would know how to milk that stuff in a contract and Freema wouldn't. Ah well. Sucks, that means it's likely we won't ever see anymore Nine/Rose, Ten/Rose, Donna/Ten or any TenII/Rose period, books. Sigh.
 
 
 
Flying Mint Bunny: normal 54haro on February 16th, 2009 11:51 am (UTC)
Martha is actually featured in FIFTEEN books, because she's featured in one other novel that was just released in December and two shorter chapter books (Rose got one of those, Donna got zilch). So Martha got books released until about a year and a half after her season ended.

And it is really ridiculous. The book schedule has always been for the first new season books to be released in April, so Donna should have gotten her first three novels last April. But they released three more Martha books.

I'm actually willing to forgive Rose only having as many books despite being there two seasons, because they just upped the amount of books they released each year starting in the third season (it used to be six a year, now it's nine). But that does not remotely excuse them giving Donna so few books and giving Martha slots that she should be in. If the release schedule were done like it was with Martha, NINE Donna books would be out by now.

And it's not that Martha is such a popular companion that they do more with her. Martha is in not more popular than Donna or Rose (despite how vocal her fanbase is). I love Martha, but this isn't actually the first time they've marketed her over Donna and Rose (there are, for example, Tonner Dolls coming out in 2009 of Doctor Who. The only two characters available? The Doctor and Martha). It boggles me, and it's unfounded, completely. Not to mention, surely they don't think single Doctor books will sell better than Donna books?

I actually have nine of the Martha books, but I honestly don't really want to buy more unless one comes really highly recommended to me. It just irritates me too much. I am really a big Martha fan, but it just seems really unfair. :(

Edited at 2009-02-16 12:30 pm (UTC)
Opal: Promo: Martha Rose & Donnashinyopals on February 16th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
As haro said, Rose didn't get as many because when they started out they were doing less per year and they upped the number.

As for the rest of it, the most satisfying explanation I can think up (and this is based purely on conjecture) is that Billie Piper and Catherine Tate (and their agents) have way more experience in the industry and are pushier with things like contracts and image rights. Allowing your image to be used is a big thing for celebrities. The reason we've had so few Rose action figures is because (as far as I know) Billie Piper didn't approve them. It's possible Freema Agyeman, because of her inexperience, wasn't quite as pushy with her contract.

This is an issue with so much merchandise - the books, the comics, the dolls, the fact that pictures of Rose are disappearing from some audio rereleases. I think it simply has to be image rights because there's no way this is just one person in the BBC licensing dept who's a Martha fanboy.

Still, they released one Donna book this Xmas. If that is the case, I don't get why they didn't release all three as Donna books and wait until Easter to do The Story of Martha.
Larissa: TUaTW - funny Donnalarissa_j on February 16th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
As for the rest of it, the most satisfying explanation I can think up (and this is based purely on conjecture) is that Billie Piper and Catherine Tate (and their agents) have way more experience in the industry and are pushier with things like contracts and image rights. Allowing your image to be used is a big thing for celebrities. The reason we've had so few Rose action figures is because (as far as I know) Billie Piper didn't approve them. It's possible Freema Agyeman, because of her inexperience, wasn't quite as pushy with her contract.

THIS

While I could have fun with conspiracy theories, I'm sure it's something much more logical like image rights.

Still, I can't believe they dumped Donna for a bunch of mary sues in the Doctor only books.
MV: DW - Master and Lucymrv3000 on February 16th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense to me. And so for some novels they'll just use whatever companion they can.

There's one Rose novel that I know was the author digging up one of his unpublished Seven and Ace novels. (Well, I don't know it know it, but the things that "Rose" did in that book bore absolutely no resemblance to Rose, but every resemblance to Ace.)

And was it you talking about how Martha in one book was just not Martha? Like not understanding biology or something? Sounded like the author had written Rose, but cut-and-paste in Martha. (Or maybe this was someone's old Ace story again. HEH.)

They DID tap quite a few classic series novelists on the shoulder, and you know some of this stuff had been sitting on their hard drive even before New Who came out.
jedi_of_urth: foreverjedi_of_urth on February 17th, 2009 08:13 am (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense, a nice logical business reason. But to gum up your nice logical reason with something that is only somewhat possible I'll give my suspicion.

I get the impression that the Doctor Who novels (like a lot of media tie in novels) aren't really character driven stories or wanting to spend a lot of time on the emotions of the characters. I'm not even sure I suspect they aren't sketched out to be vaguely "Doctor" and "companion" with some aspects of the specific incarnation of the Doctor and the existing companion throw in.

The Doctor and Rose have a very unique relationship that as time progressed it became harder to use 'standard companion template with a few modifications' setup; whereas Martha is closer to that. The fact that they did that story of the year that never was is a bit of an outlier in this hypothesis, but I suspect they can be talked into a few specific stories the tie directly into the show.

And Donna...well there I think your suggestion has a lot to do with it. It's Catharine Tate and I think there probably are a decent number of stipulations about using her in a book or on the cover.
bastetseyebastetseye on February 16th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying what I read as right, but in this magazine I get (SFX) they we're reviewing Martha books and they made hints that Martha was originally going to be appearing in two seasons, so the books we're written with that in mind.

They made certain implications that I won't go into, because due to my feelings on the actress I can see my self unbiasedly interpreting, (Plus I can't really remember much and wouldn't want to spread something wrong)

So that explains to me how she got so many books, how Donna got so less I don't know.
WeHo M.: DW - Thinkyafrocurl on February 16th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
I really don't have a good answer for this, but it might just be the choice of those who write the books who they feature. I was sitting in a panel on the comics yesterday at Gally and it seems like whatever story someone wants to write they can (given a few caveats.)

Had I know you were curious about this, I would have tried to ask Gary Russell over the weekend.
gowdie: Ten Writinggowdie on February 16th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
I have no real idea, but I always assumed it was some kind of misguided marketing effort to stay somewhat current with the show.

Once the audience knows Rose is trapped in another universe, that her adventures with the Doctor have to end, the books do as well. And Donna suffers this fate as well. Her character is permanently gone, as far as we know, her travels over. So there is a feeling the books have to move on.

Martha, however, is the only companion who, at the end of her series, there was the stated implication that she could always come back. And she has. So even though she is the companion who is probably the least popular - her story gets to continue.

I hate this. Especially with Donna since she got such a huge short shift. Rose had at least the benefit of two seasons - PLUS the Christmas special to bridge them. I agree with you that the there could be plenty more stories told.

But I figure it's the same as how the Ninth Doctor stories ended with Ten came along. And is also annoying - I'd love more stories with Nine. And do not even get me started on how that makes me weep - knowing that soon we will also see the Ten merchandise disappear.