Eighth Doctor Adventures
|Eighth Doctor Adventures|
|Seriously these covers are fabulously retro pulp paperback glories. Love it.|
|Began||2 June 1997|
|Ended||2 June 2005|
|Virgin New Adventures||Past Doctor Adventures|
The Eighth Doctor Adventures are a series of books about, you guessed it, the adventures of the Eighth Doctor. There are 73 books in this line, which is a whole lotta best doctor goodness.
If you're like me and hate it when we're in hiatus, which is more often than not, they're a great way to pass the time, alongside Big Finish audios. They're pretty separate from Eight's ear stories (although that one anthology does exist...) but most people like to do mental gymnastics to fit them into the same timeline. Like all other Eighth Doctor stuff, they're GOAT, and feature some of the best and most experimental Doctor Who stories to date.
What I will put here is a mediafire folder with every one in pdf format. The scan job was sub-par, so the formatting is weird and there are some typos, but if you're smart enough to find this page you're smart enough to figure out what it should be. Besides, you're a huge nerd and just need content to consume, so you'll put up with it.
Initially, the Big Finish audio stories were intended to come between the first and second novels. The comics also fit within that same gap. And so does that one VNA with the Eighth Doctor. Of course there's nowhere near enough time to cram all those stories into that gap, but Big Finish fixed that by deciding that after Zagreus, the books now take place in a separate alternate timeline, but somehow the comics and VNA are in both, and some of the later audios reference some of the later books too.
If that bothers you, and you're the kind of person who needs to make a spreadsheet of what happened when to which character and then get in arguments about it on the TARDIS Weenie Wiki, you're going to hate these books, because half of them are about history being retroactively rewritten.
Otherwise, don't worry, it all works out in the end. The EDAs, just like the BFAs, manage to sync up with the first Ninth Doctor story properly (or either of the non-canonical alternatives, if you prefer) in ways that don't really contradict each other any more than they're supposed to.
The Doctor tries to meet up with Grace from the TV movie a few times, but the magic of American lawyers always somehow turns her into a completely different lady doctor from San Francisco, so the Doctor needs new companions.
- Sam: A young idealist whose timeline has been tampered with to make her a "perfect companion," and hey, haven't I heard this one before? She eventually has an identity crisis and leaves. And, later, we find out that she died. And then that she got erased from history. And then the audios erase her from history too, just for good measure.
- Fitz: Takes a while to grow on you, but one of the best companions ever, even if you've already seen Moffat steal all his best bits and give them to TV characters.
- Compassion: Interesting, especially after spoiler spoiler TARDIS spoiler; starts to get grating, but leaves before it's a problem.
- Anji: Sometimes a great character, sometimes the token minority, sometimes the upper-middle-class City bitch that represents all that's evil about capitalism, depending on the writer.
- Trix: Almost invisible until the last few books, but at least she's never annoying.
EDAs on the Wiki
Books 1–18: The initial few books feature just the Doctor and Sam, and are mostly just standalone stories, excluding the Longest Day / Dreamstone Moon / Seeing I "trilogy," and... technically, Legacy of the Daleks also fits in between the first two, but do yourself a favour and forget that book exists. Some books are better quality than others (with Vampire Science, Alien Bodies and The Scarlet Empress being notable highlights, alongside the aforementioned Seeing I) but even the books with the weakest storylines usually have a fair amount of characterkino to balance it all out. Some might recommend skipping The Eight Doctors, because it's honestly not very fucking good and has zero impact on the rest of the stories, but that's entirely up to you. Technically, The Dying Days comes before this whole series entirely, but it's not required reading, and its events don't really get mentioned ever again.
Books 19–24: Fitz joins the TARDIS team, and the next few books are good fun. The Taint, whilst being Fitz's introductory novel, isn't actually that good, but it's worth reading for him alone. The next few books after that are pretty fun, or... controversial, with Unnatural History standing out as a particular highlight.
Books 25–36: This is kinda the point that shit hits the metaphorical fan. Faction Paradox—having previously been introduced in Alien Bodies, and featuring in a few other stories like Unnatural History—reappear, and things start to get weird. Interference is the big one here (so big, in fact, that it has to be split into two separate books) and subsequent novels essentially act as its fall-out. Everything in here is fucking excellent, albeit experimental and, at times, downright weird. Compassion also joins the team during this period... and then leaves it.
