From The Guardian:
Fifty years after he first materialised on British television screens, Doctor Who is set to appear in a series of new short stories to be written by a series of well-known children’s authors.
The creator of the bestselling teenage spy Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer, is due to launch the series on 23 January, with A Big Hand for the Doctor.
Set in early 20th-century London, Colfer’s story features the first Doctor, played by William Hartnell. Each of the subsequent stories will be written by a different children’s author, with each story featuring a reimagining of one of the eleven Doctors, from Hartnell via Tom Baker to the most recent Doctors David Tennant and Matt Smith.
Colfer told the Guardian he was drawn to write about the first Doctor because, “he is a bit of a grump”.
“Subsequent Doctors became more chipper and almost childlike and I found the first Doctor interesting because he was not so developed and I could have a little leeway with the character,” he said.
Colfer, who wrote the sixth novel in Douglas Adams’ much-loved Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” with the support of Adams’ widow, explained how his first encounter with Doctor Who was on the page.
“As a boy I had been reading the Doctor Who books for years before I ever saw a single episode,” he said, “and I found that the on‐screen version of the first Doctor was almost identical to the version in my imagination.”
A new story in the series will be released as an ebook on the 23rd of every month, each costing £1.99. Colfer’s story, due on 23 January, will see the first Doctor (played by Hartnell between 1963 and 1966) missing both his hand and his granddaughter Susan. As he searches for her – meanwhile taking on “a strange beam of soporific light, and a host of marauding Soul Pirates” – he embarks on “a dangerous journey into a land he may never forget”.
The other authors range from “commercial blockbusters to literary award‐winners”, according to the publisher Puffin, and are due to be revealed on the first Tuesday of every month. The publisher Juliet Matthews promised they would each bring “an individual style, imagination and interpretation to their e-short tribute to The Doctor”, describing them as “a who’s who of children’s fiction coming together to celebrate the much‐loved Doctor Who”.
The project is intended to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who on 23 November 2013. Puffin is publishing the series in conjunction with BBC Worldwide.