Books 37–41: A bunch of mostly-independent stories with separate companions, featuring the Doctor stuck on Earth. Everything from The Burning (which, in itself, is pretty shit) onwards is generally regarded as the so-called "golden age" of the EDAs, but the stuff before is just as good.
Books 42–50: Anji joins the team. Mostly standalone stories, with a few notable VNA writers involved. The Year of Intelligent Tigers is a highlight, but many of the others are just as good. Fear Itself, a PDA published after the end of the series, fits in here at practically any point, and is also worth a read.
Books 51–67: Trix joins the team. The books start to get arc-laden and continuity heavy, with some of the best Doctor Who novels ever featuring within this era. Whilst the books are best read in order anyway, here it becomes absolutely essential to do so—even if you're only interested in one specific novel, it'll generally require the context of the ones previous to it, so might as well make sure you read them all. The Adventuress of Henrietta Street is often widely praised, but as always, there's plenty more worth your time.
Books 68–72: Mostly filler, standalone stories, but all of excellent quality.
Book 73: The Gallifrey Chronicles isn't something to be read on its own—it really needs the context of the EDAs in their entirety, and... to some extent, the VNAs, VMAs and PDAs, but the latter three are by no means a strict necessity. Unfortunately, it doesn't necessarily get what one might call a "satisfying" ending, but now that the EDAs are kill, it's all we have to go on. Also, if you've become at all invested in Fitz at this point, it goes without saying that Parkin (who has previously admitted that he doesn't know how to characterise Fitz, despite there being like forty-nine books to pore over and many, many authors to confer with) completely, utterly fucks him up. So, thanks for that, Parkin. Other than the author absolutely fucking decimating a fan favourite, this book is looked on pretty favourably by most EDA readers, and if you've read this far, you might as well bite the bullet and read this one too, because it's the only ending you're ever gonna get. It also has some big revelations and implications for the series in its entirety, so... you know, read the first seventy-two books, then hop to it.
Book ???: The Stranger is shit and non-canon. Literally the worst thing I have ever read.
Alternate, more negative overview:
Books 1-1: The Eight Doctors. No. Uncle Terry's first Virgin novel swung between pretty-good and so-bad-it's-good, but this one is just so-bad-it's-bad. Just pretend The Dying Days is the first book and start there. It flows better into the rest of the series, and makes for a cool bookend with Lance Parkin writing both the beginning and the end of the Eight books.
Books 2-18: Oh God Why Won't Sam Just Die. Only read Alien Bodies and Scarlet Empress and maybe Seeing I. The rest are either decent NAs with Seven and Ace hastily search-and-replaced with Eight and Sam or total crap.
Books 19-24: Fitz Time. Optional. Fitz is here, Sam will be gone soon. None of the books are amazing, but the only bad one (Unnatural History) is a fascinating failure.
Books 25-36: The Second War in Heaven Against The Enemy (Stephen Cole). Only read Interference, then imagine the silliest way you could get from there to the Doctor stuck on Earth without a TARDIS in a universe without Time Lords and just go to the next era. Everyone's trying to play in Mad Larry's world, and nobody has the brain chemical imbalance to do it. In many cases, it's interesting to watch them try anyway, but if you haven't read the EDAs by now, you probably don't need that kind of interesting.
Books 37-41: Stuck on Earth. Read them. A total ripoff of Tensy's "specials" season, a bunch of mostly-independent stories with separate companions, but still, mostly pretty good.
Books 42-50: Stuff Happens. Read them. These are mostly standalone stories, mostly by veteran VNA writers, and all about what you'd expect from each, so skip the ones by writers you know you don't like. The PDA Fear Itself also fits in this era, and it's also good.
Books 51-67: Time is All Screwy. All or nothing. Some of the best Doctor Who novels ever are in here, but things get very arc-laden and continuity-heavy, almost like Justin Richards was trying to rip off Stephen Moffat, so you pretty much have to read most of them, in order, if you're going to read any of them. And it will start to feel tedious and/or depressing at some point, but if you've gotten that far, you have to keep going. The payoff at the end is pretty good, but still somehow disappointing, almost like Justin Richards was trying to rip off Stephen Moffat.
Books 68-72: Winding Down. Optional, mostly filler, but mostly pretty good filler. Definitely read Tomorrow Windows.
Books 73-73: The Gallifrey Chronicles. If you haven't read most of the EDAs and the important VNAs, VMAs, and PDAs, you'll completely miss the point. But if you're sad enough to have read all that stuff, you absolutely need to read this one.